BETA

Matrimony.

Then come those full confidings of the past,1
All sunshine now where all was overcast.2
Then do they wander till the day is gone,3
Lost in each other ; and, when night steals on,4
Covering them round, how sweet her accents are !5
Oh when she turns and speaks, her voice is far,6
Far above singing !  But soon nothing stirs7
To break the silence—Joy like his, like hers,8
Deals not in words—and now the shadows close,9
Now in the glimmering, dying light she grows10
Less and less earthly !  As departs the day,11
All that was mortal seems to melt away,12
Till like a gift resumed as soon as given,13
She fades at last into a spirit from heaven.14
Then are they blest indeed—and swift the hours15
Till her young sisters wreathe her hair in flowers,16
Kindling her beauty—while, unseen, the least17
Twitches her robe, then runs behind the rest,18
Known by her laugh that will not be suppressed.19
Then before all they stand—the holy vow20
And ring of gold, no fond illusions now,21
Bind her as his. Across the threshold led,22
And every tear kissed off as soon as shed,23
His house she enters, there to be a light24
Shining within, when all without is night ;25
A guardian angel o’er his life presiding,26
Doubling his pleasures, and his cares dividing !27
How oft her eyes read his—her gentle mind28
To all his wishes, all his thoughts inclined ;29
Still subject—ever on the watch to borrow30
Mirth of his mirth, and sorrow of his sorrow.31
The soul of music slumbers in the shell,32
Till waked to rapture by the master’s spell33
And feeling hearts—touch them but rightly—pour34
A thousand melodies unheard before !35
Nor many moons o’er hill and valley rise,36
Ere to gate with nymph-like step she flies,37
And their first-born holds forth, their darling boy,38
With smiles how sweet, how full of love and joy,39
To meet him coming—theirs through every year40
Pure transports, such as each to each endear !41
And laughing eyes and laughing voices fill42
Their halls with gladness. She, when all are still,43
Comes and undraws the curtain as they lie,44
In sleep how beautiful !45