William Shakespeare: Bridal Song

Roses, their sharp spines being gone,
Not royal in their smells alone,
But in their hue;
Maiden pinks, of odour faint,

Daisies smell-less, yet most quaint,
 And sweet thyme true;

Primrose, firstborn child of Ver;
Merry springtime’s harbinger,
With her bells dim;
Oxlips in their cradles growing,

 Marigolds on death-beds blowing,
Larks’-heels trim;

All dear Nature’s children sweet
 Lie ‘fore bride and bridegroom’s feet,
Blessing their sense!

 Not an angel of the air,
Bird melodious or bird fair,
Be absent hence!

The crow, the slanderous cuckoo, nor
The boding raven, nor chough hoar,
Nor chattering pye,
May on our bride-house perch or sing,

This poem is a kind of a funeral or an interment song, written four stanzas of six lines each. Shakespeare invites all the good within everything available in nature such as a rose flower into the bridal home to bless the bride and her bridegroom.


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