Mrs. S. A. Collins




by Mrs. S. A. Collins

Written and read at the tenth anniversary of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Smith, formerly ofFairfield, Wis.

Ten years ago tonight,

      Down in yonder vale,

The Mayflowers seemed belated

      And the silver moon was pale;

But two fond hearts were waiting

      To pledge their vows so true;

Neither fearful of the future,

      All to them seemed bright and new.

She so young to leave the home-nest,

      To brave life's toil and cares,

But she took with her our blessing,

      Fondes't hopes and earnest prayers.

And the one which she had chosen,

      Though a stranger then to me,

Quickly seemed to gain our friendship,

      Trusting his fidelity.

Ten years ago the friends assembled

      To witness there the marriage vow

And extend congratulations,

      Somewhat different then, than now.

Years may leave a trace of care,

      Darkest locks be streaked with gray'

But the heart be just as glad,

      As ten years ago today.

Go with me back o'er that journey,

      Bring those scenes again to view.

Oh, how many, many changes,

      Ten years have brought to each of you.

Some have stood beside the death-bed

      Of some friend we love most dear,

Gave to them a look of sadness,

      As Iíve wiped away the tear:

Followed in that sad procession,

      Bearing deal' ones to the tomb;

And again have lingered sadly

      O'er the grave when spring-time come.

But tonight let's banish from us

      Thoughts of sadness far and near,

And enjoy a time of gladness,

      In the spring time of the year.

Let us look- above, around us,

      Drinking in the joys of life,

And again pledge peace and plenty

      To brothel' George and his deal; wife.

Look and see those happy faces,

      Kindly spared to them below.

Isn't that enough to cheer them?

      Those happy faces all aglow.

Therein, I say from my experience,

      Is a balm for human ills.

Yes, I know they are lots of trouble, But lots of comfort too, as well.

Sometimes fortune seems to smile.

      And then again to frown;

But by always looking upward

      We may live misfortune clown.

Could we slowly turn the pages

      Of the book which holds the past,

Memory would wake within us

      Thoughts too beautiful to last.

But-the mind seems just an index,

      Facts of which we can't recall;

Giving just one thought of pleasure,

      One passing thought and that is all.

Ten years ago tonight,

      In her early childhood home, 

The bride stood wreathed in smiles so bright,

      As pure as any flower in bloom:

Unlike the brilliant wedding

      Of Anna Gould last March,

As she became a Countess,

      Beneath the "royal" arch.

Not with her glittering diamonds,

      Nor her millions at command,

But the hearts that night united

      Were joined by different bands.

For love gives deeper pleasure

      Than millions ever bought,

And content is more than feasting,

      In the bible we are taught.

The friends and kindred here tonight,

      Have met with one accord,

To wish you health and happiness,

      The best the world affords.

That your married life prove a blessing,

      And your pathway be strewn with bright flowers.

And your children afford you much pleasure,

      Are all combined wishes of ours.

And that each day as it passes,

      May retain some fond memory

Of the one who penned these lines,

      To show her affection for thee,

Is the wish of one who would say

      Before this company disperse,

I think it was a pretty good choice,

      When you took him for better or worse.