Had we but world enough knowledge and time,
A man’s ignorance would be a crime.
You would dismiss, and think a way
To punish, and ban the cat calls away.
Thou by the New York City street side
Shouldst rude males find; I by taxi rides
Of billboards would complain. You should
be loved with proper respect,
And he must, if you please, end
His behavior and set his life straight.
Then he should grow
Past his rudeness and his lows;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy appropriate gaze;
Two hundred to adore no breast,
And neither will observe the rest;
An age at least to will keep part,
And the last age should be kind from the heart.
For, ladies, we deserve this state,
We shall not be loved at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder if we’ll turn back time to
A world of inequality.
Thy superficiality shall no more be found;
Than through looks and superficial sound
My begging voice; I beg you preserve
An equal community,
And his quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all their lust;
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the time is short
Begin your mission with female cohort,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, we stop amorous birds of prey,
All ladies together with their power
Overcome his unfair power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our dignity up into one ball,
And all together make a stop
Put up the iron gates of life:
Until we see things right
Us ladies we will fight.