17th October 2021

Wedding Readings for Grooms: Roland Leighton

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Welcome back to our Sunday segment, Wedding Reading Ideas. Here we source and share some of our favourite texts perfect for weddings. This week we are focusing on wedding readings for grooms. We try and include a variety of ideas so that there is a reading suggestion for every kind of speech at every kind of wedding!

If you are looking for a reading suggestion for a specific event, please feel free to leave us a comment so we can help you source one.

The Reading

This week’s reading is the poem Nachklang by the first world war poet Roland Leighton. Leighton is most well known for being the fiancée of famed war poet, Vera Brittain. His tragic early death at war inspired many of her most famous poems and a large portion of her autobiography.

Also a poet, Leighton wrote some beautiful love poems about Brittain. We have selected Nachklang as it is the poem with which he declared his love for her.


Down the long white road we walked together

Down between the grey hills and the heather,

Where the tawny-crested Plover cries.


You seemed all brown and soft, just like a linnet,

Your errant hair had shadowed sunbeams in it,

And there shone all April

In your eyes.


With your golden voice of tears and laughter

Softened into song ‘Does aught come after

Life,’ you asked ‘When life is

Laboured through?


What is God and all for which we’re striving?’

‘Sweetest sceptic, we were born for living;

Life is Love, and Love is—

You, dear, you.’

Why We love It

There are few poems as deeply romantic as this. The poem begins with a lovely image of the couple walking together down a long road. This serves as a perfect metaphor for your new marriage. Extra points if you are having an April wedding, as this will be referenced nicely in the second verse.

The poem ends with the most beautiful sentiment where Leighton discusses the meaning of life. He believes that life is what we are born to live or our divine purpose. Furthermore, the poem ends with him declaring that to him, life is his love and his love is his life.

This is one of our favourite wedding readings for grooms because it delves deeply into the feeling of eternal love. The references to life and journeys make it an ideal reading to start a new marriage.

If you like this reading, keep your eyes peeled next Sunday and every Sunday from here on out for more wedding readings for grooms, brides, parents, and the wedding party.