Samuel Bamford

(1788-1872 / England)

Lines, Addressed To My Wife During Her Recovery From A Long Illness. - Poem by Samuel Bamford

The youthful bard doth chant his lay
To nymph or goddess fair;
The thirsty bard doth Bacchus pray
For wine to drown his care;
And some have sung of olden time,
And feats of chivalric;
And shall not I address a rhyme,
My own dear wife, to thee?

Full thirty years have o'er us pass'd
Since thou and I were wed,
And Time hath dealt us many a blast,
And somewhat bow'd thine head,
And torn thy hair, thy bright brown hair,
That stream'd so wild and free;
But oh! thy tresses still are fair
And beautiful to me!

Yes, Time hath ta'en thy lily hand,
And chill'd thy stream of life;
And scor'd some channels with his wand,
As envying thee, my wife:
But let not sorrow make thee sigh,
Nor care thy heart distress;
Though health do fail, and charms do fly,
Thy husband will thee bless!

Aye, bless thy cheek, all worn and wan
With beauty once beset;
The red rose leaves, my love, are gone;
The pale ones linger yet;
And bless thy care be-clouded brow,
And bless thy dimnèd sight;
Can I forget the time when thou
Wert my young morning-light?

Oh, morning light!—Oh, early love!
Oh, hours that swiftly flew!
Oh, love! the sun was far above
Before we miss'd the dew.
We rang'd the bow'rs, we cull'd the flow'rs,
All heedless of the day;
And, love-beguil'd, to wood and wild,
We wander'd far away.

We rang'd the bow'rs, we cull'd the flow'rs,
By upland and by dell;
And many a night, by hale moonlight,
We sought the lonely well.
And many a night, when all above
Shone not one star-lit ray;
And was not I thy Wizard, love?
And wert not thou my Fay?

One arm was o'er thy shoulder cast;
One hand was held in thine;
Whilst thy dear arm, my youthful waist
Did trustfully entwine:
And through the night, all still and stark,
No other footsteps near,
We stray'd, and, love, it was not dark,—
My light of life was there!

Oh, light of love!—Oh, early born!
Love-born, and lost too soon!
Oh, love! we often thought it morn,
When it was early noon!
And, love! we thought it still was noon,
When eve came o'er the land;
And, love! we deem'd it wondrous soon
When midnight was at hand.

And when at length we needs must part,
And could no longer stay;
Still hand in hand, and heart by heart,
We homewards took our way:
The wild flowers lav'd our ling'ring feet,
The woodbine shed its dew;
And o'er the meads and pastures sweet,
The night-wind freely blew.

The rubies from thy lips may fade,
Thy cheek be pale and cold;
But thou wert mine, a youthful maid,
And I'll be thine when old!
I see those tears that grateful start,
Oh! turn them not aside;
But, dear one! come unto my heart,
As when thou wert my bride.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 20, 2010

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