Oh! but the bride was lovely,
Oh! but the scene was bright,
And why was the bridegroom's face as pale
As his lady's robe of white?
Did you not see beside him
A guest unasked, unbid?
Who came up the aisle with silent feet
And gazed at him? he did!
He saw her eyes upon him,
He felt her icy breath;
And under the bride's warm clinging hand
There crept the touch of death.
And above the low responses
There fell upon his ear
A voice forbidding the nuptial banns;
But no one else could hear.
And when the ring was given,
And when the prayer was said,
He knew, as he led his bride away,
That he was not truly wed.
And while they sat at the banquet,
And mirth flowed like the wine,
A dead girl's voice hissed in his ear,
'You are not hers, but mine.'
Oh! never beside his hearthstone,
And never in any place,
Shall he be free from the haunting thought
Of that accusing face.
Yesterdays. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1916.
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