Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
Wreath of Love
By Samuel Woodworth (1784–1842)
LET Fame her wreath for others twine,
The fragrant Wreath of Love be mine,
  With balm-distilling blossoms wove;
Let the shrill trumpet’s hoarse alarms
Bid laurels grace the victor’s arms,        5
  Where havoc’s blood-stain’d banners move.
Be mine to wake the softer notes
Where Acidalia’s banner floats,
  And wear the gentler Wreath of Love.
The balmy rose let stoics scorn,        10
Let squeamish mortals dread the thorn,
  And fear the pleasing pain to prove;
I ’ll fearless bind it to my heart,
While every pang its thorns impart,
  The floweret’s balsam shall remove;        15
For, sweeten’d by the nectar’d kiss,
’T is pain that gives a zest to bliss,
  And freshens still the Wreath of Love.
Give me contentment, peace, and health,
A moderate share of worldly wealth,        20
  And friends such blessings to improve;
A heart to give when misery pleads,
To heal each rankling wound that bleeds,
  And every mental pain remove;
But with these give—else all deny—        25
The fair for whom I breathe the sigh,
  And wedlock be a Wreath of Love.
Connubial bliss, unknown to strife,
A faithful friend—a virtuous wife,
  Be mine for many years to prove:        30
Our wishes one, within each breast
The dove of peace shall make her nest,
  Nor ever from the ark remove;
Till call’d to heaven, through ages there
Be ours the blissful lot to wear        35
  A never fading Wreath of Love.

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