I leave for thee, beloved one,
The home and friends of youth,
Trusting my hopes, my happiness,
Unto thy love and truth;
I leave for thee my girlhood's joys,
Its sunny, careless mirth,
To bear henceforth my share amid
The many cares of earth.
And yet, no wild regret I give
To all that now I leave,
The golden dreams, the flow'ry wreaths
That I no more may weave;
The future that before me lies
A dark and unknown sea -
Whate'er may be its storms or shoals,
I brave them all with thee!
I will not tell thee now of love
Whose life, ere this, thou'st guessed,
And which, like sacred secret, long
Was treasured in my breast;
Enough that if thy lot be calm,
Or storms should o'er it sweep,
Thou'lt learn that it is woman's love,
Unchanging, pure and deep.
In this life's sunshine gild thy lot,
Bestowing wealth and pride,
Its light enjoying, I shall stand,
Rejoicing, at thy side;
But, oh! if thou should'st prove the griefs
That blight thy fellow-men,
'Twilt be my highest, dearest right,
To be, love, with thee then.
And thou, wilt thou not promise me
Thy heart will never change,
That tones and looks, so loving now,
Will ne'er grow stern and strange?
That thou'lt be kind, whatever faults
Or failings may be mine,
And bear with them in patient love,
As I will bear with thine?