Home Life Works Articles Contact

Anna Jane Vardill

A Bridal Serenade

By a Modern Welsh Harper

Wilt thou not waken, Bride of May,
While flowers are fresh and the sweet bells chime?
Listen and learn from my roundelay,
How all Life’s pilot boats sail’d one day—
          A match with Time.

Love sat on a lotos leaf afloat,
And saw old Time in his loaded boat;
Slowly he cross’d Life’s narrow tide,
While Love sat clapping his wings, and cried,
          “Who will pass Time?”

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 stay’d on shore),
          “I 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 past!
          Hope out-speeds Time!”

Wit went 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 arrows back,
Hope’s boat of amaranths miss’d its track,
The Love bade 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 cross’d Life’s sparkling tide,
And only Memory stay’d 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.


The European Magazine, Vol. 75, April 1819, pp. 356-355