Verse > John Greenleaf Whittier > The Poetical Works in Four Volumes
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John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).  The Poetical Works in Four Volumes.  1892.
 
Poems by Elizabeth H. Whittier
The Wedding Veil
 
DEAR ANNA, when I brought her veil,
  Her white veil, on her wedding night,
Threw o’er my thin brown hair its folds,
  And, laughing, turned me to the light.
 
“See, Bessie, see! you wear at last        5
  The bridal veil, forsworn for years!”
She saw my face,—her laugh was hushed,
  Her happy eyes were filled with tears.
 
With kindly haste and trembling hand
  She drew away the gauzy mist;        10
“Forgive, dear heart!” her sweet voice said:
  Her loving lips my forehead kissed.
 
We passed from out the searching light;
  The summer night was calm and fair:
I did not see her pitying eyes,        15
  I felt her soft hand smooth my hair.
 
Her tender love unlocked my heart;
  Mid falling tears, at last I said,
“Forsworn indeed to me that veil
  Because I only love the dead!”        20
 
She stood one moment statue-still,
  And, musing, spake, in undertone,
“The living love may colder grow;
  The dead is safe with God alone!”
 
 
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