To May

William Wordsworth 1770 (Wordsworth House) – 1850 (Cumberland)

THOUGH many suns have risen and set
  Since thou, blithe May, wert born,
And Bards, who hailed thee, may forget
  Thy gift, thy beauty scorn;
There are who to a birthday strain
  Confine not harp and voice,
But evermore throughout thy reign
  Are grateful and rejoice!

Delicious odor! music sweet,
  Too sweet to pass away!
Oh for a deathless song to meet
  The soul's desire---a lay
That, when a thousand year are told,
  Should praise thee, genial Power!
Through summer heat, autumnal cold,
  And winter's dreariest hour.

Earth, sea, thy presence feel---nor less,
  If yon ethereal blue
With its soft smile the truth express,
  The heavens have felt it too.
The inmost heart of man if glad
  Partakes a livelier cheer;
And eye that cannot but be sad
  Let fall a brightened tear.

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.

Who tripping lisps a merry song
  Amid his playful peers?
The tender Infant who was long
  A prisoner of fond fears;
But now, when every sharp-edged blast
  Is quiet in its sheath,
His Mother leaves him free to taste
  Earth's sweetness in thy breath.

Thy help is with the weed that creeps
  Along the humblest ground;
No cliff so bare but on its steeps
  Thy favors may be found;
But most on some peculiar nook
  That our own hands have drest,
Thou and thy train are proud to look,
  And seem to love it best.

And yet how pleased we wander forth
  When May is whispering, 'Come!
'Choose from the bowers of virgin earth
  The happiest for your home;
HeavenÕs bounteous love through me is spread
  From sunshine, clouds, winds, waves,
Drops on the mouldering turret's head,
  And on your turf-clad graves!'

Such greeting heard, away with sighs
  For lilies that must fade,
Or ' the rathe primrose as it dies
  Forsaken' in the shade!
Vernal fruitions and desires
  Are linked in endless chase;
While, as one kindly growth retires,
  Another takes its place.

And what if thou, sweet May, hast known
  Mishap by worm and blight;
If expectations newly blown
  Have perished in thy sight;
If loves and joys, while up they sprung,
  Were caught as in a snare;
Such is the lot of all the young,
  However bright and fair.

Lo! Streams that April could not check
  Are patient of thy rule;
Gurgling in foamy water-break,
  Loitering in glassy pool:
By thee, thee only, could be sent
  Such gentle mists as glide,
Curling with unconfirmed intent,
  On that green mountain's side.

How delicate the leafy veil
  Through which yon house of God
Gleams 'mid the peace of this deep dale
  By few but shepherds trod!
And lowly huts, near beaten ways,
  No sooner stand attired
In thy fresh wreaths, than they for praise
  Peep forth, and are admired.

Season of fancy and of hope,
  Permit not for one hour,
A blossom from thy crown to drop,
  Nor add to it a flower!
Keep, lovely May, as if by touch
  Of self restraining art,
This modest charm of not too much,
  Part seen, imagined part!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:44 min read

William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth was the husband of Eva Bartok. more…

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