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I vowed to thee on rosary (dead father, look not so!)
And canst thou prove
Onora, in sleep.
O love, my love! I felt him near again!
I saw his steed on mountain-head, I heard it on the
Was this no weal for me to feel? Is greater weal than
Yet when he came, I wept his name—and the angels heard but his.
Well done, well done!
Onora, in sleep.
Ah me, the sun! the dreamlight 'gins to pine,— Ah me, how dread can look the Dead! Aroint thee, father mine!
She starteth from slumber, she sitteth upright,
And her breath comes in sobs while she stares through the night.
There is nought; the great willow, her lattice before
'Tis a morn for a bridal; the merry bride-bell
Rings clear through the greenwood that skirts the chapelle,
And the priest at the altar awaiteth the bride,
At the work shall be doing;
While down through the wood rides that fair company,
And the bride and the bridegroom are leading the way,
And the tender bride-mother breaks off unaware
Is it play, when his eyes wander innocent-wild
"O fair-featured maids, ye are many!" he cried, "But in fairness and vileness who matcheth the bride? O brave-hearted youths, ye are many, but whom For the courage and woe can ye match with the groom As ye see them before ye?"
Out spake the bride's mother, "The vileness is thine
Out spake the bride's lover, "The vileness be mine
"Bring the charge, prove the charge, brother! speak it aloud:
Let thy father and hers hear it deep in his shroud!"
Then outlaughed the bridegroom, and outlaughed withal Both maidens and youths by the old chapel-wall : "So she weareth no love-gift, kind brother," quoth he, "She may wear an she listeth a brown rosary,
Like a pure-hearted lady."
Then swept through the chapel the long bridal train;
But her brother had passed in between them and her
Of an infantine aspect so stern to the view
That the priest could not smile on the child's eyes of blue As he would for another.
He knelt like a child marble-sculptured and white That seems kneeling to pray on the tomb of a knight, With a look taken up to each iris of stone
From the greatness and death where he kneeleth, but none From the face of a mother.
"In your chapel, O priest, ye have wedded and shriven Fair wives for the hearth, and fair sinners for heaven;
But this fairest my sister, ye think now to wed,
Bid her kneel where she standeth, and shrive her instead : O shrive her and wed not!"
In tears, the bride's mother," Sir priest, unto thee
In wrath, the bride's lover,—“ The lie shall be clear!
Then serene in his childhood he lifted his face,
Is it used for the praying?"
The youths looked aside-to laugh there were a sinAnd the maidens' lips trembled from smiles shut within : Quoth the priest, “" Thou art wild, pretty boy! Blessed she Who prefers at her bridal a brown rosary
To a worldly arraying."
The bridegroom spake low and led onward the bride,
They have knelt down together to rise up as one.
The maidens looked forward, the youths looked around. The bridegroom's eye flashed from his prayer at the
And each saw the bride, as if no bride she were,
The priest never knew that she did so, but still
And whenever the Great Name was there to be read,
“I have sinnëd,” quoth he, “I have sinnëd, I wot”-
The rite-book is closed, and the rite being done
What aileth the bridegroom? He glares blank and wide;
Then suddenly turning he kisseth the bride;
His lip stung her with cold; she glanced upwardly mute : "Mine own wife,” he said, and fell stark at her foot In the word he was saying.
They have lifted him up, but his head sinks away,
Long and still was her gaze while they chafed him there And breathed in the mouth whose last life had kissed
But when they stood up—only they! with a start
The shriek from her soul struck her pale lips apart :
She has lived, and foregone him!