19th Century Women's Poetry

Katharine Lee Bates (1859-?)

Born in Falmouth, MA. Katharine Lee Bates received an excellect education; she graduated from Wellesley College and became a full Professor in their English department. She edited several volumes of English literature, and she published The College Beautiful, and Other Poems in 1887 as well as a volume of poetry for children in 1890.

A Song of Riches
What will you give to a barefoot lass,
Morning with breath like wine?
Wade, bare feet! In my wide morass
Starry marigolds shine.
Alms, sweet Noon, for a barefoot lass,
With her laughing looks aglow!
Run, bare feet! In my fragrant grass
Golden buttercups blow.

Gift, a gift for a barefoot lass,
O twilight hour of dreams!
Rest, bare feet, by my lake of glass,
Where the mirrored sunset gleams.

Homeward the weary merchants pass,
With the gold bedimmed by care.
Little they wise that the barefoot lass
Is the only millionaire.

[AA; c. 1887]