At first a vow so quickly spoken
Seems like a true and honest token
As love's enduring faithful friend
To keep the union till the end.
Nothing then can pull or plunder
The sweet enraptured holy bride
She gives and conquers all defenses
And overcomes all lustful pride.
Yet shadows hasten towards the pleasure
Gnawing at the sacred treasure
Kept within the vows unbroken
Some snake-like words are thought, then spoken.
"There's weakness in this man you've married.
He captured you, but then he tarried
Setting down the outward graces,
He lingers in the darker spaces."
No soft words, no hint of kindness
Sinking slowly in mirrored blindness
What vision clouds his appetite
And substitutes a less delight.
This robber like a rogue and thief
Takes all of love's complete belief
That in the vow would be protected
Love's first blush and all respected.
Now crushing blows upon his armor
Place the weight of fear upon her
In weakness will there be a chance
Of overcoming vile romance.
No other promise, no other hope
She stands alone and looks to grope
At one man who stood a test
And in His weakness, gave His best.
He made it possible for strength to come
If senseless men come all undone
His life is just a reach away
When all that's weak is on display.
But pride must die in humble slaughter
To rescue Eve's still fragile daughter,
In this true vows can be upheld
And love's dark enemy dispelled.
He reaches out, thank God, for movement
With the Spirit's full endowment
If any chance his change will be
Initiated by only Thee.
What light now floods the sunken chest!
He's taken life into his breast
The cover of a crimson stain
Is washing clean another's gain.
Oh Wondrous Love, Thy glory's spoken
In the years of vows unbroken
With armor worn and pride now shattered
No more will love's first blush be scattered.
At last the vow can come to rest
It proves that men can stand the test
As two who seek all heaven's power
Show forth in trust love's finest hour.
Written by Rhodara Shreve
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