BRIDEGROOM and bride, with hearts like a wild song,
Sit in the cushioned carriage all day long;
Already they caress their dream, and smile
What lips were loth to speak for yet a while;
And sometimes, too, the sweet and tender things
Said in their hands' and knees' mute parleyings
Call to their faces all their hearts' hot blood.
The train threads scenes that noble mansions stud,
But all that each sees of the earth and skies
Is what is mirrored in the other's eyes.
The day falls, and the cottages of dales
Are lit at mountains' feet that vapour veils.
Now in the west they see a star, the bright,
Propitious omen of the bridal night.
They hear the rails under the carriage groan,
Sparks from the engine through the dark are blown;
They pull the lamp's blue curtain down, and so,
Enlaced, fall half asleep before they know.
Time runs. But suddenly they feel the shine,
Through eye-lids closed, confused, of lamps in line.
Arrival. To an ivied inn they go,
With balconies o'erhung by gables low.
The bridal-chamber has been ready made;
Dark is it, but a window in the shade
Gleams like a dazzling frame filled by the moon.
There with caressing arm, and words that croon,
The bridegroom leads the dream-enchanted girl
To see the mountain lake shine like a pearl.
Seeking the farther shore of it they peer,
And hear the lapping of the short waves near,
And vessels of the port that drag their chains,
And blend their rhythms with orchestra strains
Cast down the mountain from some glacier's inn.
Trains rattle through the rocks with rumbling din,
And, while they hear their thunder fade, they see
The lime-leaves shivering on the lonely quay.
* * * * *
But now they turn, and, with their fever weak,
The nuptial whiteness of the bed they seek.