First Love.

A poem by Nora Pembroke

(A. S.) 1845.

We met--he was a stranger,
His foot was free to roam;
I was a simple maiden,
Who had never left my home.

He was a noble scion
Of the green Highland pine,
To a strange soil transplanted,
Far from his native clime

And well his bearing pleased me,
For I had never seen
Keener eye, or smile more sunlit,
Or more dignity of mien.

His brow was fair and lofty,
Bright was his clustering hair;
I marvelled that to other eyes
He seemed not half so fair

His it was to plead with men,
With "Thus my Lord hath said;"
He stood God's messenger between
The living and the dead

When I heard how earnestly
His pleading message ran,
I said, "Here God has set his seal
To mark a perfect man."

The rapture of a moment
Came suddenly to me;
With softened glance he asked me,
'Could you learn to think of me?'

The star of love shone o'er us,
His arm was round me thrown
And he fondly said he loved me
And loved but me alone

I was but a simple maiden
Village born and village bred
And when this crown of gladness
Dropped down upon my head

A simple maiden's feelings
That moment sprang awake
I wished myself rich, noble
And lovely for his sake

Ah, love akin to sorrow
Ah, ecstasy so fleet!
Why is parting made the surer
When the meeting is so sweet?

Quick as the flash of summer
Came bliss to fade too soon
My poor heart swelled, as ocean
Swells for the lady moon.

I saw him at the altar
Upon a morning fair
The matron and the maiden,
And paranymph were there

There were holy words, and wishes,
And smiles when tears would start
A fair bride stood beside him,
And I--I stood apart.

Then came the parting moment,
After I loved him well;
I stilled my heart's sore beating,
And so I said farewell,

And oh! may no remembrance
Cause him a moment's pain,
But yet, indeed, I loved him,
And I'll never love again.

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