Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A SUTTEE, by LETITIA ELIZABETH LANDON



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A SUTTEE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Gather her raven hair in one rich cluster
Last Line: No more to part.
Alternate Author Name(s): L. E. L.; Maclean, Letitia
Subject(s): Sacrifices; Widows & Widowers


GATHER her raven hair in one rich cluster,
Let the white champac light it, as a star
Gives to the dusky night a sudden lustre,
Shining afar.

Shed fragrant oils upon her fragrant bosom,
Until the breathing air around grows sweet;
Scatter the languid jasmine's yellow blossom
Beneath her feet.

Those small white feet are bare -- too soft are they
To tread on aught but flowers; and there is roll'd
Round the slight ankle, meet for such display,
The band of gold.

Chains and bright stones are on her arms and neck;
What pleasant vanities are linked with them,
Of happy hours, which youth delights to deck
With gold and gem.

She comes! So comes the Moon, when she has found
A silvery path wherein thro' heaven to glide.
Fling the white veil -- a summer cloud -- around;
She is a bride!

And yet the crowd that gather at her side
Are pale, and every gazer holds his breath.
Eyes fill with tears unbidden, for the bride --
The bride of Death!

She gives away the garland from her hair,
She gives the gems that she will wear no more;
All the affections, whose love-signs they were,
Are gone before.

The red pile blazes -- let the bride ascend,
And lay her head upon her husband's heart,
Now in a perfect unison to blend --
No more to part.





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