Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE BRIDEGROOM TO HIS BRIDE, by MARY ANN BROWNE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE BRIDEGROOM TO HIS BRIDE, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: Four years ago, dear love, / and we were strangers; in a distant land
Last Line: With souls, not bound, but blended evermore.
Alternate Author Name(s): Gray, James, Mrs.; Gray, Mary Anne Browne
Subject(s): Friendship; Love; Time; Marriage; Weddings; Husbands; Wives

Four years ago, dear love,
And we were strangers; in a distant land
Long had it been my lonely lot to rove;
And I had never touched that gentle hand,
Or looked into the lustre of those eyes,
Or heard that voice of lovely melodies,
Winning its way unto the listener's heart,
And gladdening it, as a fresh stream doth part
The grass and flowers, and beautifies its road
With fresher hues, by its sweet tides bestowed.
Then I had never heard that name of thine,
Which in this blessed day hath merged in mine!

Three years ago, mine own!
And we had met -- 't was but acquaintanceship;
There was no tremour in the courteous tone
Which, greeting thee, flowed freely to my lip
At each new interview. Thy beauty seemed
Indeed the very vision I had dreamed
Of woman's loveliest form, but that it shrined
So bright a gem, so true and pure a mind,
I did not early learn; for thou art one
Whose gentle, kindly actions ever shun
The glare of day. I knew not then the power
That seems thy richest gift at this blest hour.

Another year went by,
And we were friends! -- "dear friends" we called each other --
We said our bosoms throbbed in sympathy,
That we were like a sister and a brother.
Ah! but do brothers' hearts thrill through each chord,
At a dear sister's smile or gracious word?
Do sisters blush, and strive the blush to hide,
When a fond brother lingers at their side?
Do friends, and nothing more, shrink from surmise,
And dread to meet the keen world's scrutinies,
And tremble with a vague and groundless shame,
And start when each doth hear the other's name?

One little year ago,
And we were lovers -- lovers pledged and vowed --
The unsealed fountains of our hearts might flow:
Our summer happiness had scarce a cloud.
We smiled to think upon the dubious past,
How could so long our self-delusion last?
We laughed at our own fears, whose dim array
One spoken word of love had put away.
In love's full-blessed confidence we talked,
We heeded not who watched us as we walked;
And day by day hath that affection grown,
Until this happy morn that makes us one.

Beloved! 't is the day,
The summer day, to which our hearts have turned,
As to a haven that before them lay --
A haven dim and distantly discerned.
Now we have reached it, and our onward gaze
Must henceforth be beyond earth's fleeting days,
Unto a better home, when having loved
One more than e'en each other -- having proved
Faithful to Him, and faithful to the vow
That in our hearts is echoing even now,
We two shall dwell His glorious throne before,
With souls, not bound, but blended evermore.

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