Is it Reason? [poem by Menie Parkes]

[Editor: This poem by Menie Parkes was published in Poems (1867).]

Is it Reason?

Ever a vein of sadness
Courses my gayest hours;
Is it reason, or moody madness
Sees blight on the brightest flowers?

Was it well that in youthful study,
No added knowledge came,
But my cheek flushed hot and ruddy
For ignorance and shame?

Is it well that my mother’s kisses
Are damp as the damp grave-air?
That my father’s blessing misses
But to contrast my care?

Was it well that one I loved
Should, even in loving, tell
That his heart to me had roved
From one who loved him well?

Is it well that my baby’s face,
In smiling, should draw my tears,
As the image there I trace
Of my idol in past years?

Is it well that, now death brings
A promise of joy at last,
My weak soul backward springs
To linger in the past?

Is it reason, or is it madness,
Thus tempers delight with pains,
Puts a sting in the core of gladness,
And my brightest vision stains?

Menie Parkes, Poems, F. Cunninghame, Sydney, [1867], pages 18-19

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