Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
Holy Matrimony
 
John Keble (1792–1866)
 
 
THE VOICE that breath’d o’er Eden,
  That earliest wedding-day,
The primal marriage blessing,
  It hath not pass’d away.
 
Still in the pure espousal        5
  Of Christian man and maid,
The holy Three are with us,
  The threefold grace is said.
 
For dower of blessed children,
  For love and faith’s sweet sake,        10
For high mysterious union,
  Which nought on earth may break.
 
Be present, awful Father,
  To give away this bride,
As Eve thou gav’st to Adam        15
  Out of his own pierced side:
 
Be present, Son of Mary,
  To join their loving hands,
As thou didst bind two natures
  In thine eternal bands:        20
 
Be present, Holiest Spirit,
  To bless them as they kneel,
As thou for Christ, the Bridegroom,
  The heavenly Spouse dost seal.
 
Oh, spread thy pure wing o’er them,        25
  Let no ill power find place,
When onward to thine altar
  The hallow’d path they trace,
 
To cast their crowns before thee
  In perfect sacrifice,        30
Till to the home of gladness
  With Christ’s own Bride they rise. AMEN.
 

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