POEMS BY ALICE CARY
THE BRIDAL VEIL
by: Alice Cary (1820-1871)
- E'RE married,
they say, and you think you have won me,--
- Well, take this white veil from my head, and look on me;
- Here's matter to vex you, and matter to grieve you,
- Here's doubt to distrust you, and faith to believe you,--
- I am all as you see, common earth, common dew;
- Be wary, and mould me to roses, not rue!
- Ah! shake out the filmy thing, fold after fold,
- And see if you have me to keep and to hold,--
- Look close on my heart--see the worst of its sinning,--
- It is not yours to-day for the yesterday's winning--
- The past is not mine--I am too proud to borrow--
- You must grow to new heights if I love you to-morrow.
- I have wings flattened down and hid under my veil:
- They are subtle as light--you can never undo them,
- And swift in their flight--you can never pursue them,
- And spite of all clasping, and spite of all bands,
- I can slip like a shadow, a dream, from your hands.
- Nay, call me not cruel, and fear not to take me,
- I am yours for my life-time, to be what you make me,--
- To wear my white veil for a sign, or a cover,
- As you shall be proven my lord, or my lover;
- A cover for peace that is dead, or a token
- Of bliss that can never be written or spoken.