On the Eve of the Wedding.

O love, before we part to-night,1
Before the last ‘ I will ’ is spoken2
Before the ring has touched my hand,3
Of pure, true, endless love the token4
Before the Church with holy rite,5
Her blessing on our love has given,6
Look straight into my eyes with yours,7
And answer me in sight of Heaven.8
Is there within your heart of hearts9
One lingering shadow of regret10
One thought that you have chosen ill ?11
Oh ! speak—’tis not too late even yet.12
Is there in all this world of ours,13
One you have ever known or seen,14
When, if you had earlier seen or known,15
You would have crowned your chosen queen ?16
Is there ?— I pray you, tell me now,17
And I will hold you bound no more.18
I will not flinch to hear the truth,19
It could not be so sad, so sore,20
To know it now, as it would be21
If by-and-by a shadow fell22
Upon the sunshine of our home ;23
So, if you ever loved me—tell.24
I’d hold you pure from blame, dear love ;25
And I would leave you free as air,26
To woo and win that happier one.27
All this for your dear sake, Id bear.28
I will not say how I would pray29
That God might have you in His care ;30
That would be easy—when I think31
Of you, my heart is all one prayer.32
But could I join her name with yours,33
And call down blessings from above34
On her, who had robbed me of my all—35
My life—my light—-my only love ?36
Yes ! even that I’d try to do ;37
Although my lonely heart should break,38
I’d try to say ‘ God bless her ! ’ too,39
Through blinding tears, for your sweet sake.40
I’m looking up into your eyes ;41
But though my own with tears are dim,42
I read that in their true, clear depths,43
Which tells me, ‘ You may trust in him.’44
I will—I will !  It needs no words,45
Though yours are flowing warm and fast,46
And eloquent with truth and love.47
Forgive my doubts—they are the last !48