4534079Poems — ProhibitionMartha Julia Elliott
Long past, in dim and misty centuries,
When all the world was new and Paradise
Grew green and fair about the Tree of Life,
From' the God-head the prohibition came
To touch or taste its beauteous golden fruit—
The one thing only that was stem forbade.
For knowledge of Evil and Good would come,
To our first parents, with the taste thereof.
Now here-to-fore in lovely Eden, reigned
Peace, Love and Joy, Content and Happiness,
Until this edict came, that roused the pair
To discontent—for curiosity
Works oft more sin and disobedience
Than natural inclination toward the wrong.
And then the Serpent entered with his wiles,
Persuading Eve that none would wiser be
If she of the forbidden fruit did eat.
She ate—and then the knowledge swiftly came
Of all the Good and Evil in the world—
A knowledge mingled with both joy and pain.
And she, who from her spouse no secret had,
Persuaded him—that he might knowledge have
Of all the Good and Evil in the world—
And thus was lovely Eden lost to them!
From then till now, in all things of this world
'Twas ever so, that prohibition stem
Begets the dire condition 'twould avoid.
And since to be a perfect rounded man
Or woman, each must widest knowledge have
Of good and ill, so that in choosing they
May choose the best in life, may it not be
That, rather than the prohibition stern,
We cultivate the growth of self control,
That we may temperance practice in all things.
So long as there is Evil in the world,
And that will be long after we are dust,
So long will Prohibition be a law
If made, broken again as soon as made.
Rather let us for temperance give our voice—
Temperance in all the good things of this world