She stood beside the alter,
But I saw her cheek was pale,
When the summer breezes wafted back her snow white Bridal veil;
And listlessly she gaz'd upon the bright throng gather'd there,
As tho' in all that glitt'ring scene her heart had little share.
The bridegroom's mien was stern and dark,
And with an air of pride
He raised the trembling hand of that
Young victim at his side;
And prouder still the father look'd,
As near he took his stand,
And hail'd his lovely daughter there
A peeress of the land!
O, what a glance she gave him then!
It was so full of wo,
There needed not the power of words
Her wretchedness to show;
But quicly, with a quiv'ring lip,
And one deep. mournful sigh,
She turn'd away to hide the tears
That gather'd in her eye.
And well do I remember now
A frank and gallant youth,
Who pledged unto that lovely one
A vow of endless truth;
But their fond dream of tenderness
Full soon has pass'd away,
And hopes that once seem'd fresh and bright
have turn'd unto decay.
O thou has learn'd that happiness,
On earth is never known,
But in the azure courts of heav'n
It flourishes alone;
And ere its ever verdant leaves
Can greet the weary eye,
We must toil through a wilderness,
And then lie down to die!
She Stood Beside the Altar, "She Stood Beside the Altar" (1834). Historic Sheet Music Collection. 856.
The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.