Welcome, May.

A poem by Denis Florence MacCarthy

Welcome, May! welcome, May!
Thou hast been too long away,
All the widow'd wintry hours
Wept for thee, gentle May;
But the fault was only ours--
We were sad when thou wert gay!

Welcome, May! welcome, May!
We are wiser far to-day--
Fonder, too, than we were then.
Gentle May! joyous May!
Now that thou art come again,
We perchance may make thee stay.

Welcome, May! welcome, May!
Everything kept holiday
Save the human heart alone.
Mirthful May! gladsome May!
We had cares and thou hadst none
When thou camest last this way!

When thou camest last this way
Blossoms bloomed on every spray,
Buds on barren boughs were born--
Fertile May! fruitful May!
Like the rose upon the thorn
Cannot grief awhile be gay?

'Tis not for the golden ray,
Or the flowers that strew thy way,
O immortal One! thou art
Here to-day, gentle May--
'Tis to man's ungrateful heart
That thy fairy footsteps stray.

'Tis to give that living clay
Flowers that ne'er can fade away--
Fond remembrances of bliss;
And a foretaste, mystic May,
Of the life that follows this,
Full of joys that last alway!

Other months are cold and gray,
Some are bright, but what are they?
Earth may take the whole eleven--
Hopeful May--happy May!
Thine the borrowed month of heaven
Cometh thence and points the way.

Wing`ed minstrels come and play
Through the woods their roundelay;
Who can tell but only thou,
Spirit-ear'd, inspir`ed May,
On the bud-embow'r`ed bough
What the happy lyrists say?

Is the burden of their lay
Love's desire, or Love's decay?
Are there not some fond regrets
Mix'd with these, divinest May,
For the sun that never sets
Down the everlasting day?

But upon thy wondrous way
Mirth alone should dance and play--
No regrets, how fond they be,
E'er should wound the ear of May--
Bow before her, flower and tree!
Nor, my heart, do thou delay.

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