I hereby swear that to uphold your house
I would lay my bones in quick destroying lime
Or turn my flesh to timber for all time;
Cut down my womanhood; lop off the boughs
Of that perpetual ecstasy that grows
From the heart's core; condemn it as a crime
If it be broader than a beam, or climb
Above the stature that your roof allows.
I am not the hearthstone not the cornerstone
Within this noble fabric you have builded;
Not by my beauty was its cornice gilded;
Not on my courage were its arches thrown:
My lord, adjudge my strength, and set me where
I bear a little more than I can bear.
From "One Person"
I have loved this exquisite sonnet for many years now. I don't know anything about the poet or the work it is apparently excerpted from, but wow is this woman a deep thinker, and can she ever write! It is such a perfect poem to express a woman's service to God. And an architecture theme to boot!