Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Praise of Love
By Jean O’Brien
  IN time of hunger and drought Love is glad,
For Love is food, and wine, and fire.
The eyes of love are gentle as the doves’,
The face of Love fairer than flowers is.
Her breasts make challenge mutely for caresses,        5
Her loins are hollowed for her lover’s rest,
Her hands make new life spring beneath their touch,
Her lips are velvet-smooth and made for kisses.
Her hair like golden serpents writhes about
Down o’er her flanks, a soft and shining shower.        10
Her eyes are pools where violets are drowned,
Her voice is music, and her mind is wisdom.
Her odor is a heaven-sweet perfume,
Sweeter than woods in spring or summer gardens.
The tired rest themselves against her heart;        15
The feast of a thousand vineyards is hers
And the flowers wherewith she decks herself
Shall never die—shall never die.
The gardens of God have their seasons—
Flowerless and fruitless half the year;        20
But the gardens of Love are everlasting—
Their flowers and fruit are eternal.
The strong man’s power is but for a day;
When it goes, ’tis but as a tale that’s told.
But the power of Love is mightier than the sword’s        25
And it stays while life does.
Riches come hardly and go swiftly, leaving nothing;
But Love comes early and abides forever.
A blossom-decked altar is the bed of Love,
Her festivals the sacraments of life.        30
The song of songs is the song of Love—
Ever sung, yet never ending;
The song of Love is the song of life.

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