Our Golden Wedding

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Behold, dear wife, how things have changed,
  Through sunshine and through showers;
The spring has ripened into fall,
  The buds have turned to flowers.

What long, wide paths our feet have trod,
  Since the far days of old!
But love has changed each woe to good,
  The silver moon to gold.

These fifty years of wedded love,
  How brief and few they seem!
Swift as a summer-day of joy,
  Eventful as a dream!

The babes we fostered long ago,
  And called them "children" then;
The girls are into mothers grown,
  The boys to stalwart men.

We launched our bark in sunny youth,—
  The date seems far away;
But years have shortened into months,
  Months into fleeting days.

Once, like new ships, that ride in port,
  With canvas all unfurled,
Successful voyagers, our keel
  Has sailed half round the world.

By day God's loving cloud has moved,
  A shelter o'er our head;
And still by night our winding course
  The pillared fire has led.

Sail on, fair craft, so bravely kept
  Unharmed by wind or wave;
The hand so skilful to direct,
  Is mighty, too, to save.

Sail on, sail on, till golden light
  Shines o'er the distant sea,
And guides the vessel to its port,
  Blest immortality.

September 16, 1884