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Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

At the Bridal

Oh! but the bride was lovely,
   Oh! but the scene was bright,
And why was the bridegrooms face as pale
   As his ladys robe of white?

Did you not see beside him
   A guest unasked, unbid?
Who came up the aisle with silent feet
   And gazed at him? he did!

He saw her eyes upon him,
   He felt her icy breath;
And under the brides warm clinging hand
   There crept the touch of death.

And above the low responses
   There fell upon his ear
A voice forbidding the nuptial banns;
   But no one else could hear.

And when the ring was given,
   And when the prayer was said,
He knew, as he led his bride away,
   That he was not truly wed.

And while they sat at the banquet,
   And mirth flowed like the wine,
A dead girls voice hissed in his ear,
   You are not hers, but mine.

Oh! never beside his hearthstone,
   And never in any place,
Shall he be free from the haunting thought
   Of that accusing face.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox's other poems:
  1. The Birth of the Opal
  2. The Awakening (I love the tropics, where sun and rain)
  3. The Breaking of Chains
  4. The Chain
  5. The Coming Man

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