The Wreath And The Chain.

A poem by Thomas Moore

I bring thee, love, a golden chain,
I bring thee too a flowery wreath;
The gold shall never wear a stain,
The flowerets long shall sweetly breathe.
Come, tell me which the tie shall be,
To bind thy gentle heart to me.

The Chain is formed of golden threads,
Bright as Minerva's yellow hair,
When the last beam of evening sheds
Its calm and sober lustre there.
The Wreath's of brightest myrtle wove,
With sunlit drops of bliss among it,
And many a rose-leaf, culled by Love,
To heal his lip when bees have stung it.
Come, tell me which the tie shall be,
To bind thy gentle heart to me.

Yes, yes, I read that ready eye,
Which answers when the tongue is loath,
Thou likest the form of either tie,
And spreadest thy playful hands for both.
Ah!--if there were not something wrong,
The world would see them blended oft;
The Chain would make the Wreath so strong!
The Wreath would make the Chain so soft!
Then might the gold, the flowerets be
Sweet fetters for my love and me.

But, Fanny, so unblest they twine,
That (heaven alone can tell the reason)
When mingled thus they cease to shine,
Or shine but for a transient season.
Whether the Chain may press too much,
Or that the Wreath is slightly braided,
Let but the gold the flowerets touch,
And all their bloom, their glow is faded!
Oh! better to be always free.
Than thus to bind my love to me.

* * * * *

The timid girl now hung her head,
And, as she turned an upward glance,
I saw a doubt its twilight spread
Across her brow's divine expanse
Just then, the garland's brightest rose
Gave one of its love-breathing sighs--
Oh! who can ask how Fanny chose,
That ever looked in Fanny's eyes!
"The Wreath, my life, the Wreath shall be
"The tie to bind my soul to thee."

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