The Royal Bridal

Round wild Dunree's unshelter'd rock,
That hears the broad Atlantic beat,
The salt waves of the great sea lough
Wash'd to the poet's feet.

Like jewel in a frosted setting
Was that sweet day in winter time,
And all day long those blue waves fretting
Had mingled with his rhyme.

No harsher sound the distance broke,
Where Inch, a giant fast asleep,
Lay folded in his purple cloak,
Upon a purple deep.

The round sun sinking slowly down
Behind Rathmullan far away,
Saw other hills eternal crown
Mulroy's romantic bay.

All round his burning amber bed,
Were rosy clouds, and crimson fringed,
And lines of golden light that led
Through dark doors, silver-hinged.

Burn, burn, O sun! along the west;
Ye fringed cloudlets shift and gleam,
Fill with bright shapes the poet's breast,
Give colour to his dream.

For, like a relic in a shroud
Of crimson silk, within its shrine,
His heart lies in a chapel proud,
Wrapt in a vision fine.

A glorious trance of bridal pomp,
Of tossing plume and jewell'd hair,
Of pawing steed and swelling trump,
Brave men and women fair.

No need of light clouds set on fire
To paint the royal pageant's pride,
When passes to the blazing choir
That graceful child-like bride.

When, proud of heart, but calm and grave,
The matron queen of all the land,
Comes pacing up the banner'd nave,
Her children in her hand.

Hush, weltering wave, and streams that dash
Down mountain clefts — ye charm no more,
He hears the organ's mighty crash,
He hears the anthem pour.

They pass, — they pause — prince, princess, queen,
And now the herald's task is done,
Dies slowly down the gorgeous scene
The word that makes them one.

Ah me! there's many a peasant's eye
That looks on purple Inch to-day,
And only sees a headland high,
A shadow in the bay.

There's many a curious, careless face
Has look'd along that glittering line,
Seen but the beauty and the grace,
And mark'd the jewels shine.

They saw the fairest court on earth,
They saw the monarch most beloved,
Nor dream'd beneath that mask of mirth
What holier feelings moved.

They praised the regal mantle's flow,
They praised the diamonds richly piled,
While all the time the heart below
Was yearning for her child.

On the bride's brow, so young, so pale,
They watch'd the whiter myrtles set,
But not the glances through her veil,
Half love and half regret.

Ah, what dear household memories press'd
Through all their hearts! — what prayers were pour'd
To Him whose hallowing presence bless'd,
Of old, the bridal board.

What broken links of joy there fell,
While still smiled on that face serene!
What tears were those — beseeming well
The mother and the queen!

Go, Bride, fair home afar be thine,
And happy even as her own;
We grudge thee to that grand old Rhine,
And to thy German throne.

Old England gives thee from her arms,
She gives thee with all blessings crown'd,
All surest vows, all holiest charms
Wherewith true hearts are bound.

One general thrill of love and hope
Has stirr'd in all our island hearts —
From wooded plain, and pasture slope,
And crowded city marts,

To where, from rude cliffs beetling high,
The great sea-eagle northward shrieks,
And the long rolling billows lie
In mountain-guarded creeks.
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