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I vowed to thee on rosary (dead father, look not so!)
I would not thank God in my weal, nor seek God in my


Evil Spirit.

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

plain !

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.

Evil Spirit.

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
Large-drawn in the moon, lieth calm on the floor:
But her hands tremble fast as their pulses, and, free
From the death-clasp, close over-the BROWN ROSARY.


'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,
And the sacristans slyly are jesting aside

At the work shall be doing;

While down through the wood rides that fair company,
The youths with the courtship, the maids with the glee,
Till the chapel-cross opens to sight, and at once
All the maids sigh demurely and think for the nonce,
"And so endeth a wooing!"

And the bride and the bridegroom are leading the way,
With his hand on her rein, and a word yet to say:
Her dropt eyelids suggest the soft answers beneath,
And the little quick smiles come and go with her breath
When she sigheth or speaketh.

And the tender bride-mother breaks off unaware
From an Ave, to think that her daughter is fair,
Till in nearing the chapel and glancing before,
She seeth her little son stand at the door :
Is it play that he seeketh?

Is it play, when his eyes wander innocent-wild
And sublimed with a sadness unfitting a child ?
He trembles not, weeps not; the passion is done,
And calmly he kneels in their midst, with the sun
On his head like a glory.

"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
If thou shame thine own sister, a bride at the shrine !"

Out spake the bride's lover, "The vileness be mine
If he shame mine own wife at the hearth or the shrine
And the charge be unproved.

"Bring the charge, prove the charge, brother! speak it aloud:

Let thy father and hers hear it deep in his shroud!"
"O father, thou seest, for dead eyes can see,
How she wears on her bosom a brown rosary,
O my father beloved!"

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;
Though he spake to the bride she replied not again :
On, as one in a dream, pale and stately she went
Where the altar-lights burn o'er the great sacrament,
Faint with daylight, but steady.

But her brother had passed in between them and her
And calmly knelt down on the high altar-stair-

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
Would he lie, as he lied to this fair company."

In wrath, the bride's lover,—“ The lie shall be clear!
Speak it out, boy! the saints in their niches shall hear :
Be the charge proved or said not ! "

Then serene in his childhood he lifted his face,
And his voice sounded holy and fit for the place,—
"Look down from your niches, ye still saints, and see
How she wears on her bosom a brown rosary!

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,
And before the high altar they stood side by side :
The rite-book is opened, the rite is begun,

They have knelt down together to rise up as one.
Who laughed by the altar?

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,
Gazing cold at the priest without gesture of prayer,
As he read from the psalter.

The priest never knew that she did so, but still
He felt a power on him too strong for his will;

And whenever the Great Name was there to be read,
His voice sank to silence-THAT could not be said,
Or the air could not hold it.

“I have sinnëd,” quoth he, “I have sinnëd, I wot”-
And the tears ran adown his old cheeks at the thought:
They dropped fast on the book, but he read on the same,
And aye was the silence where should be the NAME,-
As the choristers told it

The rite-book is closed, and the rite being done
They who knelt down together, arise up as one :
Fair riseth the bride-oh, a fair bride is she,
But, for all (think the maidens) that brown rosary,
No saint at her praying!

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,
And his face showeth bleak in the sunshine and grey.
Leave him now where he lieth-for oh, never more
Will he kneel at an altar or stand on a floor!
Let his bride gaze upon him.

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!

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