“Besides this May
There is Another—
Our Speculations of the Foreigner!
Some know Him whom We knew—
A Nature be
Where Saints, and our plain going Neighbor
– Emily Dickinson, Besides This May, #977, 1875
“Fast fading violets cover’d up in leaves;
And mid-May’s eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.”
– John Keats
“Now the bright morning-star, Day’s harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire!
Woods and groves are of thy dressing;
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.”
– John Milton, Song on a May Morning, 1660
“May! Queen of blossoms,
And fulfilling flowers,
With what pretty music
Shall we charm the hours?
Wilt thou have pipe and reed,
Blown in the open mead?
Or to the lute give heed
In the green bowers?”
– Lord Edward Thurlow, May
“In your neat garden iris grows
Bright yellow, mauve – in stately rows.
This one you’ve picked’s a lovely thing,
I know it brightens up our spring.
But in the forest, springtime’s child,
A purple iris growing wild,
Can melt my heart as spring melts snow,
It’s spoilt me for the sort you grow!”
– Jude, Wild Iris
“Ah! my heart is weary waiting,
Waiting for the May:
Waiting for the pleasant rambles
Where the fragrant hawthorn brambles,
Where the woodbine alternating,
Scent the dewy way;
Ah! my heart is weary, waiting,
Waiting for the May.”
– Denis Florence McCarthy, Summer Longings
“Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May.”
– William Shakespeare
“For, as when the red-cheeked, dancing girls, April and May, trip home to the wintry, misanthropic woods; even the barest, ruggedest, most thunder-cloven old oak will at least send forth some few green sprouts, to welcome such glad-hearted visitants . . .”
– Herman Melville
“The air is like a butterfly
With frail blue wings.
The happy earth looks at the sky
– Joyce Kilmer, Spring
“If in my gardens only, nowhere else,
The flowers of spring should bloom,
Even the man who has neglected me
To gaze on them would surely come.
– Izumi Shikibu
“Since thy return, through days and weeks
Of hope that grew by stealth,
How many wan and faded cheeks
Have kindled into health!
The Old, by thee revived, have said,
‘Another year is ours;’
And wayworn Wanderers, poorly fed,
Have smiled upon thy flowers.”
– William Wordsworth, To May, 1830
“The seasons are shifting, The winter shades lifting,
The springtime is filling
Earth’s children with mirth.
The daffodil yellow, The south wind so mellow,
The gentle rain falling,
Upon the green earth.
The song sparrow singing, New life quickly springing,
All nature is telling
A tale of rebirth:
The deep wells of being, Beyond each day’s seeing,
O’er flowing with new Life,
Restoring the earth.”
– David Bumbaugh, Spring
“A delicate fabric of bird song
Floats in the air,
The smell of wet wild earth
Oh I must pass nothing by
Without loving it much,
The raindrop try with my lips,
The grass with my touch;
For how can I be sure
I shall see again
The world on the first of May
Shining after the rain?”
– Sara Teasdale, May Day
All photos are from pixabay.