Once Upon a Time.
Ah, once upon a time, ’tis told,
A knight of royal mien,
With burnished glaive and casque of gold,
Rode through a woodland green.
Fair was he armed for any chance,
Full eager for his foes;
At his right hand a silver lance.
And on his heart a rose.
Far had he journeyed, seeking long,
The Castle of Proud Dreams,
The Temple in the Land of Song,
Beside the Meeting Streams.
At his right hand a lady rode —
Flesh-red and unafraid,
At his left hand, amort, there rode
A little milk-white maid:
And as they crossed the gay demesne,
A soaring skylark sang;
And as they crossed the woodland green,
A clarion echo rang:—
“Ah, life is but a passing play,
A note on single string;
Ah, life is but a winter’s day,
But Love’s a living thing.
“Ah, life is but a dying breath,
A bird upon the wing;
Ah, life is but a dream of death,
But Love’s a dainty thing.”
E. J. Brady, The Earthen Floor, Grafton (N.S.W.): Grip Newspaper Co., 1902