Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
269. The Quakeress Bride
 
By Elizabeth Clementine Kinney
 
 
NO, not in the halls of the noble and proud,
Where Fashion assembles her glittering crowd,
Where all is in beauty and splendor arrayed,
Were the nuptials performed of the meek Quaker maid.
 
Nor yet in the temple those rites which she took,—        5
By the altar, the mitre-crowned bishop and book,
Where oft in her jewels stands proudly the bride,
Unawed by those vows which through life shall abide.
 
The building was humble, but sacred to One
Who heeds the deep worship that utters no tone;        10
Whose presence is not to the temple confined,
But dwells with the contrite and lowly of mind.
 
’T was there, all unveiled, save by modesty, stood
The Quakeress bride, in her white satin hood:
Her charms unadorned by the garland or gem,        15
Yet fair as the lily just plucked from its stem.
 
A tear glistened bright in her dark shaded eye,
And her bosom half uttered a tremulous sigh,
As the hand she had pledged was confidingly given,
And the low murmured words were recorded in heaven.        20
 
I ’ve been at the bridal where wealth spread the board,
Where the sparkling red wine in rich goblets was poured;
Where the priest in his surplice from ritual read,
And the solemn response was impressively said.
 
I ’ve seen the fond sire, in his thin locks of gray,        25
Give the pride of his heart to the bridegroom away;
While he brushed the big tear from his deep furrowed cheek,
And bowed the assent which his lips might not speak.
 
But in all the array of the costlier scene,
Naught seemed to my eye so sincere in its mien,        30
No language so fully the heart to resign,
As the Quakeress bride’s—“Until death I am thine!”
 

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