Stratford Ships of State

On the courtly banks of Avon,
With the theatre in view,
And the audience-in-waiting,
And the picnics, not a few.

We come yearly to remember
Where our marriage troth was set,
To rehearse that night of magic
When these hearts were firmly knit.

Now the play had been the reason
For our trip from out-of-town;
But the ring was in my suit-coat,
And my Queen in gorgeous gown.

And the dinner was delightful,
And the promenade stream-side.
‘Cross the bridge out to the island.
Would she come back o’er my bride?

She had surely seen it coming.
And the question popped with ease.
And the snap-shot still reflects
Her glowing face, so quick to please.

And the swans sailed past the island
With their canvas spread in state,
And their lowered necks, acknowledged,
“Yet another finds his mate.”

Then the fanfare called the audience
To the dimming lights, the play.
But the Main Event was ours, not theirs,
By Avon, that fair day!

Note: Thirty-six years ago. Magical! Hilary and I often return to Stratford. The play that night was entitled "She Stoops to Conquer" (Oliver Goldsmith). Can't remember much about it. Other things on our minds. Thank God for my wife.


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