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ON AN OLD WEDDING RING

BY GEORGE WASHINGTON DOANE.

The device-two hearts united.
The motto- Dear love of mine, my heart is thine."

I LIKE that ring, that ancient ring,

Of massive form, of virgin gold, As firm, as free from base alloy,

As were the sterling hearts of old. I like it—for it wafts me back,

Far, far along the stream of time, To other men, and other days

The men and days of deeds sublime.

But most I like it as it tells

The tale of well requited love; How youthful fondness persevered,

And youthful faith disdained to rove; How warmly he his suit preferred,

Though she unpitying, long denied, Till, softened and subdued, at last

He won his fair and blooming bride ;

ON AN OLD WEDDING RING.

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How, till the appointed day arrived,

They blamed the lazy-footed hours; How then the white-robed maiden train

Strewed their glad way with freshest flowers;
And how, before the holy man,

They stood in all their youthful pride,
And spoke those words, and vowed those vows

Which bind the husband to his bride.

All this it tells ;—the plighted troth,

The gift of every earthly thing,
The hand in hand, the heart in heart,

For this I like this ancient ring.
I like its old and quaint device;

Two blended hearts—though time may wear them, No mortal change, no mortal chance,

“Till death,” shall e'er in sunder tear them.

Year after year, 'neath sun and storm,

Their hopes in heaven, and trust in God, In changeless, heartfelt, holy love,

These two, the world's rough pathways trod. Age might impair their youthful fires,

Their strength might fail, 'mid life's bleak weather, Still, hand in hand, they travelled on,

Kind souls! they slumber now together.

112

ON AN OLD WEDDING RING.

I like its simple poesy too ;

“ Mine own dear love, this heart is thine !" Thine, when the dark storm howls along,

As when the cloudless sunbeams shine. “ This heart is thine, mine own dear love !"

Thine, and thine only, and forever; Thine, till the springs of life shall fail

Remnant of days departed long, '

Emblem of plighted troth unbroken, Pledge of devoted faithfulness,

Of heartfelt, holy love, the tokenWhat varied feelings round it cling ! For these, I like that ancient ring.

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114

THE MOON UPON THE SPIRB.

Her tribute all around is seen;
She bends, and worships like a queen!
Her robe of light and beaming crown,
In silence, she is casting down;
And, as a creature of the earth,
She feels her lowliness of birth-
Her weakness and inconstancy
Before unchanging purity !

Pale traveller, on thy lonely way,
"Tis well thine homage thus to pay;
To reverence that ancient pile,
And spread thy silver o'er the aisle,
Which many a pious foot has trod,
That now is dust beneath the sod;
Where many a sacred tear was wept,
From eyes that long in death have slept !

The temple's builders—where are they?
The worshippers ?-all passed away,
Who came the first, to offer there
The song of praise, the heart of prayer !
Man's generation passes soon;
It wanes and changes like the moon.
He rears the perishable wall ;
But, ere it crumbles, he must fall!

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