Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, REVERSAL, by FLORA SHUFELT RIVOLA

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REVERSAL, by            
First Line: How should a puritan live in me
Last Line: Could happiness be right?
Subject(s): Happiness; Joy; Delight

How should a puritan live in me
Who am prairie-born?
Yet when I hold an ecstasy,
It pricks me as a thorn.

It is as though a loveliness
Must be always forgone
Because some prudent ancestress
Has slipped my gay self on.

She wears me as a casual hood
No sooner donned than doffed.
For how could its lent charm be good?
Far, far too bright and soft!

But once I wore her as a pearl
Upon love's trembling hand.
Even she was once a dreaming girl;
She seemed to understand,

For suddenly the gray of her
Grew exquisite with light;
I felt her breathless questions were,
Could happiness be right?

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