I would be married, but I'd have no wife ;
I would be married to a single life.

by Richard Crashaw.

Epigram On My Wedding- Day To Penelope

This day, of all our days, has done
The worst for me and you :-
'Tis just six years since we were one,
And five since we were two.

by George Gordon Byron.

A Marriage Ring

THE ring, so worn as you behold,
So thin, so pale, is yet of gold:
The passion such it was to prove--
Worn with life's care, love yet was love.

by George Crabbe.

On My Wedding-Day

Here's a happy new year! but with reason
I beg you'll permit me to say
Wish me many returns of the season,
But as few as you please of the dy.


January 2, 1820.

by George Gordon Byron.

To One Married To An Old Man

Since thou wouldst needs,
Bewitched with some ill charms,
Be buried in those monumental arms,
All we can wish is, may that earth lie light
Upon thy tender limbs, and so goodnight.

by Edmund Waller.

Her feet beneath her petticoat
Like little mice, stole in and out,
As if they feared the light.
And oh! She dances such a way
No sun upon an Easter day
Is half so fine a sight.

by Sir John Suckling.

Tomorrow Is The Marriage Day

Tomorrow is the marriage day
Of Mopsus and fair Philida.
Come shepherds, bring your garlands gay.

O do not weep, fair Bellamour,
Though he be gone there's many more.
For love hath many loves in store.

by Thomas Weelkes.

Given In Marriage Unto Thee

817

Given in Marriage unto Thee
Oh thou Celestial Host—
Bride of the Father and the Son
Bride of the Holy Ghost.

Other Betrothal shall dissolve—
Wedlock of Will, decay—
Only the Keeper of this Ring
Conquer Mortality—

by Emily Dickinson.

Written Shortly After The Marriage Of Miss Chaworth

Hills of Annesley, bleak and barren,
Where my thoughtless childhood stray'd,
How the northern tempests, warring,
Howl above thy tufted shade!

Now no more, the hours beguiling,
Former favourite haunts I see;
Now no more my Mary smiling
Makes ye seem a heaven to me.

by George Gordon Byron.

On The Wedding Of The Aeronaut

Aeronaut, you're fairly caught,
Despite your bubble's leaven:
Out of the skies a lady's eyes
Have brought you down to Heaven!

No more, no more you'll freely soar
Above the grass and gravel:
Henceforth you'll walk-and she will chalk
The line that you're to travel!

by Ambrose Bierce.

At A Hasty Wedding

If hours be years the twain are blest,
For now they solace swift desire
By bonds of every bond the best,
If hours be years. The twain are blest
Do eastern stars slope never west,
Nor pallid ashes follow fire:
If hours be years the twain are blest,
For now they solace swift desire.

by Thomas Hardy.

They were two deaf mutes, and they loved and they
Resolved to be groom and bride;
And they listened to nothing that any could say,
Nor ever a word replied.

From wedlock when warned by the married men,
Maintain an invincible mind:
Be deaf and dumb until wedded-and then
Be deaf and dumb and blind.

by Ambrose Bierce.

Lord, behold our family here assembled.
We thank you for this place in which we dwell,
for the love that unites us,
for the peace accorded us this day,
for the hope with which we expect the morrow,
for the health, the work, the food,
and the bright skies that make our lives delightful;
for our friends in all parts of the earth.
Amen

by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Wedlock as old men note, hath likened been,
Unto a public crowd or common rout;
Where those that are without would fain get in,
And those that are within, would fain get out.
Grief often treads upon the heels of pleasure,
Marry'd in haste, we oft repent at leisure;
Some by experience find these words missplaced,
Marry'd at leisure, they repent in haste.

by Benjamin Franklin.

At The Wedding-March

God with honour hang your head,
Groom, and grace you, bride, your bed
With lissome scions, sweet scions,
Out of hallowed bodies bred.

Each be other’s comfort kind:
Déep, déeper than divined,
Divine charity, dear charity,
Fast you ever, fast bind.

Then let the March tread our ears:
I to him turn with tears
Who to wedlock, his wonder wedlock,
Déals tríumph and immortal years.

by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Good - Better - Best

When young, in tones quite positive
I said, "The world shall see
That I can keep myself from sin;
A good man I will be."

But when I loved Miss Kate St. Clair
'Twas thus my musing ran:
"I cannot be compared with her;
I'll be a better man."

'Twas at the wedding of a friend
(He married Kate St. Clair)
That I became superlative,
For I was "best man" there.

by Ellis Parker Butler.

The Marriage Of Edward Herbert Esquire, And Mrs. Elizabeth Herbert

CUPID one day ask'd his Mother,
When she meant that he shou'd Wed?
You're too Young, my Boy, she said:
Nor has Nature made another
Fit to match with Cupid's Bed.


Cupid then her Sight directed
To a lately Wedded Pair;
Where Himself the Match effected;
They as Youthful, they as Fair.


Having by Example carry'd
This first Point in the Dispute;
WORSELEY next he said's not Marry'd:
Her's with Cupid's Charms may suit

by Anne Kingsmill Finch.

To One Persuading A Lady To Marriage

Forbear, bold youth; all 's heaven here,
And what you do aver
To others courtship may appear,
'Tis sacrilege to her.
She is a public deity;
And were 't not very odd
She should dispose herself to be
A petty household god?

First make the sun in private shine
And bid the world adieu,
That so he may his beams confine
In compliment to you:
But if of that you do despair,
Think how you did amiss
To strive to fix her beams which are
More bright and large than his.

by Katherine Philips.

O marriage-bells, your clamor tells
Two weddings in one breath.
SHE marries whom her love compels:
-- And I wed Goodman Death!
My brain is blank, my tears are red;
Listen, O God: -- "I will," he said: --
And I would that I were dead.
Come groomsman Grief and bridesmaid Pain
Come and stand with a ghastly twain.
My Bridegroom Death is come o'er the meres
To wed a bride with bloody tears.
Ring, ring, O bells, full merrily:
Life-bells to her, death-bells to me:
O Death, I am true wife to thee!

by Sidney Lanier.

Sonnet Cxvi: Let Me Not To The Marriage Of True Minds

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

by William Shakespeare.

On The Night Of A Friend's Wedding

If ever I am old, and all alone,
I shall have killed one grief, at any rate;
For then, thank God, I shall not have to wait
Much longer for the sheaves that I have sown.
The devil only knows what I have done,
But here I am, and here are six or eight
Good friends, who most ingenuously prate
About my songs to such and such a one.

But everything is all askew to-night,—
As if the time were come, or almost come,
For their untenanted mirage of me
To lose itself and crumble out of sight,
Like a tall ship that floats above the foam
A little while, and then breaks utterly.

by Edwin Arlington Robinson.

Sonnet 116: Let Me Not To The Marriage Of True Minds

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever-fixèd mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

by William Shakespeare.

Song From Marriage-A-La-Mode

Why should a foolish marriage vow,
Which long ago was made,
Oblige us to each other now,
When passion is decayed?
We loved, and we loved, as long as we could,
Till our love was loved out in us both;
But our marriage is dead when the pleasure is fled:
'Twas pleasure first made it an oath.

If I have pleasures for a friend,
And farther love in store,
What wrong has he whose joys did end,
And who could give no more?
'Tis a madness that he should be jealous of me,
Or that I should bar him of another;
For all we can gain is to give ourselves pain,
When neither can hinder the other.

by John Dryden.

Thou God, whose high, eternal Love
Is the only blue sky of our life,
Clear all the Heaven that bends above
The life-road of this man and wife.

May these two lives be but one note
In the world's strange-sounding harmony,
Whose sacred music e'er shall float
Through every discord up to Thee.

As when from separate stars two beams
Unite to form one tender ray:
As when two sweet but shadowy dreams
Explain each other in the day:

So may these two dear hearts one light
Emit, and each interpret each.
Let an angel come and dwell to-night
In this dear double-heart, and teach!

by Sidney Lanier.

Composed On The Eve Of The Marriage Of A Friend In The Vale Of Grasmere

WHAT need of clamorous bells, or ribands gay,
These humble nuptials to proclaim or grace?
Angels of love, look down upon the place;
Shed on the chosen vale a sun-bright day!
Yet no proud gladness would the Bride display
Even for such promise:--serious is her face,
Modest her mien; and she, whose thoughts keep pace
With gentleness, in that becoming way
Will thank you. Faultless does the Maid appear;
No disproportion in her soul, no strife:
But, when the closer view of wedded life
Hath shown that nothing human can be clear
From frailty, for that insight may the Wife
To her indulgent Lord become more dear.

by William Wordsworth.

A Marriage-Table

THERE was a marriage-table where One sate,
Haply, unnoticed, till they craved His aid:
Thenceforward does it seem that He has made
All virtuous marriage-tables consecrate:
And so, at this, where without pomp or state
We sit, and only say, or mute, are fain
To wish the simple words 'God bless these twain!'
I think that He who 'in the midst' doth wait
Oft-times, would not abjure our prayerful cheer,
But, as at Cana, list with gracious ear
To us, beseeching, that the Love divine
May ever at their household table sit,
Make all His servants who encompass it,
And change life's bitterest waters into wine.

by Dinah Maria Mulock Craik.

Idylls Of The King: Song From The Marriage Of Geraint

Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel, and lower the proud;
Turn thy wild wheel thro' sunshine, storm, and cloud;
Thy wheel and thee we neither love nor hate.

Turn, Fortune, turn thy wheel with smile or frown;
With that wild wheel we go not up or down;
Our hoard is little, but our hearts are great.

Smile and we smile, the lords of many lands;
Frown and we smile, the lords of our own hands;
For man is man and master of his fate.

Turn, turn thy wheel above the staring crowd;
Thy wheel and thou are shadows in the cloud;
Thy wheel and thee we neither love nor hate.

by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

LOVE springs as lightly from the human heart
As springs the lovely rose upon the brier,
Which turns the common hedge to floral fire,
As Love wings Time with rosy-feathered dart.
But marriage is the subtlest work of art
Of all the arts which lift the spirit higher;
The incarnation of the heart's desire--
Which masters Time--set on Man's will apart.

The Many try, but oh! how few are they
To whom that finest of the arts is given
Which shall teach Love, the rosy runaway,
To bide from bridal Morn to brooding Even.
Yet this--this only--is the narrow way
By which, while yet on earth, we enter heaven.

by Mathilde Blind.

Music and silver chimes and sunlit air,
Freighted with the scent of honeyed orange-flower;
Glad, friendly festal faces everywhere.
She, rapt from all in this unearthly hour,
With cloudlike, cast-back veil and faint-flushed cheek,
In bridal beauty moves as in a trance
Alone with him, and fears to breathe, to speak,
Lest the rare, subtle spell dissolve perchance.
But he upon that floral head looks down,
Noting the misty eyes, the grave sweet brow--
Doubts if her bliss be perfect as his own,
And dedicates anew with inward vow
His soul unto her service, to repay
Richly the sacrifice she yields this day.

by Emma Lazarus.

Sonnet 82: I Grant Thou Wert Not Married To My Muse

I grant thou wert not married to my Muse,
And therefore mayst without attaint o'erlook
The dedicated words which writers use
Of their fair subject, blessing every book.
Thou art as fair in knowledge as in hue,
Finding thy worth a limit past my praise,
And therefore art enforced to seek anew
Some fresher stamp of the time-bettering days.
And do so, love, yet when they have devised
What strainèd touches rhetoric can lend,
Thou, truly fair, wert truly sympathized
In true plain words by thy true-telling friend;
And their gross painting might be better used
Where cheeks need blood; in thee it is abused.

by William Shakespeare.

Sonnets Cxvi: Let Me Not To The Marriage Of True Minds

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me prov'd,
I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.

by William Shakespeare.

The enchanted hour,
The magic bower,
Where, crowned with roses,
Love love discloses.

'Kiss me, my lover;
Doubting is over,
Over is waiting;
Love lights our mating!'

'But roses wither,
Chill winds blow hither,
One thing all say, dear,
Love lives a day, dear!'

'Heed those old stories?
New glowing glories
Blot out those lies, love!
Look in my eyes, love!

'Ah, but the world knows -
Naught of the true rose;
Back the world slips, love!
Give me your lips, love!

'Even were their lies true,
Yet were you wise to
Swear, at Love's portal,
The god's immortal.'

by Edith Nesbit.

Sonnet Xci: Lost On Both Sides

As when two men have loved a woman well,
Each hating each, through Love's and Death's deceit;
Since not for either this stark marriage-sheet
And the long pauses of this wedding-bell;
Yet o'er her grave the night and day dispel
At last their feud forlorn, with cold and heat;
Nor other than dear friends to death may fleet
The two lives left that most of her can tell:—
So separate hopes, which in a soul had wooed
The one same Peace, strove with each other long,
And Peace before their faces perished since:
So through that soul, in restless brotherhood,
They roam together now, and wind among
Its bye-streets, knocking at the dusty inns.

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Lost On Both Sides

As when two men have loved a woman well,
Each hating each, through Love's and Death's deceit;
Since not for either this stark marriage-sheet
And the long pauses of this wedding bell;
Yet o'er her grave the night and day dispel
At last their feud forlorn, with cold and heat;
Nor other than dear friends to death may fleet
The two lives left that most of her can tell:
So separate hopes, which in a soul had wooed
The one same Peace, strove with each other long,
And Peace before their faces perished since:
So through that soul, in restless brotherhood,
They roam together now, and wind among
Its bye-streets, knocking at the dusty inns.

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Marriage A-La-Mode

Why should a foolish marriage vow,
Which long ago was made,
Oblige us to each other now
When passion is decay'd?
We lov'd, and we lov'd, as long as we could,
Till our love was lov'd out in us both:
But our marriage is dead, when the pleasure is fled:
'Twas pleasure first made it an oath.

If I have pleasures for a friend,
And farther love in store,
What wrong has he whose joys did end,
And who could give no more?
'Tis a madness that he should be jealous of me,
Or that I should bar him of another:
For all we can gain is to give our selves pain,
When neither can hinder the other.

by John Dryden.

For A Marriage Of St. Catherine By Hans Memmelinck

(In the Hospital of St. John at Bruges)
MYSTERY: Catherine the bride of Christ.
She kneels, and on her hand the holy Child
Now sets the ring. Her life is hushed and mild,
Laid in God's knowledge—ever unenticed
From God, and in the end thus fitly priced.
Awe, and the music that is near her, wrought
Of angels, have possessed her eyes in thought:
Her utter joy is hers, and hath sufficed.
There is a pause while Mary Virgin turns
The leaf, and reads. With eyes on the spread book,
That damsel at her knees reads after her.
John whom He loved, and John His harbinger,
Listen and watch. Whereon soe'er thou look,
The light is starred in gems and the gold burns.

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Why Should A Foolish Marriage Vow

Why should a foolish marriage vow,
Which long ago was made,
Oblige us to each other now
When passion is decay'd?
We lov'd, and we lov'd, as long as we could,
Till our love was lov'd out in us both:
But our marriage is dead, when the pleasure is fled:
'Twas pleasure first made it an oath.

If I have pleasures for a friend,
And farther love in store,
What wrong has he whose joys did end,
And who could give no more?
'Tis a madness that he should be jealous of me,
Or that I should bar him of another:
For all we can gain is to give our selves pain,
When neither can hinder the other.

by John Dryden.

Epithalamium: A Marriage Poem

'Twas summer, when softly the breezes were blowing,
And Hudson majestic so sweetly was flowing,
The groves rang with music & accents of pleasure
And nature in rapture beat time to the measure,
When Helen and Jonas, so true and so loving,
Along the green lawn were seen arm in arm moving,
Sweet daffodils, violets and roses spontaneous
Wherever they wandered sprang up instantaneous.
The ascent the lovers at length were seen climbing
Whose summit is grac'd by the temple of Hymen:
The genius presiding no sooner perceived them
But, spreading his pinions, he flew to receive them;
With kindest of greetings pronounced them well come
While hollidays clangor rang loud to the welkin.

by Henry Livingston Jr..

Say Goodbye When Your Chum Is Married

Now this is a rhyme that might well be carried
Gummed in your hat till the end of things:
Say Good-bye when your chum is married;
Say Good-bye while the church-bell rings;
Say Good-bye—if you ask why must you,
’Tis for the sake of old friendship true,
For as sure as death will his wife distrust you
And lead him on to suspect you, too.
Say Good-bye, though he be a brother,
Seek him not when you’re married, too—
Things that you never would tell each other
The wives will carry as young wives do.
Say Good-bye ere their tongues shall strangle
The friendship pledged ere the lights grew dim,
For, as sure as death, will those young wives wrangle,
And drag you into it, you and him.

by Henry Lawson.

To Alex. Cunningham, Esq., Writer, Edinburgh

MY godlike friend—nay, do not stare,
You think the phrase is odd-like;
But "God is love," the saints declare,
Then surely thou art god-like.


And is thy ardour still the same?
And kindled still at ANNA?
Others may boast a partial flame,
But thou art a volcano!


Ev'n Wedlock asks not love beyond
Death's tie-dissolving portal;
But thou, omnipotently fond,
May'st promise love immortal!


Thy wounds such healing powers defy,
Such symptoms dire attend them,
That last great antihectic try—
MARRIAGE perhaps may mend them.


Sweet Anna has an air-a grace,
Divine, magnetic, touching:
She talks, she charms-but who can trace
The process of bewitching? · · · · · ·

by Robert Burns.

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