Isabella Varley Banks

(1821-1897 / England)

Bridal Robes - Poem by Isabella Varley Banks

A BRIDAL robe should be
A dress to be worn for the day;
Then laid aside with all perfumes rare,
A treasure to guard with lifelong care,
A relic for ever and aye.

And never meaner use
Should sully its delicate snow:
The bride's last robe in her maidenhood
Should remain as perfect, pure, and good
As when it was donned I trow.

For ever a dainty type
Of her chastity pure and white;
Folded up like a rose in the bud,
Perfection hidden, but understood
By all who could think aright.

Text from the marriage morn,
In its silence speak thro' life,
Of duties, put on with every fold,
To change that life's silver into gold,
If love link true husband and wife.

And not 'till Death should call
The tried wife to his bridal bed,
Should that well-saved robe again be worn,
Or the orange-wreath again adorn,
That auburn or snow-white head.

And only wife who kept
As spotless her life as her dress,
Be honoured to wear her bridal gown,
Be honoured to wear her bridal crown,
When Death should her pale lips press.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 7, 2010

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