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"Marriage Of The Deaf And Dumb"

From: Illustrated Poems
Creator: Lydia H. Sigourney (author)
Date: 1849
Publisher: Carey and Hart
Source: Available at selected libraries

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No word! no sound! But yet a solemn rite
Is consummated in yon festive hall.
Hearts are in treaty, and the soul doth take
That oath, which, unabsolved, must stand till death,
With icy seal, doth stamp the scroll of life.
No word! no sound! But still a holy man
With strong and graceful gesture doth impose
The irrevocable vow, and with meek prayer
Present it to be registered in heaven.


Methinks this silence heavily doth brood
Upon the spirit. Say, thou flower-crown'd bride,
What means the sigh which from that ruby lip
Doth 'scape, as if to seek some element
Which angels breathe?


Mute! mute! 'tis passing strange!
Like necromancy all. And yet, 'tis well;
For the deep trust with which a maiden casts
Her all of earth, perchance her all of heaven,
Into a mortal's hand, -- the confidence
With which she turns in every thought to him,
Her more than brother, and her next to God, --
Hath never yet been shadow'd forth in sound,
Or told in language.


So, ye voiceless pair,
Pass on in hope. For ye may build as firm
Your silent altar in each other's hearts,
And catch the sunshine through the clouds of time
As cheerily, as though the pomp of speech
Did herald forth the deed. And when ye dwell
Where flowers fade not, and death no treasured link
Hath power to sever more, ye need not mourn
The ear sequestrate, and the tuneless tongue
For there the eternal dialect of love
Is the free breath of every happy soul.