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The moisture from the ground;
And faintly away in the west
Died the last angry sound.
There fell from the lark a note,
As from an ancient guitar,
Swelling his tiny throat,
Till the sounds rang near and far;
And harmonies round him float,
Like the song from a fleeting star.
In her sleep Annie heard the call,
And dreamed of her lover's voice.
Accents softly let fall,
From the lips of her heart's first choice.
The sound flowed sweetly through all,
In sleep it bade her rejoice.
Soon on her lids the sun,
Shining down in his glory pressed,
Bidding her know day begun,
Breaking her last maiden rest;
Kissing her cheeks, and in fun,
Kindling her beautiful breast.
Thus warmly roused from repose
She sprang to her feet, and there,
Before to her bridal she goes,
Offers the last maiden prayer;
Then dons her white bridal clothes,
Braids up her raven hair.
Her cheeks just glance with the rose,
Her skin, like the lily, shines fair.
Pure are the orange blooms twined
In her hair, and white as her hand
Is the dress she wears, and behind
The bridesmaids gather and stand ;
Each one a sweet maid refined,
The flowers of the blooming land.
The priest chants the solemn prayers
That bind Annie and Alfred one;
The servants gaze in from the stairs,
To praise her their voices begun.
At the moment a ring Alfred wears
Is placed on her hand, and done
Are these ceremonial affairs,
And the heart of a maiden is gone.
The mother's arms now enfold The daughter just given away, Whose tears flow uncontrolled,
The last she will shed to-day; While her finger gleams with the gold That binds her to him alway.
And Alfred clasps his bride
To his heart, a glad bridegroom,
Already a husband's pride,
'Tis his manly part to assume;
Feeling he has to guide,
That creature of delicate bloom ;
And now the doors thrown wide,
They would seek the festive room.
But I lead to the mother's knee
A figure veiled in white,
A figure fair as can be,
But subdued in the draperies' light;
Yet all that there is to see,
Is delicate, graceful, and bright.
The father raises the veil,
Eva is clasped to his heart ;
Then a mother's feelings prevail,
And then all are weeping apart.
Quickly she tells her tale,
And they pardon deceit on our part.
Such happy meetings repay
The parents; in tears they melt,
And after this little delay,
And the pleasure we all have felt,
Eva asked a blessing, and they
Blessed both as humbly we knelt.
Then to the festive board we move, And mirth and wine assist fair love.
Let me leave the lay
With this closing scene,
Though I fain would say
Where Eva had been.
Many pleasant hours,
Spent among sweet flowers.
But British maids, I fear,
Think I am too long,
So, with fond adieu,
Here I close my song.
Till again my harp shall ring,
When fair Eva bids me sing.
Dear girls, when in the spring we met,
I dared not hope 'twas mine to raise
A humble tribute to your praise, Though having seen who could forget ?
And now at length the task is done;
My labour will be well repaid
If Eva's smile is brighter made
On reading these, my hopes are won.
Or Annie's lips express delight,
At any verses that meet her eyes ; Which mock the beams of May's sunrise, Or meteor on November's night.
These then are yours. Do not refuse,
But if the lay your smiles approve, Remember 'tis the power of love That waked to life my humble muse.