This Is the Golden Morning of Love


Jan Van Eyck, "The Arnolfini Wedding"

Spiritual Sunday

As I am in Iowa for the wedding of Julia’s niece and as this is the wedding month, a wedding poem seems appropriate.  Here is a lovely poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson that draws me, maybe because it captures the anxieties of the wedding day along with the joys.

If the poem weren’t titled “Marriage Morning,” after reading the first stanza one might think it refers to the sunset.  What’s this talk about “the golden close of love”?  Is the man who has been wooing worried that marriage will prove a comedown after courtship? What about these “thorns and briers” (mentioned twice no less) that he has heard about?  Is that lightning flickering on the horizon?  Will his heart be great enough to do justice to transcendent love?

And yet, the light that is marriage is so powerful that it calls to him. It may be low but it sends a flash to the sun. Therefore he asks that it “lighten into my eyes and my heart,/Into my heart and my blood!” In the end, the light will help the couple overstep whatever thorns, briers, meadows or stiles stand in their way.

Flash of a million miles.

Marriage Morning

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Light, so low upon earth,
You send a flash to the sun.
Here is the golden close of love,
All my wooing is done.
Oh, all the woods and the meadows,
Woods, where we hid from the wet,
Stiles where we stayed to be kind,
Meadows in which we met!

Light, so low in the vale
You flash and lighten afar,
For this is the golden morning of love,
And you are his morning star.
Flash, I am coming, I come,
By meadow and stile and wood,
Oh, lighten into my eyes and my heart,
Into my heart and my blood!

Heart, are you great enough
For a love that never tires?
O heart, are you great enough for love?
I have heard of thorns and briers.
Over the thorns and briers,
Over the meadows and stiles,
Over the world to the end of it
Flash of a million miles.

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  1. Posted June 5, 2011 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    I absolutely love this poem, Robin. I’m not familiar with it but I wish I’d had it to read aloud at my daughter’s wedding years ago. Thanks for posting it.

    Hope you’re having a great time. 🙂

  2. Posted June 5, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Powerful, and singing. 🙂 big smile here. A great post for the day, thank you, and much appreciated, WS


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