Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A GOLDEN WEDDING: C.B.-E.A.B., 1825-1875, by WILLIAM ALLEN BUTLER



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A GOLDEN WEDDING: C.B.-E.A.B., 1825-1875, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Speech is silver - silence gold'
Last Line: "earth how fair and heaven how bright!"
Subject(s): Anniversaries; Love; Marriage; Old Age; Weddings; Husbands; Wives


"SPEECH is silver—silence gold,"
Fitly saith the proverb old;
Yet, as oft the craftsman's skill
Makes the fine gold finer still,
When its brightest beauty glows
In the forms his art bestows,
So the thoughts, whose silent sway
Rules in all our hearts to-day,
Haply may not suffer wrong
If I weave them into song.

Only once in fifty years
The Golden Wedding-day appears;
Like a guest from far-off lands,
Knocking at the door he stands.
Ah! how few the happy homes
Where his tardy footstep comes;
Ah! how few can watch and wait
For a guest who comes so late.
Tears are on his wrinkled cheek—
Some are gone he fain would seek;
Smiles are on his happy face—
All the living to embrace;
Give him welcome, warm and bright,
For he tarries but a night,
With glad songs and garlands gay,
Hail the Golden Wedding-day.

Golden with the memories cast
O'er the still receding Past,
Backward, to the golden prime
Of the joyous bridal time,
When, from younger lips than now,
Gently breathed the marriage vow,
And the bridegroom and the bride,
Heart in heart, as side by side,
Saw the gates of life unfold
To the promised Age of Gold.

Golden with the noontide ray,
Beaming on their upward way,
Brightening toil and care and pain,
Good and ill and loss and gain;
Sometimes, through the stormy cloud,
Falling upon faces bowed,
Sorrow-stricken, in the dust,
Yet, with faith's unfaltering trust,
Looking from this earthly shore
For the loved ones gone before,
On whose sainted brows, to-day,
Lights of love and memory play.

Golden with the ties that bind
Loves and friendships here entwined;
Ties of kindred, near and dear,
Drawn more closely, year by year,
If still closer, 'twill be well;
Never doubt that "blood will tell."
Let it tell of duties done,
Trials met and victories won—
Loyal work for God and man,
Crowded into life's short span—
What are all things worth beside
Gold that in the fire is tried?

Golden in the hopes whose light
Makes life's evening calm and bright;
Here are home's endearing charms,
Love's encircling, sheltering arms;
All that best old age attends—
"Honor, love, and troops of friends,"
Yet the brightest prospect lies,
Past the bound of earthly skies;
Home still fairer, love more fond,
Blessings here and bliss beyond!

Thus, in these October days,
Bright with Autumn's fleeting blaze,
As from this sweet solitude,
Looking forth, in tranquil mood,
Bride and bridegroom still, in heart,
Linked by ties that never part,
Watch the sun's declining light,
And, beyond the western height,
See his parting glories spread
Near and wide and overhead,
Through the sunset's golden glow,
Far around, above, below,
All things whisper with delight—
"Earth how fair and heaven how bright!"





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