And in a sudden he saw her standing there, turning gracefully toward him and he could not speak. For the first time in as long as he could remember, he could not think of anything to say--this man of words was stunned, momentarily, to a profound silence as he looked upon the image of his heart's desire, one of which he had dreamed, knew he'd know, but never hoped to find since such dreams never really come true. And in that image he saw the hints of his future life, the graceful features of the hands of a daughter he would come to know, the deep-set, sad eyes of a son who would grow to be a man, the dark brown eyes of a grandchild who would love a funny man with a white beard called "Grampa."
In the coming weeks and days of their courtship, he continued to be haunted by the feeling that he simply did not know what to say. They conversed, he was funny, she laughed and fell in love. But still, he could not articulate what was in his heart--and then, on the day of their wedding he realized what it was that he wanted to say:
(image of Dante & Beatrice in Paradise by Amalia Ciardi Dupre, subject to copyright)