The Wedding. O marriage-bells, your clamor tells
Two weddings in one breath.
SHE marries whom her love compels:
- And I wed Goodman Death!
My brain is blank, my tears are red;
Listen, O God: - "I will," he said: -
And I would that I were dead.
Come groomsman Grief and bridesmaid Pain
Come and stand with a ghastly twain.
My Bridegroom Death is come o'er the meres
To wed a bride with bloody tears.
Ring, ring, O bells, full merrily:
Life-bells to her, death-bells to me:
O Death, I am true wife to thee!


Macon, Georgia, 1865.

The Wedding. by Sidney Lanier