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Poem by Philip James Bailey


The Ring


Thus to a fair Venetian maid,
The proudest of the train,
With which the Doge went forth arrayed
To wed his vassal main,
``This very day,'' her lover said,
``Will Venice go the sea to wed.''

``Now tell me, lady, what to do,
To win this hand of thine;
I'll risk both soul and body too,
For such a prize divine.''
``I'll have the bridal ring,'' said she,
``Wherewith the Doge will wed the sea.''

Came forth the Doge and all his train,
And sailed upon the sea;
The banners waved, and music's strain
Rose soft and heavenwardly;--
And blue waves raced to seize the ring
Which glided through them glittering.

The lover through the bright array
Rushed by the Doge's side:--
A plunge--and plume and mantle gay
Lay lashing on the tide;
He heard a shriek, but down he dived,
To follow where the ring arrived.

He sought so long, that all above
Believed him gone for aye,
Nor knew they 'twas his haughty love
Who shrieked and swooned away.
At length he rose to light--half--dead--
But held the ring above his head.

The lady wept--the lover smiled--
She had not deemed he would
Have dared it,--was a foolish child--
And loved as none else could.
``Take it and be a faithful bride
To death,'' the lover said, and died.

The lady to a convent hied,
And took the holy vows,
And was till death a faithful bride
To her Eternal spouse.
And then the ring her lover gave
They buried with her in the grave.



Philip James Bailey


Philip James Bailey's other poems:
  1. Festus - 35
  2. Festus - Proem
  3. Festus - 17
  4. Festus - 24
  5. Festus - 21.2


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Thomas Moore The Ring ("The happy day at length arrived")

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