Anna Laetitia Barbauld

Epithalamium

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Virgin, brighter than the morning,
Haste and finish thy adorning!
Hymen claims his promised day,—
Come from thy chamber, come away!

Roses strew, and myrtles bring,
Till you drain the wasted Spring;—
The altars are already drest,
The bower is fitted for its guest,
The scattered rose begins to fade,—
Come away, reluctant maid!

See what a war of blushes breaks
O'er the pure whiteness of her cheeks;
The shifting colours prove by turns
The torch of Love unsteady burns.

Pleading now, now lingering, fainting,
Her soft heart with fear is panting;—
Cling not to thy mother so,
Thy mother smiles, and bids thee go.

Mind not what thy maidens say;
Though they chide the cruel day,
Though they weep, and strive to hold thee
From his arms that would enfold thee;
Kiss, and take a short farewell,—
They wish the chance to them befell.

Mighty Love demands his crown
Now for all his sufferings done;
For all Love's tears, for all his sighs,
Thyself must be the sacrifice.
Virgin, brighter than the day,
Haste from thy chamber, come away!

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