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Quotations about May


The word May is a perfumed word... It means youth, love, song; and all that is beautiful in life. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, journal, 1861

March's bud, and April's flower,
The sensitive green of the growing hour—
Then there comes an indolent day
That smiles in the sun, and it is May...
~Mark Van Doren, "Hardhead," Spring Thunder and Other Poems, 1924

January, February and March are like prison walls to the spirit; April comes as a window opened, admitting sunlight and a patch of blue sky; then May bursts, the rainbow of the months, sent as a sign — a promise of fruition. ~The National Magazine, May 1899

Hee that is in a towne in May loseth his spring. ~Outlandish Proverbs, George Herbert, 1640

We are watching for May—for the young year's queen,
With the daisy stars on her robe of green,
And the buttercup and the primrose pale—
The opening page of a Summer tale.
The proud trees sway with their promised bloom,
And fill the air with a faint perfume;
And Nature has woven a garland gay
To crown the head of the coming May.
Beautiful queen of the realm of flowers,
Scattering sweets in this world of ours,
Bidding the brown, unsightly soil
Wake to life with a happy smile...
~Lizzie Marshall Berry (1847–1919), "May," Heart Echoes: Original Miscellaneous and Devotional Poems, 1886

How beautiful are the rosy footsteps of May! Less showery and changeful than April, and not so heated and burdensome as June, she stands like a gentle mediator between the two... With her soft blue eye, and her mild but radiant countenance, she comes like an angel of light among men... She scatters in her path the sweetest flowers of nature, and everywhere breathes fragrance and joyousness. The birds of the air are carolling her welcome, and even the mute beasts of the field seem happier at her coming. ~"May," Eliza Cook's Journal, 1850

When Winter's gone to rest,
And Spring is our dear guest;
The Merry May, at break of day,
Comes in gay garlands drest.
The brightest smiles she brings—
Of sweetest hopes she sings
And trips a-pace with dainty grace
And lightest fairy wings.
~S. J. Adair Fitz-Gerald (1859–1925), The Zankiwank & The Bletherwitch, 1896

Oh, what is so rare as a day in May,
When the great sun shines like this!
When the soft winds woo, all tender and true,
And breathe on one's cheek like a kiss!
When the sky is so blue—ah—heaven's own blue!
And the birds in the greening trees
Are bursting their throats with rapturous notes...
~Jean Wright, "A-Maying"

May, the first of summer months, and of old famous for floral games... ~Henry James Slack (1818–1896), Marvels of Pond-Life; or, A Year's Microscopic Recreations among the Polyps, Infusoria, Rotifers, Water-bears, and Polyzoa, 1860

Hail! fairy queen, adorn'd with flowers,
Attended by the smiling hours,
'Tis thine to dress the rosy bowers
            In colours gay;
We love to wander in thy train,
To meet thee on the fertile plain,
To bless thy soft propitious reign,
            Oh! lovely May...
~Felicia Dorothea Browne, "The Return of May"

May. — The very word makes the heart leap. Birds, Buds, Blossoms, Beauty! Break away from every bondage of circumstance or low spirits and go out into the sunshine. Answer back the bird-note in your heart, kiss your finger tips to every new blossom, and be a part of the spring. ~Eva D. Kellogg, "May," 1902

It was the month of May
And the green of the mountainside was woven
With wayward flecks of flowers...
~Cave Outlaw (1900–1996), "Moment on a Mount," Each Day, 1942

The earth throws back her slumber-robe,
And, kissed awake by showers,
Reaches her emerald banners out
And laughs a wealth of flowers...
~Sara L. Vickers Oberholtzer, "A May Parable," Souvenirs of Occasions, 1892

Scrub and polish,—sweep and clean,—
Fling your windows wide!
See, the trees are clad in green!
Coax the spring inside!
Home, be shining fair to-day
For the guest whose name is May!
~Louise Bennett Weaver and Helen Cowles LeCron, "May," A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband with Bettina's Best Recipes, 1917

                  For how to the heart's cheering
                  The down-dugged ground-hugged grey
            Hovers off, the jay-blue heavens appearing
                  Of pied and peeled May!
      Blue-beating and hoary-glow height; or night, still higher,
      With belled fire and the moth-soft Milky Way,
            What by your measure is the heaven of desire,
The treasure never eyesight got, nor was ever guessed what for the hearing?
~Gerard Manley Hopkins, "The Wreck of the Deutschland," 1876

Take courage, then, O doubting soul,
No day so dark and drear
But holds amid its dearth and dole
Promise of gladness near.
The seed thou sowest may slumber long—
How long thou canst not know—
But some sweet May time, glad with song,
The precious germs will grow.
And, nursed by summer's warmth and cheer,
And fed by dew and rain,
They shall, some autumn, far or near,
Yield store of ripened grain.
~Luella Clark, "In May," April Days, 1904

Neither Willie nor Maude could understand how it could be Midsummer Night, because Midsummer Day was such a long way off — quite six weeks, for this was only yet the month of May. But they did not say anything, because Robin Goodfellow was looking at them, and they knew they were invisible, because they could not even feel themselves — which is a curious sensation, when you come to think of it. ~S. J. Adair Fitz-Gerald (1859–1925), The Zankiwank & The Bletherwitch, 1896

Away, and view nature
While yet she discloses
Her face, with each feature
Bedecked with bright roses—
Old Earth is a Maying,
She does it so seldom,
'Twere a pity to stay in
And flout the poor beldam;
Her green garb arrayed in,
She panteth with pleasure—
Up, young man and maiden,
Tread with her a measure.
~William Pembroke Mulchinock, "Summer"

The trees are bursting into green,
      The violets into blue,
While here and there, in golden sheen,
The dandelion's crest is seen
To peep the spears of grass between,
      Impearled in morning dew...
~Mary E. Erwin Hobbs (1841–1890), "May"

Look, look: a May-mess, like on orchard boughs! ~Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844–1889)

Here is a heart that knows
The truth of May
And walks the way,
By which its fairy beauty leads,
Through woods and lanes,
With haunting strains
Of magic music, sowing seeds
Of summer in the sod,
Until she finds her fulness,
And bows down in adoration
'Mid the yellow cowslips
At the golden feet of God.
~G. A. Studdert Kennedy, "The Truth of May," The Sorrows of God and Other Poems, 1924

There is a sweetness of May verging on June that no other time in the whole year can equal. And by sweetness is meant more than flower fragrance or honey taste; this is the greater sweetness of understanding and emotion, the glow of pleasure in being. ~Hal Borland

Forgive me if, in friendship's way,
I offer thee a wreath of May...
Nourished by the dews of heaven...
So I have Ivy placed between,
To prove that worth is ever green.
The little blue Forget-me-not...
Spring's messenger in every spot,
Smiling on all—"Remember me!"
~John Clare, "To E.L.E. on May Morning," May 1st 1830

May-Day is never allowed to pass in this community without profuse lamentations over the tardiness of our spring as compared with that of England and the poets. ~Thomas Wentworth Higginson, "April Days," 1861

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