Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

Epithalamium

Fill high the cup, but not with wine-
The cup of joy; bring flowers and twine
A wreath to crown the gentle Bride,
Who, flushed with love and tender pride,
Leans on her Bridegroom's arm.
For he hath given, with fervid breath,
To her his vows of love and faith;
And she hath pledged him true and dear.
A thousand welcomes wait them here-
True hearts, and wishes warm.
Ring out the joy-bells far and wide,
Bid festal guns salute the Bride,
Fling out the streamers far and free,
Fair Stranger, hail!-all joy to thee
Within thy northern home.
Ah, gentle Lady! do not deem
That smoke, and flame, and hissing steam,
And clang of iron, and rushing wheel,
Are all we see, and hear, and feel.
Not so-not so. We come
To where the sacred fane uprears
Its stately tower-and where appears
The structure fair where learning sheds
Her beams on thousand youthful heads,
To bless and to adorn.
See, through these ample halls below,
Full tides of youth and childhood flow;
There Music swells, and Temperance reigns,
And Peace her sacred rule maintains,
Of law and order born.
The cup brims high-but not with wine;
'Tis with a nectar more divine-
The dew of love, the balm of life,
The wedded bliss of man and wife.
Fill high! The draught is rich and rare.
Drink deep.
Heaven bless the happy pair!
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