It is only a legend,
You say? But what
Is the meaning of the legend
To give blame to women most
And most punishment?
This is the meaning of a legend that colours
All human thought; it is not found among animals.
How cruel is the story of Eve,
What responsibility it has
*Stevie Smith ‘Eve’ (from Poems, 1962, 1966)
A Daughter of Eve
A fool I was to sleep at noon,
And wake when night is chilly
Beneath the comfortless cold moon;
A fool to pluck my rose too soon,
A fool to snap my lily.
My garden-plot I have not kept;
Faded and all-forsaken,
I weep as I have never wept:
Oh it was summer when I slept,
It’s winter now I waken.
Talk what you please of future spring
And sun-warm’d sweet to-morrow:—
Stripp’d bare of hope and everything,
No more to laugh, no more to sing,
I sit alone with sorrow.
by Christina Rossetti