Tag Archives: Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night’s Scheme: Part One

Dear Readers,

Almost one year has past since the Engagement of my friends, Jay Stewart and Kathryn Davis.  In order to celebrate the anniversary of this event, I have revised the original story and added images to enhance the text.  Coming soon:  Part Two, which will contain a new story:  the Wedding Ceremony.  Enjoy!

Coram Deo,


A Midsummer Night’s Scheme:  Part One

June 2011

Most Excellent Oberon, Your Royal Highness:

It is I, Robin Goodfellow, “that merry wanderer of the night,” who greets you.  I have returned from the Mortal World and I hereby submit my report of the clandestine operation, under your command, to join the Houses of Davis and Stewart.

Queen Titania graciously sent four of her “Fairies-In-Waiting,” to assist me in this secret mission.  Throughout this covert assignment, the Good Fairies and I remained cloaked and invisible to the eyes of the Mortals.  Therefore, the Mortals never suspected that we orchestrated every maneuver and strategy, in the scheme to join the two Houses!  [Me thinks: “Lord, what fools these mortals be!”]

Before leaving the Fairy World, your wise counsel prompted me to travel to Cupid’s Flower Field, to secure a vial of Love Potion Essence.  After the Fairies and I entered the Mortal World, we traveled to the two respective forest homes of the Young Gentleman, Jay Stewart by name, and Young Lady, Kathryn Davis by name.  As each of them slumbered, we touched their eyelids with a drop of the Essence.  When next they saw each other, the match was easily made!

Next, I whispered into the ear of Jay that he should propose to Kathryn, on a certain Midsummer Evening, in the Enchanted Park of the Ancient Oaks, which the mortals call, “Los Robles.” I influenced him to serenade the Lady, in the Park, under the branches of a tree, newly-planted and dedicated to the memory of the beloved Kathy, the late grandmother of Kathryn.

On the appointed Midsummer Day, I arranged for Jay and Kathryn to employ a carriage and dine together, far away from the Park.  As dusk approached, the Good Fairies and I covertly assisted the Mortals, in making preparations for the “Secret Proposal” and for the “Midsummer Revelry” that would immediately follow.

The weather being inclement, I whispered into the ears of Lord & Lady Davis that they should secure a canopy, to shelter and protect the “Secret Proposal Site” from the rain.  Next, I directed Lord & Lady Stewart and their two children [Sarah and David, by name] to spread a cloak under the canopy and on top of the damp grass.  Upon this cloak, they placed a leather case, which protected a musical instrument, rather like a lute.  Carefully hidden within the case was an heirloom ring!

Having finished these tasks, the Families Davis and Stewart departed from the Park and sought shelter inside the Davis Manor, situated next to the Park.  The Good Fairies and I kept sentinel over the canopy, while the Mortals, inside the Manor, stood in front of the windows facing the Park.  From this vantage point, the Mortals observed Jay and Kathryn, as they returned to the Park, in their carriage, at dusk.  With a bit of Fairy Dust, we cloaked the mortals so that they could observe Jay and Kathryn but not vice versa.

Jay serenaded Kathryn with a love sonnet, composed from his own pure brain and accompanied by the lute.  O, how the Sweet Lady appeared to swoon, as the words of the love song enveloped her!  How she wept tears of joy, as she heard his declaration of love!   How her heart melted, when Jay concluded his song with the last line: “Will you be my wife?”  He knelt before her, bestowing upon her an engagement ring, fashioned from a cherished heirloom from Grandmother Kathy.  Kathryn, without hesitation, accepted the proposal of marriage and vowed that “My heart is true as steel!”

We directed the two Young Lovers, through the driving rain, to the Davis Manor, to share the glad tidings with Lord & Lady Davis.  Upon entering the front door, they found the interior strangely dark and quiet.  So, we guided them to the entry of the Enchanted Secret Walled Garden.

When the two Young Lovers entered the Garden, how Kathryn did swoon again!  How her face flushed! How she laughed with merriment, when she heard a joyful, loud shout:  “Surprise!”  For there, gathered in the Garden, were the family members and closest friends of the Houses of Davis and Stewart!  The astonished Kathryn declared, “I am amazed and know not what to say!”

Adorning the branches of the Garden Oak Tree were [what the Mortals call] “Fairy Lights,” which, along with the candles on tabletops, illuminated the Garden, performing the office of the moon, which was enshrouded by the hazy clouds.

Ah, me! Such merry-making ensued!  Each Mortal raised a glass, to toast the Engaged Couple and to wish them joy!  Then, a few of the Mortals took “photographs,” which, through some sorcery, captures images through the means of a small box with a magic eye.

I orchestrated the rescue of the refreshments from the weather, as the Mortals transferred them, with Fairy-like energy and efficiency, into the Manor, where all the Mortals dashed to escape the rain, thunder, and lightning.  There, the revelry continued, the likes of which I have seldom observed, outside of the domain of the Fairy World.

The Bard observed, “The course of true love never did run smooth.” And, in faith, I thought that the inclement weather might have beaten us. Yet, on this Midsummer Evening, Zeus, the god of thunder, was no match for Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty.

I entreat Your Highness and Her Highness, Queen Titania, to be present, yet hidden and veiled, to bless these two Young Lovers, at the Ceremony of their Nuptials, on the Evening before the Dawn of the New Year.

Your humble servant,


 ~Written by Margot Blair Payne, February 2012.  Revised May 2012.

Image Credits for Parts One and Two:

The author gratefully grateful acknowledges:

The Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare, for the generous loan of the concepts and quotes from three of his great works of literature:  “Much Ado About Nothing,”  “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and “Romeo and Juliet.”

The artistic genius of Arthur Rackham and Thomas Williams, who provided the illustrations.

Other image and photo credits:



Carson Chapel, Calloway Gardens.

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A Valentine from “Will”

For Sunday Morning:

It is rather busy around our home on Sunday morning so I am posting this “Valentine” on Saturday night . . .

It will be easy for you to guess the full name of this famous British author, whose family gave him the nickname of “Will.”   He wrote 154 Love Sonnets, each of which would be perfect as the “sentiment” inside of a Hallmark card.  However, I only chose one for today.  Below the sonnet, I have included some keys to interpretation.

If you saw the film, “Sense & Sensibility,” with Emma Thompson, this sonnet will be very familiar to you.   Before the film [1994] I had never heard the poem:  When I heard Marianne [Kate Winslet] recite the sonnet, at the word, “bark,” the image of a dog floated before my eyes.  I hope at least one of my readers will assure me that I am not alone in this . . .

Sonnet 116:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove.

O no, it is an ever-fixèd mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wand’ring bark,

Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.

Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle’s compass come.

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out ev’n to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me proved,

I never writ, nor no man ever loved.


Here are some clues to the interpretation of this sonnet, from The Top 500 Poems, Edited by William Harmon, Columbia Anthology:

“Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar claims to be as ‘constant as the northern star’ – that is, the Pole Star that seems not to move, while all other stars revolve around it and which can still be used in informal navigation.  Ink has been spilt over the reading of Line 8, which probably refers to the star [whose elevation or celestial altitude can be known by instruments] but may refer to the bark [ship].”

William Shakespeare (baptized 26 April 1564; died 23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist.  He is often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon.”  His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. [Wikipedia]

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