Oh! gladly do we welcome thee,
Fair pleasant month of May;
Month which we've eager longed to see,
Through many a wintry day:
And now with countless budding flowers,
With sunshine bright and clear -
To gild the quickly fleeting hours -
At length, sweet month, thou'rt here!
But, yet, we do not welcome thee
Because thy genial breath
Hath power our sleeping land to free
From winter's clasp of death;
Nor yet because fair flowers are springing
Beneath thy genial ray;
And thousand happy birds are singing
All welcome to thee, May!
No, higher, nobler cause have we
These bright days to rejoice -
'Twas God ordained that thou should'st be
The loved month of our choice:
It is because thou hast been given
To honor her alone,
The ever gentle Queen of Heaven -
The mother of God's son.
The blossoms that we joyous cull
By bank or silver stream;
The fragrant hawthorn boughs we pull,
Most sacred too, we deem:
For not amid our tresses we
Their op'ning buds will twine,
But garlands fair we'll weave with care
For Mary's lowly shrine.
And when the twilight shades descend
On earth, so hushed and still,
And the lone night bird's soft notes blend
With breeze from glade and hill,
We seek her shrine with loving heart,
And, humbly kneeling there,
We linger long, loth to depart
From that sweet place of prayer!
Oh! who can tell with what gifts rare
Our Mother will repay
Their love who honor thus with care
Her own sweet month of May!
A grace for every flower they've brought
Or 'Ave, they have said;
And ev'ry pious, holy thought
Shall be by her repaid!