Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 2/The bridal of Galtrim
THE BRIDAL OF GALTRIM.
The priest’s at the altar; the bride—and the groom—
The bridesmaids—and gallants, with doff’d cap and plume,
Are kneeling around till the word forth is gone
That blesses the union of two into one.
But while the devout were responding “Amen,”
The blast of a war-trumpet rang thro’ the glen,
And each man, as he sprang to his feet, gripp’d his sword.
While the fresh-plighted hand of the bride held her lord.
“Oh, hold me not, dearest!—you would not detain?
It is honour to go—’twere disgrace to remain.
The foe’s at the gate; we must drive him away:—
A joust is befitting a chief’s wedding-day!”
He buckled his mail o’er his gay wedding garb;
He call’d for his lance, and he sprang on his barb,
And waved back a graceful adieu, as he cried,
“A victor I soon will be back with my bride!”
And soon was he back, and a victor beside,—
But ’twas to his widow, and not to his bride;
For, foremost in danger the foe to repel,
In the moment of conquest the conqueror fell.
Slowly the victors return from the field,
Lamenting the knight whom they bore on his shield;
And the Lady of Galtrim, as Chronicles say,
Was maid, wife, and widow,—and all in one day.