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Poem by Gerald Massey

The Bridal

SHE comes! the blushing Bridal Dawn,
With her Auroral splendours on!
And green Earth never lovelier shone:

She danceth on her golden way,
In dainty dalliance with the May,
Jubilant o'er the happy day!

Earth weareth heaven for bridal-ring,
And the best garland of glory, Spring
From out old Winter's world can bring.

The green blood reddens in the rose:
And underneath white-budding boughs
The violets purple in rich rows.

High up in air the Chestnuts blow,
The live-green Apple-tree's flush bough
Floateth, a cloud of rosy snow!

Cloud-shadow-ships swim faerily
Over the greenery's sunny sea,
Whose warm tides ripple down the lea.

The Birds, a-brooding, strive to sing,
Feeling the life warm 'neath the wing:
Their love, too, burgeons with the Spring!

The winds that make the flowers blow,
Heavy with balm, breathe soft and low,
A budding warmth, an amorous glow!

They kiss like some endearing mouth,
More sweet than the Sabean South,
And balm the splendour's drooping drouth:

Such a delicious feel doth flood
The eyes, as laves the burning bud
When June-rains feed ambrosial blood.

O, merrily Life doth revel and reign
Light in heart, and blithe in brain;
Running like wine in every vein,

Alive with eyes, the Village sees
The Bridal dawning from the trees,
And Housewives' swarm i' the sun like Bees.

Silence sits i' the Belfry-Choir!
Up in the twinkling air the spire
Throbs, golden in the bickering fire.

The winking' windows burn and blush
With colours rare as flow and flush
Thro' summer sunsets bloom'd and hush.

But, enter: lordlier splendours brim,
Such mists of gold and purple swim
And the light falls so rich and dim.

Even so doth Love Life's doors unbar,
Where all the hidden glories are,
That from the windows shone afar.

Love's lovely to the passers-by,
But they who love are region'd high
On th' hills of Bliss, with heaven nigh.

Sumptuous as Iris, when she swims
With rainbow-robe on dainty limbs,
The Bride's rare loveliness o'erbrims!

The gazers drink rich overflows,
Her cheek a livelier damask glows,
And on his arm she leans more close.

A drunken joy reels in his blood,
He wanders an enchanted wood,
He ranges realms of perfect good.

Dear God! that he alone hath grace
To light such splendour in her face,
And win the blessing of embrace!

She wears her maiden modesty
With tearful grace toucht tenderly,
Yet with a ripe Expectancy!

Her virgin veil reveals a form,
Flowering from the bud so warm,
It needs must break the Cestus-charm.

Last night, with wedable, white arms,
And thoughts that throng'd with quaint alarms,
She trembled o'er her mirror'd charms,

Like Eve first-glassing her new life;
And the Maid startled at the Wife,
Heart-pained with a sweet, warm strife.

The unknown sea moans on her shore
Of life: she hears the breakers roar;
But, trusting Him, she'll fear no more;

For, o'er the deep seas there is calm,
Full as the hush of all-heaven's psalm:
The golden goal,Чthe Victor's palm!

And at her heart Love sits and sings,
And broodeth warmth, begetting wings
Shall lift her life to higher things.

The Blessing given, the ring is on;
And at God's Altar radiant run
The currents of two lives in one!

Husht with happiness, every sense
Is crowded at the heart intense;
And silence hath such eloquence!

Down to his feet her meek eyes stoop,
As there her love should pour its cup;
But, like a King, he lifts them up.

Her flashing face to heaven up-turns,
As for God's gracious kiss it yearns:
Through all her life Hope's sunrise burns!

And now she trembles to his breast,
To make it aye her happy nest,
And proudly crown his loving quest:

His arms her hyacinth head caress,
And fold her fragrant slenderness,
With all its touching tenderness.

Now, on heaven's coast of crystal crown'd
Hesper lights life's outward-bound:
And Evening folds her purple round.

A palace rich with glorious shows
She maketh his life's narrow house
To-night: but there he keeps no rouse!

Alone they hold their marriage-feast:
Fresh from the Chrism of the Priest,
He would not have the happiest jest

To storm her brows with a crimson fine;
And, sooth, they need no wings of wine
To waft them into Love's divine.

So Strength and Beauty, hand-in-hand,
Go forth into the honey'd land,
Lit by the love-moon golden-grand,

Where God hath built their Bridal-bower;
And on the top of life they tower,
And taste of Eden's perfect hour.

No lewd eyes o'er my shoulder look!
They do but ope the blessed book
Of Marriage in their hallowed nook.

O, flowery be the paths they press,
And ruddiest human fruitage bless
Them, with a lavish loveliness!

Melodious move their wedded life
Thro' shocks of time, and storms of strife,Ч
Husband true, and perfect Wife!

Gerald Massey

Gerald Massey's other poems:
  1. A Maiden's Song
  2. Love in Idleness
  3. A Night-Musing
  4. Long Expected
  5. A Lyric of Love

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Lucy Montgomery The Bridal ("Last night a pale young Moon was wed")

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