Song of Espousal

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Template:WilliamBGreene "Song of Espousal" was a poem written by William Batchelder Greene during his service in the U. S. Army in Florida, during the Second Seminole War. It is the earliest known publication by Greene. It first appeared in The Token, and Atlantic Souvenir, for 1841, and was reprinted several times. WBG's father, Nathaniel Greene, also contributed to this and other volumes of The Token.

Bibliographic Data

  • "Song of Espousal." The Token, and Atlantic Souvenir, for 1841. 1840 (Boston: W. D. Ticknor), 190. [1]
    • ---. Boston Weekly Magazine, III, 6 (October 24, 1840), 44.
    • ---. Army & Navy Chronicle, Nov. 19, 1840; 11, 21; pg. 334.
    • ---. Boston Evening Gazette ???. (appearance noted in Army & Navy Chronicle)
    • ---. The Moss Rose, for 1847. [2]

Text [from Army & Navy Chronicle]

We find in the "TOKEN" for 1841, the following beautiful poem from the pen of Lieut. GREENE, son our our esteemed Postmaster, Nathaniel Greene, Esq. It breathes the very soul of martial poesy, and resembles in spirit the celebrated "Sword Song" of Kerner, which once rung through the German forces, calling them to valiant deeds.--Boston Eve. Gazette

SONG OF ESPOUSAL
BY LIEUT. WILLIAM B. GREEN, U. S. A.

O, bright is the glance from a lady's eye,
  And soft is the tint of her rosy cheek,
And sweet are the tones of love's minstrelsy,
  When the hopes of the bard in his numbers speak ;
But dearer, far dearer, art thou my bride,
  Than the throbbings of love or the measures of hope ;
Far brighter thy flash than the glances of pride ;
  Thy language more melting than bard ever spoke.

    Then hail to my SWORD! to my own fair bride !
      To my first, to my last, to my only love !
    In the darkness of death thou shalt dwell by my side,
      O my first and my only love.

When the banner shall droop on the broken lance,
  And the heart shall beat low to the fleeting breath,
Our loves shall be sung, with a wild measured dance,
  Where havoc keeps time to the harpings of death,
The couch of our bridal shall be the damp ground,
  With the blue cannon-smoke for a canopy spread,
While the drum with the bugle shall mingle its sound,
  For a wild serenade to the fair one I wed.

    Then hail to my SWORD! to my own fair bride !
      To my first, to my last, to my only love !
    In the darkness of death thou shalt dwell by my side,
      O my first and my only love !


FORT RUSSELL, East Florida, Feb. 9 1840.

Notes.

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