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.
 
Appendix II. Poems Printed in the ‘Life of Whittier’
The Home-Coming of the Bride
 
          [The home of Sarah Greenleaf was upon the Newbury shore of the Merrimac, nearly opposite the home of the Whittiers. Among Mr. Whittier’s papers was found the following fragment of a ballad about the home-coming, as a bride, of his grandmother, Sarah Greenleaf, now first published.]

SARAH GREENLEAF, of eighteen years,
  Stepped lightly her bridegroom’s boat within,
Waving mid-river, through smiles and tears,
  A farewell back to her kith and kin.
With her sweet blue eyes and her new gold gown,        5
  She sat by her stalwart lover’s side—
Oh, never was brought to Haverhill town
  By land or water so fair a bride.
Glad as the glad autumnal weather,
  The Indian summer so soft and warm,        10
They walked through the golden woods together,
  His arm the girdle about her form.
 
They passed the dam and the gray gristmill,
  Whose walls with the jar of grinding shook,
And crossed, for the moment awed and still,        15
  The haunted bridge of the Country Brook.
The great oaks seemed on Job’s Hill crown
  To wave in welcome their branches strong,
And an upland streamlet came rippling down
  Over root and rock, like a bridal song.        20
And lo! in the midst of a clearing stood
  The rough-built farmhouse, low and lone,
While all about it the unhewn wood
  Seemed drawing closer to claim its own.
 
But the red apples dropped from orchard trees,        25
  The red cock crowed on the low fence rail,
From the garden hives came the sound of bees,
  On the barn floor pealed the smiting flail.
*        *        *        *        *
 
 
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