Bernard O'Dowd

(11 April 1866 – 1 September 1953 / Beaufort)

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Love's Substitute


This love, that dares not warm before its flame
   Our yearning hands, or from its tempting tree
Yield fruit we may consume, or let us claim
   In Hymen's scroll of happy heraldry
   The twining glyphs of perfect you and me --
May kindle social fires whence curls no blame,
   Find gardens where no fruits forbidden be,
And mottoes weave, unsullied by a shame.

For, love, unmothered Childhood wanly waits
   For such as you to cherish it to Youth:
   Raw social soils untilled need Love's own verve
That Peace a-flower may oust their weedy hates:
   And where Distress would faint from wolfish sleuth
   The perfect lovers' symbol is "We serve!"

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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  • Kay Staley (12/26/2013 7:16:00 PM)

    This poem does not flow when read out loud but would gain personal meaning if it was memorized and spoke to oneself. The ending is the best as it is easier to understand and gives the reader something to disagree of agree with which is one of the points of writing poetry in the first place. (Report) Reply

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