Always, always, we are alone.
The solitude of self prevails
For worker bee or drunken drone,
In palaces, on beds of nails,
Worshipped as a new messiah,
Shunned as neighbourhood pariah,
Proud or fearful—on our own.

Always, always, we are alone.
Though our lover loves us madly
We are but a house of bone,
Skin and bone they’d die for gladly;
Sunk in cells of stony quiet,
Whirled in carnival or riot,
Dead or living—on our own.

Always, always, we are alone,
Flushed with triumph, broken-hearted,
Old and knowing, scarcely grown,
Blighted by the griefs we’ve charted,
Innocents abroad or traitors,
Bankers, beggars, foul dictators,
Come the reckoning—on our own.

Inspired by The Solitude of Self, an impassioned speech delivered by Elizabeth Cady Stanton to the Judiciary Committee of the US House of Representatives on January 17th 1892, in favour of a 16th amendment and the rights of women in America.