When I go rowing on the lake,
I long to be a man;
I’ll give my Sunday frock to have
A callous heart like Dan.

I love the ripple of the waves
When gliding o’er the deep,
But when I see the cruel ours,
I close my eyes and weep;

For there are cat-fish in our lake,
And I am filled with dread,
Lest Don should strike a pussy-fish
Upon its tender head.

How would you like it if, some day
An air-ship passing by,
Should flap its cruel, thoughtless oars
And knock you in the eye?

My life would be one long regret
If, for my pleasure vain,
I caused a harmless little fish
An hour of needless pain.

And if Dan’s heavy oars should cause
One little fish to die,
I’d never, never dare to look
Smoked herring in the eye!

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ellis Parker Butler's poem Womanly Qualms

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