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Marriage Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Matrimonial Joys by Mart Taylor
  2. Wedded Love by Richard Coe
  3. Marriage by Benjamin Hine
  4. To My Dear and Loving Husband by Anne Bradstreet
  5. A Woman's Hand by Anonymous
  6. Nesting by Anonymous
  7. The Contract by Emily Dickinson
  8. Betrothed by Ruby Archer
  9. To My Wife by Amos Russel Wells
  10. To— by John Charles McNeill
  11. The Rift by Anonymous
  12. The Embarrassing Question by Amos Russel Wells
  13. A Wish by S. Rogers
  14. The Wedded Lover by Christopher Morley
  15. Harvest-Home by Ellen P. Allerton
  16. Is Marriage a Failure? by Ellen P. Allerton

  1. Matrimonial Joys

    A man's but half a pair of shears
    Who lives along without a wife,
    And though he lives a hundred years,
    He never lives but half a life;

    - Mart Taylor
    Matrimonial Joys
    by Mart Taylor

    My marriage as an act was wise,
    Above all other acts in life,
    For I can gaze in two fond eyes,
    And call their fair possessor wife.
    I'm proud of little mouths to feed;
    It does me good to see them fed;
    Long of a wife I stood in need,
    'Till now I've one who kneads my bread.

    It makes me happy, I declare,
    To notice one soul-cheering sign—
    My little girl has jet black hair,
    And nose the very shape of mine.
    I never fear an angry word
    When I away to town have been,
    Nor would I be afraid to board
    A dozen young and handsome men.

    A man's but half a pair of shears
    Who lives along without a wife,
    And though he lives a hundred years,
    He never lives but half a life;
    He's always out of humor, health,
    And very often, I believe—
    Though he may be a man of wealth—
    He's sadly out at knees and sleeve.

    He plods along without a wife
    'Till past the age of manhood, when
    He muses on his wretched life
    And thinks of what he might have been;
    Then in the bowl he seeks relief—
    His last example is the best—
    He dies, and like a punished thief,
    Becomes a warning to the rest.

  2. Wedded Love

    There is no truer bliss on earth,
    Than wedded love;

    - Richard Coe
    Wedded Love
    by Richard Coe

    There is no truer bliss on earth,
    Than wedded love;
    It has its nourishment and birth
    From Him above,
    Who hath to mortals kindly given
    A foretaste of the joys of heaven!

  3. Marriage

    by Benjamin Hine

    Let those in Hymen's bands unite,
    Whose hearts are drawn by mutual love,
    Whose kindred souls are formed alike,
    And 'twill a pleasant bondage prove.

    But if two minds aversely formed,
    Before his sacred altar go,
    His silken cords a chain will prove,
    To bind them stronger to their wo.

  4. To My Dear and Loving Husband

    If ever two were one, then surely we.
    If ever man were loved by wife, than thee;
    If ever wife was happy in a man,
    Compare with me, ye women, if you can.

    - Anne Bradstreet
    To My Dear and Loving Husband
    by Anne Bradstreet

    If ever two were one, then surely we.
    If ever man were loved by wife, than thee;
    If ever wife was happy in a man,
    Compare with me, ye women, if you can.
    I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold,
    Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
    My love is such that rivers cannot quench,
    Nor aught by love from thee give recompense.
    Thy love is such I can no way reply;
    The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
    Then while we live, in love let's so persever,
    That when we live no more we may live ever.

  5. A Woman's Hand

    Clasping ours through life and death,
    Lovingly to latest breath,
    Sweetest thing that comforteth,—
    A woman's hand.

    - Anonymous
    A Woman's Hand
    by Anonymous

    Soft and tender, smooth and white,
    Formed for winning and delight,
    Nature has no lovelier sight,—
    A woman's hand.

    Wrinkled, worn with much to do,
    Many a task for me and you,
    In all trials good and true,—
    A woman's hand.

    Clasping ours through life and death,
    Lovingly to latest breath,
    Sweetest thing that comforteth,—
    A woman's hand.

  6. Nesting

    by Amos Russel Wells

    NEST-ing, nesting, you and I,
    EST-imating what to buy,
    ST-ealing now and then a kiss,
    T-ip and top of human bliss!
    N-ot a worry or a fear,
    NE-ar or far with you, my dear!
    NES-cience to heaven nigh;
    NEST-ing, nesting, you and I.

  7. The Contract

    I gave myself to him,
    And took himself for pay.
    The solemn contract of a life
    Was ratified this way.

    - Emily Dickinson
    The Contract
    by Emily Dickinson

    I gave myself to him,
    And took himself for pay.
    The solemn contract of a life
    Was ratified this way.

    The wealth might disappoint,
    Myself a poorer prove
    Than this great purchaser suspect,
    The daily own of Love

    Depreciate the vision;
    But, till the merchant buy,
    Still fable, in the isles of spice,
    The subtle cargoes lie.

    At least, 't is mutual risk, —
    Some found it mutual gain;
    Sweet debt of Life, — each night to owe,
    Insolvent, every noon.

  8. Betrothed

    If life had any debt to me
    Of happiness delayed,
    I now declare the debtor free—
    Myself am overpaid.

    - Ruby Archer
    Betrothed
    by Ruby Archer

    Oh, keep your vowing truly, Dear,
    These vows you make to me;
    I scorn to disbelieve or fear,
    Or love indifferently.

    And yet I tremble to possess
    The rapture of your love;
    A thing so sweet must certainly
    Of short duration prove.

    I thought not when I met your eyes
    Of all they won from me,
    Nor made a guard against surprise
    With mask of coquetry.

    I live the days full often o'er
    That first I spent with you;
    Their sun will shine forever more,
    Their morn—be ever new.

    If life had any debt to me
    Of happiness delayed,
    I now declare the debtor free—
    Myself am overpaid.

  9. To My Wife

    by Amos Russel Wells

    Two clouds that float together all the day
    Along the sunny courses of the sky,
    Will sadly part, as day's enchantments die,
    And perish in the twilight's common gray.
    Two rivulets, that find a wedded way,
    And carol many a shining landscape by,
    Descend at last where nameless waters lie
    Beneath the ocean's all-dissolving sway,
    Not such, dear wife, dear lover, is the goal
    That waits for us upon our final breath, —
    Two bubbles, crushed within a swirl of foam;
    But like two piigrims, worn of sense and soul,
    How happy we shall be when kindly Death
    Points out the lights and open doors of home!

  10. To—

    And Time will sleep upon his scythe,
    The swallow rest his wing,
    Seeing that you at autumntide
    Still clasp the hands of spring.

    - John Charles McNeill
    To——
    by John Charles McNeill

    Some time, far hence, when Autumn sheds
    Her frost upon your hair,
    And you together sit at dusk,
    May I come to you there?
    And lightly will our hearts turn back
    To this, then distant, day
    When, while the world was clad in flowers,
    You two were wed in May.

    When we shall sit about your board
    Three old friends met again,
    Joy will be with us, but not much
    Of jest and laughter then;
    For Autumn's large content and calm,
    Like heaven's own smile, will bless
    The harvest of your happy lives
    With store of happiness.

    May you, who, flankt about with flowers,
    Will plight your faith to-day,
    Hold, evermore enthroned, the love
    Which you have crowned in May;
    And Time will sleep upon his scythe,
    The swallow rest his wing,
    Seeing that you at autumntide
    Still clasp the hands of spring.

  11. The Rift

    by Anonymous

    We spoke no word and we gave no look,
    But we quarrelled, my love and I;
    And our hearts ran dead as an empty brook,
    Though neither of us knew why.

    And many a time in the later years,
    With reason enough, God wot,
    We have come to reproaches and wrath and tears,
    That soon were gone and forgot;

    But still we remember the hour malign,
    And must till the day we die,—
    The hour when we quarrelled aud made no sign,
    And neither of us knew why.

  12. The Embarrassing Question

    by Amos Russel Wells

    "Do you like my new hat?" says your wife,
    Appearing in awful disguise,
    A fabric whose towering strife
    Shrieks up to the horrified skies.

    "Do you like my new hat?" and she smiles,
    Her dimples with diffidence blent,
    And all the dear, timorous wiles
    That seek a delighted assent.

    And what is a fellow of wit.
    And honest, moreover, to do.
    But say, as he shudders from it,
    "At any rate, dear, I like you"?

  13. A Wish

    by S. Rogers

    Mine be a cot beside the hill;
    A bee-hive's hum shall soothe my ear;
    A willowy brook that turns a mill
    With many a fall shall linger near.

    The swallow, oft, beneath my thatch
    Shall twitter from her clay-built nest;
    Oft shall the pilgrim lift the latch,
    And share my meal, a welcome guest.

    Around my ivied porch shall spring
    Each fragrant flower that drinks the dew;
    And Lucy, at her wheel, shall sing
    In russet gown and apron blue.

    The village church among the trees,
    Where first our marriage-vows were given,
    With merry peals shall swell the breeze
    And point with taper spire to Heaven.

  14. The Wedded Lover

    by Christopher Morley

    I read in our old journals of the days
    When our first love was April-sweet and new,
    How fair it blossomed and deep-rooted grew
    Despite the adverse time; and our amaze
    At moon and stars and beauty beyond praise
    That burgeoned all about us: gold and blue
    The heaven arched us in, and all we knew
    Was gentleness. We walked on happy ways.

    They said by now the path would be more steep,
    The sunsets paler and less mild the air;
    Rightly we heeded not: it was not true.
    We will not tell the secret—let it keep.
    I know not how I thought those days so fair
    These being so much fairer, spent with you.

  15. Harvest-Home

    by Ellen P. Allerton

    Again the Harvest-Home. Night after night,
    The full, round moon climbs up the dusky east,
    Ere yet the day quite yields its throne to-night,
    Ere yet the sunset's glow has wholly ceased.

    Night follows night in glorious, stately march.
    The same round moon, the same far, dusky stars,
    In solemn splendor, from the vaulted arch
    Shed their soft light in pale and misty bars.

    Do you remember one sweet summer's prime—
    Such nights as these, such dim and dusky glow—
    When first our two lives met in blended rhyme?
    We both were young—and it was long ago.

    What hope was ours, as, standing hand in hand,
    Amid the summer moon's soft, tender light,
    We wove our plans together, strand by strand,
    In fearless faith? How is it, Love, to-night?

    As then, the whispering winds steal through the corn;
    As then, we hear the owl's weird, solemn cry;
    As then, the tawny fields, but newly shorn.
    Wet with the night dews, bare and silent lie.

    As then, the bark of dogs sounds faint and far;
    As then, the grasses hide an insect throng;
    As then, the glowworm shows its tiny star;
    As then, rings sharp and clear the cricket's song.

    As then, the solemn moonlight, shining down,
    Blent with the twilight's last departing ray.
    Then seems but now—and yet your locks were brown.
    And now I see them thickly strewn with gray.

    Then seems but now. I feel the same dear arm
    That then I leaned upon, about me thrown:
    The voice that swayed me with its subtle charm
    Still keeps for me the old caressing tone.

    Then seems but now—and yet your steps are slow;
    Your brow shows prints of pain, and toil, and care;
    And I have seen my youth's last roses blow.
    I, too, am growing old—why should I care?

    What matters it? In counting off our life
    By harvest moons, the checkered, toilsome years
    Show in their record more of peace than strife,
    More joy than sorrow, more of smiles than tears.

    Time flies apace. Spring flowers, and Winter-rime,
    And sweet June roses, swiftly go and come;
    Yet the full richness of our youthful prime
    Still crowns us both anew at Harvest Home.

  16. Is Marriage a Failure?

    by Ellen P. Allerton

    When we were young, and Love was young,
    And life was bright with morning dew,
    And Hope sang sweet with silver tongue.
    I did not think so then—did you?

    The years went by. Up stony roads
    We toiled, still hand in hand, we two,
    While dear love lightened heaviest loads—
    I did not think so then—did you?

    Sore trouble cams; and griefs and fears
    Sat at our hearth the sad days through;
    And while each dried the other's tears,
    I did not think so then—did you?

    While henceforth through the shadows lead
    Dim down-hill piths before us two,
    And each of us had greatest needs,
    I do not think so now—do you?

    When throngh the dark vale all must tread
    One passes, and on bosom true,
    Leans at last a dying head—
    I will not think so then, will you?