Friday, 4 May 2018

A May Day Celebration


    I know many of you will have already celebrated May Day this week, depending on where in the world you are. However, in the UK for the last forty years, the first Monday in May is when we have a public holiday.

    Celebrations will vary from location to location, some may dance around a Maypole, or crown their May Day Queen, while many of us will just relax, and enjoy a day surrounded by our friends and family.

    I found this classic poem by, Ralph Waldo Emerson and I've included an extract. Whatever you're doing, wherever you are this weekend, have days filled with pleasure and joy.

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 lazy land?
Harp of 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 'twas 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 a squirrel's pettish bark
Or the 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
Beneath the calm, within the light
A hid unruly appetite
Of swifter life a surer hope
Strains every sense to larger scope
Impatient to anticipate
The halting steps of aged Fate

Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803-1882

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