BETA

A man and a woman shown in profile walk arm-in-arm along a cleared path. The woman looks down towards a dog that runs beside them and the man looks at the woman. The woman is barefoot. In the background and down a hill, a church emits smoke from its chimney. There is another building behind the man and woman. The sun rises in the distance from behind two hills, and birds fly in the sky. Full-page illustration.

The Eve of the Bridal.

The gorgeous light wanes fast away,1
Yet still the heavens look bright and gay,2
For clouds are floating o’er the sky,3
Of rosy, golden, purple dye,4
Through which the stars burst one by one,5
To tend and watch the setting sun.6
On balmy flower, and verdant leaf,7
Lie glittering tears — oh ! not of grief8
For who could wish the silver dews,9
Which mingle with their rainbow hues,10
Were chas’d away ! — or deem the stain,11
Like earthly tears, the type of pain !12
The breeze steals softly from the west,13
And rocks the trees to transient rest,14
Within whose deep and sheltering boughs,15
The nightingale pours forth her vows.16
It is the soft and silent hour,17
When mighty Love hath mightiest power18
To bind the heart, subdue the will,19
Bid Reason’s cold stern voice be still.20
Oh ! never sounds in Beauty’s ear21
The whispered word so sweet and dear,22
As when the gathering shadows hide23
The tell-tale cheek, which Feeling’s tide,”24
In one full happy, joyous gush,25
Hath tinted with a crimson blush !26
So calm, so still, the scene around,27
Almost the heart’s own echoes sound !28
How many a breast, on eve like this,29
Is steeped in rapture — filled with bliss !30
But, ’ mong thy maidens, sunny France,31
No eye beams forth a brighter glance,32
No bosom owns a deeper spell33
Of holy joy, than thine, Estelle !34
The loved one wanders by thy side,35
He who the morrow claims thee bride.36
Though wooed and won in humble guise,37
A lowly peasant in thine eyes,38
Ere yet another sun is pale,39
Fair damsel, thou shalt hear a tale40
Of fond deceit — shalt learn that Fate41
Hath destined thee to wealth and state.42
But not more dear will Leon be43
With pomp and power, Estelle, to thee,44
Than now, when, Fortune’s gifts above,45
Thou deem’st thine only dower is—Love !46