On our Thirty-ninth Wedding-day, 6th of May, 1810

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Twice nineteen years, dear Nancy, on this dayComplete their circle, since the smiling MayBeheld us at the altar kneel and joinIn holy rites and vows, which made thee mine.Then, like the reddening East without a cloud,Bright was my dawn of joy. To Heaven I bowedIn thankful exultation, well assuredThat all my heart could covet was secured.

But ah, how soon this dawn of Joy so brightWas followed by a dark and stormy night!The howling tempest, in a fatal hour,Drove me, an exile from our nuptial bower,To seek for refuge in the tented field,Till democratic Tyranny should yield.Thus torn asunder we, from year to year,Endured the alternate strife of Hope and Fear;Till, from Suspense delivered by Defeat,I hither came and found a safe retreat.

Here, join'd by thee and thy young playful train,I was o'erpaid for years of toil and pain.We had renounced our native hostile shore;And met, I trust, till death to part no more!But fast approaching now the verge of life,With what emotions do I see a WifeAnd Children, smiling with affection dear,And think--how sure that parting, and how near!

The solemn thought I wish not to restrain:Tho' painful, 'tis a salutary pain.Then let this verse in your remembrance live,That, when from life released, I still may giveA token of my love; may whisper stillSome fault to shun, some duty to fulfill;May prompt your Sympathy, some pain to share;Or warn you of some pleasures to beware;Remind you that the Arrow's silent flight,Unseen alike at noon or dead of night,Should cause no perturbation or dismay,But teach you to enjoy the passing dayWith dutiful tranquillity of mind!Active and vigilant, but still resign'd.For our Redeemer liveth, and we know,How or whenever parted here below,His faithful servants, in the Realm above,Shall meet again as heirs of his eternal love.

© Odell Jonathan