Felicia Dorothea Hemans

25 September 1793 – 16 May 1835 / Liverpool, England

Moorish Bridal Song

The citron groves their fruit and flowers were strewing
Around a Moorish palace, while the sigh
Of low sweet summer-winds, the branches wooing,
With music through their shadowy bowers went by;
Music and voices, from the marble halls,
Through the leaves gleaming, and the fountain-falls.

A song of joy, a bridal song came swelling,
To blend with fragrance in those southern shades,
And told of feasts within the stately dwelling,
Bright lamps, and dancing steps, and gem-crown'd maids;
And thus it flow'd;-yet something in the lay
Belong'd to sadness, as it died away.

'The bride comes forth! her tears no more are falling
To leave the chamber of her infant years;
Kind voices from distant home are calling;
She comes like day-spring-she hath done with tears;
Now must her dark eye shine on other flowers,
Her soft smile gladden other hearts than ours!
-Pour the rich odours round!

'We haste! the chosen and the lovely bringing;
Love still goes with her from her place of birth;
Deep silent joy within her soul is springing,
Though in her glance the light no more is mirth!
Her beauty leaves us in its rosy years;
Her sisters weep-but she hath done with tears!
-Now may the timbrel sound!'

Know'st thou for whom they sang the bridal numbers?
-One, whose rich tresses were to wave no more!
One, whose pale cheek soft winds, nor gentle slumbers,
Nor Love's own sigh, to rose-tints might restore!
Her graceful ringlets o'er a bier were spread.-
-Weep for the young, the beautiful,-the dead!
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