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Oh Bridal Bell, lone Bridal Bell!
Who shall thy vanished glory tell,
Where by rude hands now cast aside,
Thou liest stripped of all thy pride?
Where are the pale, sweet flowers that wound
Thy wire frame gaily 'round and 'round,
And where thy lily clapper white,
That trembled in the dazzling light?


Oh Bridal Bell, changed Bridal Bell!
What peri rung thy fairy knell?
What elfin hung thy walls with bloom?
What wizard wrought thy sudden doom
In dust and darkness to repine?
What king deplored a fall like thine?
The spider strings his voiceless lyre
In busy haste from wire to wire.


Oh Bridal Bell, lone Bridal Bell!
What magic shall thy gloom dispel?
Shall hands again thy bareness deck
Or Beauty yet reclaim her wreck
From out the debris of the past,
Where all her vessels lie at last?
Alas, thy latest meed is won,
Thou weird, unsightly skeleton!


Oh Bridal Bell, lone Bridal Bell!
Vague fancies in thy cavern dwell;
Thou seem'st like that institute
To which each minstrel tunes his flute;
Like thine the Bridal's brief display
Oft blossoms but to fade away,
'Till but its legal ties are left
Of all Love's faded flowers bereft;
Its blighted buds of Hope and Trust
Are trodden rudely in the dust,
'Till cast aside it lies undone,
A rude, unsightly skeleton.


Oh Bridal Bell, lone Bridal Bell!
Thou hast a voice for sorrow's knell,
Yet sing'st not of this alone,
Thou hast for joy a final tone,
For fabrics beautiful and rare,
Fashioned of plighted vows and prayer,
Whose ties were never stripped of bloom,
Whose frame no rags of rust could doom,
For every part of gold was wrought,
Each coigne with priceless jewels fraught,
Whence flash the diamond rays of Love,
Pure pearls of Trust and Faith above,
And every flower an immortelle,
Beneath thy belfry, Bridal Bell.