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Songs, Merry and Sad

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The Bride The little white bride is left aloneWith him, her lord; the guests have gone;The festal hall is dim.No jesting now, nor answering mirth.The hush of sleep falls on the earthAnd leaves her here with him.Why should there be, O little white bride,When the world has left you by his side,A tear to brim your eyes?Some old love-face that comes again,Some old love-moment sweet with painOf passionate memories?Does your heart yearn back with last regretFor the maiden meads of mignonetteAnd the fairy-haunted wood,That you had not withheld from love,A little while, the freedom ofYour happy maidenhood?Or is it but a nameless fear,A wordless joy, that calls the tearIn dumb appeal to rise,When, looking on him where he stands,You yield up all into his hands,Pleading into his eyes?For days that laugh or nights that weepYou two strike oars across the deepWith life's tide at the brim;And all time's beauty, all love's graceBeams, little bride, upon your faceHere, looking up at him.

"Oh, Ask Me Not" Love, should I set my heart upon a crown,Squander my years, and gain it,What recompense of pleasure could I own?For youth's red drops would stain it.Much have I thought on what our lives may mean,And what their best endeavor,Seeing we may not come again to glean,But, losing, lose forever.Seeing how zealots, making choice of pain,From home and country parted,Have thought it life to leave their fellows slain,Their women broken-hearted;How teasing truth a thousand faces claims,As in a broken mirror,And what a father died for in the flamesHis own son scorns as error;How even they whose hearts were sweet with songMust quaff oblivion's potion,And, soon or late, their sails be lost alongThe all-surrounding ocean:Oh, ask me not the haven of our ships,Nor what flag floats above you!I hold you close, I kiss your sweet, sweet lips,And love you, love you, love you!

Isabel When first I stood before you,Isabel,I stood there to adore you,In your spell;For all that grace composes,And all that beauty knows isYour face above the roses,Isabel.You knew the charm of flowers,Isabel,Which, like incarnate hours,Rose and fellAt your bosom, glowed and gloried,White and pale and pink and florid,And you touched them with your forehead,Isabel.Amid the jest and laughter,Isabel,I saw you, and thereafter,Ill or well,There was nothing else worth seeing,Worth following or fleeing,And no reason else for being,Isabel.

To ——— Some time, far hence, when Autumn shedsHer frost upon your hair,And you together sit at dusk,May I come to you there?And lightly will our hearts turn backTo this, then distant, dayWhen, while the world was clad in flowers,You two were wed in May.When we shall sit about your boardThree old friends met again,Joy will be with us, but not muchOf jest and laughter then;For Autumn's large content and calm,Like heaven's own smile, will blessThe harvest of your happy livesWith store of happiness....