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Crawford, Isabella Valancy (1850-1887)
Love And Reason
ONCE Reason, calm, majestic maid,
Thro' bosky gloom of garden strayed--
A garden planned in every part
To please the mind yet scarce the heart.
'Tis true the level walks, the bowers,
Were gemmed with all the fairest flowers
That royal Nature's bounteous hand
Had flung upon that radiant land,
Where Summer kisses Summer's lips,
And all the year the brown bee sips
His nectar from the chain of flowers
That stretches o'er those sunny hours,
And finds no missing link of bloom
To cloud his busy life with gloom.

'Tis true the fountains sprang their height,
And frolicked in the upper light;
The peacock strutted on the lawn,
And gambolled there the graceful fawn;
And thro' the laurel, bay and myrtle
There glanced the sheen of many a kirtle
Of nymphs who'd chosen this retreat
To come and sit at Reason's feet,
To pensive con her starry page
And fly the follies of the age.

'Tis true such beauties all were there,
And yet lacked much of being fair:
The blossoms bloomed in formal pride,
The fountains played in measured tide;
That which alone the soul can warm,
Sweet Nature's wild, enchanting charm,
From that fair spot had fled and vanished,
By cold-eyed Reason sternly banished;
And in that cold and formal school
No flower dare bloom except by rule.
Love, too, 'twas firmly there decreed,
Fair Nature's loveliest child, should bleed
If found amidst those bowers astray,
Sacred to Reason's lofty sway.

But to my tale.  While Reason strayed
All pensive thro' the formal glade,
She saw, couched lightly on a rose,
Arch Cupid in profound repose;
For o'er her walls of marble white
In some mad hour he'd winged his flight.
With horrent brow and dark'ning frown
Reason on Love stood looking down;
She raised her hand to crush the fay,
When loud a rolling voice cried, "Stay!"

Imperial thunders in the tone;
And looking up, upon a throne
Upborne by eagles, eyed with flame,
Great Jove to Reason's vision came:
"Thy hand restrain, great nymph divine;
As thou henceforth to men would shine
In all thy beauties known and blest,
Take Love and bear him in thy breast;
With thy sage counsel him restrain,
And so let Love with Reason reign!"
With mellowed thunders rolled the clouds,
Great Jove withdrew behind their shrouds.
The mandate Reason quick obeyed,
And joyous Love securely played,
And brightened that once formal spot
Where Reason dwelt but Love was not.
Public Domain