To a Bride, Feb. 17, 1846

A STILL , serene, soft day; enough of sun
To wreathe the cottage smoke like pine-tree snow,
Whiter than those white flowers the bride-maids wore;
Upon the silent boughs the lissom air
Rested; and, only when it went, they moved,
Nor more than under linnet springing off.
Such was the wedding-morn: the joyous Year
Lept over March and April up to May.
Regent of rising and of ebbing hearts,
Thyself borne on in cool serenity,
All heaven around and bending over thee,
All earth below and watchful of thy course!
Well hast thou chosen, after long demur
To aspirations from more realms than one.
Peace be with those thou leavest! peace with thee!
Is that enough to wish thee? not enough,
But very much: for Love himself feels pain,
While brighter plumage shoots, to shed last year's;
And one at home (how dear that one!) recalls
Thy name, and thou recallest one at home.
Yet turn not back thine eyes; the hour of tears
Is over; nor believe thou that Romance
Closes against pure Faith her rich domain.
Shall only blossoms flourish there? Arise,
Far-sighted bride! look forward! clearer views
And higher hopes lie under calmer skies.
Fortune in vain call'd out to thee; in vain
Rays from high regions darted; Wit pour'd out
His sparkling treasures; Wisdom laid his crown
Of richer jewels at thy reckless feet.
Well hast thou chosen. I repeat the words,
Adding as true ones, not untold before,
That incense must have fire for its ascent,
Else 'tis inert and can not reach the idol.
Youth is the sole equivalent of youth.
Enjoy it while it lasts; and last it will;
Love can prolong it in despite of Years.
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