James Whitcomb Riley

(7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana)

A Bride


'O I am weary!' she sighed, as her billowy
Hair she unloosed in a torrent of gold
That rippled and fell o'er a figure as willowy,
Graceful and fair as a goddess of old:
Over her jewels she flung herself drearily,
Crumpled the laces that snowed on her breast,
Crushed with her fingers the lily that wearily
Clung in her hair like a dove in its nest--.
And naught but her shadowy form in the mirror
To kneel in dumb agony down and weep near her!

'Weary--?' Of what? Could we fathom the mystery--?
Lift up the lashes weighed down by her tears
And wash with their dews one white face from her history,
Set like a gem in the red rust of years?
Nothing will rest her-- unless he who died of her
Strayed from his grave, and in place of the groom,
Tipping her face, kneeling there by the side of her,
Drained the old kiss to the dregs of his doom--.
And naught but that shadowy form in the mirror
To heel in dumb agony down and weep near her!

Submitted: Friday, April 09, 2010

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