Don’t tell the world that you’re waiting for me

A strong believer in political freedom for woman and involved with the Charist movement. In the seventy years of her life, Eliza Cook (1818-1889)  was actively trying to change the world she lived in. Her poem Don’t tell the world that you’re waiting for me is her wish for her loved one not to tell the world about the waiting.

About the poet

Eliza Cook
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Eliza Cook was born on 24 December 1888 in Southwark (London, England). She would grow out to be a political activist, who also wrote.

At the age of seventeen, her first book was published (Lays of a Wild Harp). From that time she started to send in poetry to the Weekly Dispatch, The Literally Gazette and the New Monthly Magazine. She was asked by the Weekly Dispatch to start writing on a regular basis. She used the letter C as a pen name.

Her fame rose, not only in England. She was known for her poetry in the United States as well. In fact, her work was so popular that George Julian Harney, who worked for the Northern Star (a Chartist newspaper) decided to use her work without permission.

Besides writing poetry, Cook was also involved with the Chartist movement. This was a working class movement that was named after the People Charter. A national British protest that was written to reform the British political system.

Cook was involved with this movement, even though the movement was only opposed to the voting rights for men of 22 years and older. She was a strong believer in women’s rights and sexual freedom for women.

 

Don’t tell the world that you’re waiting for me

By Eliza Cook

Don’t tell the world that you’re waiting for me

THREE summers have gone since the first time we met, love,
And still ’tis in vain that I ask thee to wed ;
I hear no reply but a gentle ” Not yet, love,”
With a smile of your lip, and a shake of your head.
Ah ! how oft have I whispered, how oft have I sued thee,
And breathed my soul’s question of ” When shall it be ?”
You know, dear, how long and how truly I’ve wooed thee,
So don’t tell the world that you’re waiting for me.

 

I have fashioned a home, where the fairies might dwell, love,
I’ve planted the myrtle, the rose, and the vine ;
But the cottage to me is a mere hermit’s cell, love,
And the bloom will be dull till the flowers are thine.
I’ve a ring of bright gold, which I gaze on when lonely,
And sigh with Hope’s eloquence, ” When will it be ?”
There needs but thy ” Yes,” love–one little word only,
So don’t tell the world that you’re waiting for me.

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