May-Day by Ralph Waldo Emerson


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Page 1

NATURE AND LIFE.

NATURE

THE ROMANY GIRL

DAYS

THE CHARTIST'S COMPLAINT

MY GARDEN

THE TITMOUSE

SEA-SHORE

SONG OF NATURE

TWO RIVERS

WALDEINSAMKEIT

TERMINUS

THE PAST

THE LAST FAREWELL

IN MEMORIAM

ELEMENTS.

EXPERIENCE

COMPENSATION

POLITICS

HEROISM

CHARACTER

CULTURE

FRIENDSHIP

BEAUTY

MANNERS

ART

SPIRITUAL LAWS

UNITY

WORSHIP

QUATRAINS.

TRANSLATIONS.




MAY-DAY.


Daughter of Heaven and Earth, coy Spring,
With sudden passion languishing,
Maketh all things softly smile,
Painteth pictures mile on mile,
Holds a cup with cowslip-wreaths,
Whence a smokeless incense breathes.
Girls are peeling the sweet willow,
Poplar white, and Gilead-tree,
And troops of boys
Shouting with whoop and hilloa,
And hip, hip three times three.
The air is full of whistlings bland;
What was that I heard
Out of the hazy land?
Harp of the wind, or song of bird,
Or clapping of shepherd's hands,
Or vagrant booming of the air,
Voice of a meteor lost in day?
Such tidings of the starry sphere
Can this elastic air convey.
Or haply 't was the cannonade
Of the pent and darkened lake,
Cooled by the pendent mountain's shade,
Whose deeps, till beams of noonday break,
Afflicted moan, and latest hold
Even unto May the iceberg cold.
Was it a squirrel's pettish bark,
Or clarionet of jay? or hark,
Where yon wedged line the Nestor leads,
Steering north with raucous cry
Through tracts and provinces of sky,
Every night alighting down
In new landscapes of romance,
Where darkling feed the clamorous clans
By lonely lakes to men unknown.
Come the tumult whence it will,
Voice of sport, or rush of wings,
It is a sound, it is a token
That the marble sleep is broken,
And a change has passed on things.

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Sun 15th Sep 2019, 16:36