1826
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Bridal.

Ladies' Garland 3 (12 August 1826) 108.

Mrs. Cornwell Baron Wilson


A verse character of a somewhat reluctant bridge in eight irregular Spenserians signed "Mrs. C. B. Wilson." The Bridal describes the second thoughts of an Amoret undergoing the sacred rite: "Look to her HEART! What thoughts are passing there, | That cast a pensive shadow o'er her brow? | Thoughts which Love's bright dream can claim no share, | Yet thoughts which Love himself must still allow, | Rush o'er her soul." The poem originally appeared in La Belle Assemblee; the volume for 1826 is missing in English Literarary Periodicals. Not seen.



They stand within the sacred fane — around
The bridal group is gathered; the young BRIDE
Casts her meek dove-like eyes upon the ground
With Woman's tenderness; seeking to hide
The struggling sighs that heave her gentle breast,
Where Hope and Fear by turns become a trembling guest!

Look to her HEART! What thoughts are passing there,
That cast a pensive shadow o'er her brow?
Thoughts which Love's bright dream can claim no share,
Yet thoughts which Love himself must still allow,
Rush o'er her soul; — and leave that trace of care
Which throws its shade a while o'er features heavenly fair!

Perchance the thoughts of HOME! — that home which now
She leaves to grace another; — happy years
Of peaceful, calm endearment; — as the vow
Her scarce-heard voice has uttered, wake those tears
That, bursting through concealment, or control,
Down her fast-fading cheeks their pearly currents roll!

Perchance — a Father's dying look of love
Yet hovers o'er her; — or a Mother's voice,
Whose gentle accents sanction and approve
The object of her young heart's early choice,
Dwells in her ear; but who shall dare reveal
All the fond, tender thoughts that through her bosom steal?

Youth! if her gentle heart and eyes o'erflow,
From thoughts like these, it argues future bliss,
And coming years of peace and love shall show
Th' unfathomed depth of Woman's tenderness!
Years, which from thee their future hue must take,
As thy Love's ebb or flow, shall bright or gloomy make!

Chide not these signs of sorrow — for they tell
No tale of coldness, or distrust to thee—
But feelings of the heart, that only dwell
Where Truth and Love have made their sanctuary.
Chide not these mournful smiles; these gentle tears
Like April's dewy showers, through which the sun appears.

And now the rite is o'er; — the white-robed train,
'Mid joyous peals that float upon the air,
Depart the sacred temple; — ne'er again
On such an errand shall that TWAIN repair
Unto its holy walls — till ONE shall be
The Bridegroom or the Bride of cold Mortality!

The fate of ONE is sealed for aye on earth,
It may be Both! Thrice happy they who prove
The depth of faith that in the soul has birth,
And the true heart, that knows no SECOND Love!
That on ONE alter kindles all its fires,
And when that alter falls, the hallowed blaze expires.

[p. 108]