Frost In May

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

March set heel upon the flowers,
Trod and trampled them for hours:
But when April's bugles rang,
Up their starry legions sprang,
Radiant in the sun-shot showers.

April went her frolic ways,
Arm in arm with happy days:
Then from hills that rim the west,
Bare of head and bare of breast,
May, the maiden, showed her face.

Then, it seemed, again returned
March, the iron-heeled, who turned
From his northward path and caught
May about the waist, who fought
And his fierce advances spurned.

What her strength and her disdain
To the madness in his brain!
He must kiss her though he kill;
Then, when he had had his will,
Go his roaring way again.

Icy grew her finger-tips,
And the wild-rose of her lips
Paled with frost: then loud he laughed,
Left her, like a moonbeam-shaft,
Shattered, where the forest drips....

Mourn for her, O honey-bees!
Mourn, O buds upon the trees!
Birds and blossoms, mourn for May!
Mourn for her, then come away!
Leave her where her flowers freeze.

Leave her. Nothing more may save.
Leave her in her wildwood grave.
Nothing now will waken her,
Loved and lost, and lovelier
For the kiss that wild March gave.

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