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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

To a Bride

Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864)

February 17, 1846

A STILL, serene, soft day; enough of sun

To wreathe the cottage smoke like pine-tree snow,

Whiter than those white flowers the bride-maids wore;

Upon the silent boughs the lissom air

Rested; and, only when it went, they moved,

Nor more than under linnet springing off.

Such was the wedding morn: the joyous Year

Leapt over March and April up to May.

Regent of rising and of ebbing hearts,

Thyself borne on in cool serenity,

All heaven around and bending over thee,

All earth below and watchful of thy course!

Well hast thou chosen, after long demur

To aspirations from more realms than one.

Peace be with those thou leavest! peace with thee!

Is that enough to wish thee? not enough,

But very much: for Love himself feels pain,

While brighter plumage shoots, to shed last year’s;

And one at home (how dear that one!) recalls

Thy name, and thou recallest one at home.

Yet turn not back thine eyes; the hour of tears

Is over; nor believe thou that Romance

Closes against pure Faith her rich domain.

Shall only blossoms flourish there? Arise,

Far sighted bride! look forward! clearer views

And higher hopes lie under calmer skies.

Fortune in vain call’d out to thee; in vain

Rays from high regions darted; Wit pour’d out

His sparkling treasures; Wisdom laid his crown

Of richer jewels at thy reckless feet.

Well hast thou chosen. I repeat the words,

Adding as true ones, not untold before,

That incense must have fire for its ascent,

Else ’tis inert and cannot reach the idol.

Youth is the sole equivalent of youth.

Enjoy it while it lasts; and last it will;

Love can prolong it in despite of Years.