by Elijah B. Smith.Fifty years have rolled on, as the records will say,
This month of October, this seventeenth day;
And well is remembered a long morning ride
In the ‘Old One Horse Shay,’ with no one beside,
Well wrapped in a cloak, then the garment in vogue,
That covered the faults of the saint or the rogue.
A wish or a summons had come from a friend,
That duty and pleasure induced to attend;
As once was the custom in old Galilee,
A wedding that day we were destined to see.
The bride and the bridegroom, both youthful and fair,
Were pledged to each other life's duties to share.
The guests were assembled, the service was done,
And two were pronounced to be merged into one. [p. 55]
The bride cake was broken; the marriage feast o'er,
The pair left their home for a tropical shore.
Successful and crowned with the blessings of health,
Time brought to their coffers the comfort of wealth.
No longer required were the labors for gain;
They thought of New England and homeward they came.
What since has befallen, no need to portray;
Respected and honored we know them today.
Though touched it may be by the finger of Time,
The spring-time within them is still at its prime.
The knot that was tied at a date that is old,
Today is refastened and burnished with gold;
And next when the future requires it again,
The tie will be strengthened and decked with a gem.
But few will sail over the ocean of life
For full fifty years without trouble or strife;
The breezes too often will end in a gale
That founders the vessel or shatters the sail.
Exceptions there are, that will sometimes appear;
The bride and the bridegroom, behold, they are here.
No signs of a skirmish are left to our sight,
As each has been governed by duty and right.
Their evening of life may be made to adorn
And finish the duties neglected at morn.
Far hence be the summons, and distant the day
When one shall be called from the other away!
We would not desire a decrepit old age
Confined to a chair, like a bird to its cage;
But while there are comforts in life to be sought,
This wish we would utter,—may such be their lot!