Mary’s Wedding by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
February 25th, 1851.
YOU are to be married, Mary,
This hour as I wakeful lie
In the dreamy dawn of the morning,
Your wedding hour draws nigh,
Miles off, you are rising, dressing,
Your bridemaidens gay among,
In the same old house we played in,–
You and I, when we were young.
Your bridemaids–they were our playmates:
Those known rooms, every wall,
Could speak of our childish frolics,
Loves, jealousies, great and small:
Do you mind how pansies changed we
And smiled at the word ‘forget’?–
‘T was a girl’s romance: yet somehow
I have kept my pansy yet.
Do you mind our poems written
Together? our dreams of fame–
And of love–how we’d share all secrets
When that sweet mystery came?
It is no mystery now, Mary,
It was unveiled, year by year,
Till–this is your marriage morning,
And I rest quiet here.
I cannot call up your face, Mary,
The face of the bride to-day:
You have outgrown my knowledge,
The years have so slipped away.
I see but your girlish likeness,
Brown eyes and brown falling hair,–
God knows, I did love you dearly,
And was proud that you were fair.
Many speak my name, Mary,
While yours in home’s silence lies:
The future I read in toil’s guerdon,
You will read in your children’s eyes:
The past–the same past with either–
Is to you a delightsome scene,
But I cannot trace it clearly
For the graves that rise between.
I am glad you are happy, Mary!
These tears, could you see them fall,
Would show, though you have forgotten,
I have remembered all.
And though my cup may be empty
While yours is all running o’er,
Heaven keep you its sweetness, Mary,
Brimming for evermore.