BETA

A “Mercenary” Marriage.

She moves as light across the grass1
As moves my shadow gaunt and tall ;2
And like my shadow, close yet free,3
The thought of her aye follows me,4
My little maid of Moreton Hall.5
No matter how or where we loved,6
Or when we’ll wed, or what befal : —7
I only feel she’s mine at last,8
I only know I’ll hold her fast,9
Though to dust crumbles Moreton Hall.10
Her pedigree—good sooth ! ’ tis long :11
Her grim sires stare from every wall ;12
And centuries of ancestral grace13
Shine in her gentle girlish face,14
As meek she moves through Moreton Hall.15
Whilst I have—nothing ! save, perhaps,16
Some worthless heaps of idle gold,17
And a true heart, the which her eye18
Through glittering dross spied, womanly ; —19
Therefore the neighbours think her “ sold.”20
I laugh—she laughs—the hills and vales21
Laugh, as we ride ’ neath chestnuts tall,22
Or start the deer that near us graze,23
And look up, large-eyed, with soft gaze24
At the fair maid of Moreton Hall.25
For us—we know that earth is fair,26
And life is sweet, and love is strong,27
And two, close knit in mutual ties,28
The whole world’s wealth may well despise29
Its folly, madness, shame, and wrong.30
We are not proud, with a fool’s pride,—31
Nor cowards, to be held in thrall32
By pelf or lineage, face or lands ; —33
One honest heart, two honest hands,—34
Are worth far more than Moreton Hall.35
Therefore our strong love breaks like tow36
The bars that weaker souls appal :37
I take her hand and hold it fast,38
Knowing she’ll love me to the last39
My dearest maid of Moreton Hall !40