Tag Archives: William Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night’s Scheme: Part Two

A Midsummer’s Night Scheme:  Part Two

 January 1, 2012

To Our Most Gracious Queen, Tatiana:

We, your Faithful Attendants, are elated to learn that you, Most Gracious Queen, are pleased with the successful orchestration of the conjoining of Jay and Kathryn, in the State of Honorable Marriage, on the Eve of the New Year.

Indeed, we covertly assisted in making great preparation for the Nuptials:

A week before the Wedding, we Fairies attended upon the Beauteous Bride, Kathryn:  We traveled to Italy, to fetch the delicate handcrafted Wedding Veil.

Returning to the Bride’s Fair City, we secured the Bible for her to carry down the aisle:  the same Bible that her beloved Grandmother Kathy carried, on her Wedding Day, almost sixty years ago.

Meanwhile, Robin Goodfellow traveled speedily to the Antipodes [China, in fact] to escort the Best Man [Casey Sapp, by name] to the Wedding Festivities.

We Fairies adorned the Chapel, within and without, with large glass lanterns and candles.  We also festooned the Chapel with flowers and greenery.

We fervently hoped that there would be “so much light in the night that dew on the grass will be shining like liquid pearls.”

And indeed, on the evening of the Candlelight Ceremony, the moon shone her benevolent light onto the Chapel By The Lake, as the Wedding Guests arrived.

The moon and the guests “beheld the night of the solemnities.”

We were delighted when you, Most Gracious Queen, and Most Excellent Oberon, arrived to take your places, hidden and veiled, to witness the Nuptials of the two Young Lovers.

You will agree with us that the wedding was “full of state and ancientry.”

When the Bride walked down the aisle, on the arm of her father, she appeared to “shine as gloriously as the Venus of the sky.”

When her father lifted her veil, we overheard the Groom whisper to the Best Man, “In mine eyes, she is the sweetest lady that ever I looked upon!”  And we heard the Best Man whisper, in reply: “In faith, I believe your blazon to be true!”

At the altar, Jay whispered to Kathryn, “Lady, as you are mine, I am yours.  I give away myself to you and dote upon the exchange.”

Then he entreated her:  “Give me your hand, before these holy Friars.”

With confirmed countenance, the Friars conducted the Holy Rites,in the Ancient Sacrament of Marriage.

They instructed the musicians:  “Now, divine air!” and sweet music filled the Chapel.

Next, the holy Friars offered prayers, Scripture, hymns, commendations, and officiated the exchange of vows and rings.

Jay whispered to the holy Friars, “Oh, let me kiss this princess of pure white, this seal of bliss!” 

Finally, when the holy Friars pronounced the couple “Husband and Wife,” they entreated the couple to seal their Union with a kiss.

After the kiss, the Wedding Guests cheered in glad exaltation and thus the couple was “eternally knit.”

The Chapel bells pealed and we joyfully observed that our Most Gracious Queen and Most Excellent Oberon joined the Mortals in the chorus of blessing and praise, before returning to the Fairy World.

After the Ceremony, the Groom and Bride invited the Wedding Guests to join them for a Winter Revelry, at The Odd Fellows Lodge.*

A noisome, brightly-painted horseless carriage, which the Mortals call a “Trolley,” transported the Wedding Party from the Chapel to the Lodge.

The Fairy Lights, with which we adorned the Town Square Ancient Oaks, illuminated the pathway for the Wedding Guests, as they walked to the Lodge, from their conveyances.

At the Lodge, we secretly assisted in making preparation for a “feast in great solemnity.”

For the Wedding Banquet, we prepared a great quantity of ale, wine, bread, fruit, vegetables, fowl, beef, and fish.  The guests enjoyed the refreshments with great enthusiasm.

The festivities continued, with “pomp, with triumph, and with reveling.”

The clock struck the hour for Toasts, in honor of the Groom and Bride, such as this, which we Fairies recorded:

“O most happy hour!  Gentle joy and fresh days of love accompany your hearts!”

And all the Guests said, “Amen” to the prayers!

After the Cutting of the Cake, Jay entreated the Wedding Guests:

“Let’s have a dance e’er we are married, that we may lighten our hearts and our heels!”  He instructed the musicians: “Therefore, play music!  Strike up, pipers!” 

The gifted cadre of musicians, whom the Mortals call a “Swing Band,” played merrily, offering the musical re-enactment of the evening, twenty years ago, for the Wedding Revelry for Lovely Linda, the aunt of the bride.

The clock struck twelve o’clock midnight and yet the Moonlight Revels continued, until the Groom and Bride made preparation to depart for their Honeymoon.  With fragrant flower petals, the Wedding Guests, from the balcony above, showered the newlyweds below.

As the Wedding Guests waved and bid them “Adieu,” the Groom and Bride departed in a small, bright, shiny red horseless carriage, owned by the Father of the Bride.

Brightly colored “works of fire” illuminated the night sky.

With the breaking of the dawn, we discharged our duty and disappeared into the mist of the morning of the New Day of the New Year.

Your gentle attendants,

 Peas-Blossom, Mustard Seed, Moth, and Cobweb

*Known to the mortals as “The Club of the Governor”

~Written by Margot Blair Payne, February, 2012

Text and 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 book illustrations.

Other image and photo credits:



Ida Cason Memorial 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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