May Day, 1894

A poem by William Morris

Clad is the year in all her best,
The land is sweet and sheen;
Now Spring with Summer at her breast,
Goes down the meadows green.

Here are we met to welcome in
The young abounding year,
To praise what she would have us win
Ere winter draweth near.

For surely all is not in vain,
This gallant show she brings;
But seal of hope and sign of gain,
Beareth this Spring of springs.

No longer now the seasons wear
Dull, without any tale
Of how the chain the toilers bear
Is growing thin and frail.

But hope of plenty and goodwill
Flies forth from land to land,
Nor any now the voice can still
That crieth on the hand.

A little while shall Spring come back
And find the Ancient Home
Yet marred by foolish waste and lack,
And most enthralled by some.

A little while, and then at last
Shall the greetings of the year
Be blent with wonder of the past
And all the griefs that were.

A little while, and they that meet
The living year to praise,
Shall be to them as music sweet
That grief of bye-gone days.

So be we merry to our best,
Now the land is sweet and sheen,
And Spring with Summer at her breast
Goes down the meadows green.

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