A Bridal Song

Wilt thou not waken, bride of May,

While the flowers are fresh, and the sweet bells chime?

Listen, and learn from my roundelay,

How all life's pilot-boats sailed one day,

A match with time.

Love sat on a lotus leaf afloat,

And saw old time in his loaded boat;

Slowly he crossed life's narrow tide,

While love sat clapping his wings and cried,

"Who will pass

Patience came first, but soon was gone

With helm and sail to help time on;

Care and grief could not lend an oar,

And prudence said while he staid on shore,

"I will wait for time."

Hope filled with flowers her cork tree bark,

And lighted its helm with a glow worm spark;

Then love, when he saw her bark fly fast,

Said, "Lingering time will soon be passed,

Hope outspeeds time."

Wit, next nearest old time to pass,

With his diamond oar, and his boat of glass;

A feathery dart from his store he drew,

And shouted, while far and swift it flew,

"O mirth kills time."

But time sent the feathery arrow back,

Hope's boat of amaranths missed its track;

Then love made his butterfly pilots move,

And, laughing, said, "They shall see how love

Can conquer time."

His gossamer sails he spread with speed,

But time has wings when time has need;

Swiftly he crossed life's sparkling tide,

And only memory stayed to chide

Unpitying time.

Wake, and listen then bride of May,

Listen and heed thy minstrel's rhyme;

Still for thee some bright hours stay,

For it was a hand like thine, they say,

Gave wings to time.