Page images
PDF

Of all the glad New Year, mother, the maddest, mer

riest day, For I’m to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be

Queen o' the May.

line;

There's many a black, black eye, they say, but none

so bright as mine; There's Margaret and Mary, there 's Kate and CaroBut none so fair as little Alice, in all the land, they

say, So I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I’m to be

Queen o' the May.

I sleep so sound all night, mother, that I shall never

wake, If ye do not call me loud when the day begins to

break; For I must gather knots of flowers and buds, and gar

lands gay; For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I’m to be

Queen o' the May.

As I came up the valley, whom think ye I should see But Robin, leaning on the bridge, beneath the hazle

tree? He thought of that sharp look, mother, I gave him

yesterday, But I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be

Queen o' the May.

He thought I was a ghost, mother, for I was all in

white, And I ran by him without speaking, like a flash o'

light.

152

THE MAY QUEEN.

They call me cruel-hearted, but I care not what they

say, For I'm to be Queen o’ the May, mother, I’m to be

Queen o' the May.

They say he's dying all for love, — but that can

never be; They say his heart is breaking, mother, — but what is

that to me? There's many a bolder lad 'll woo me any summer

day,— And I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be

Queen o’the May.

Little Elie shall go with me to-morrow to the green, And you 'll be there too, mother, to see me made the

Queen; For the shepherd lads on every side 'll come from

far away, And I'm to be Queen o’ the May, mother, I'm to be

Queen o' the May.

The honeysuckle round the porch has woven its wavy

bowers, And by the meadow-trenches blow the faint, sweet

cuckoo-flowers, And the wild marsh-marigold shines like fire in swamps

and hollows gray, And I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be

Queen o' the May,

The night-winds come and go, mother, upon the

meadow-grass, And the happy stars above them seem to brighten as

they pass;

There will not be a drop o' rain the whole of the live

long day, And I'm to be Queen o'the May, mother, I'm to be

Queen o' the May.

hill,

All the valley, mother, 'll be fresh and green and

still, And the cowslip and the crowfoot are over all the And the rivulet in the flowery dale 'll merrily glance

and play, For I’m to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be

Queen o’the May.

So you must wake and call me early, call me early,

mother dear, To-morrow 'll be the happiest time of all the blithe

New Year; To-morrow 'll be of all the year the maddest, mer.

riest day, For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be

Queen o' the May.

NEW YEAR'S EVE. Tennyson.

If you 're waking, call me early, call me early, mother

dear, For I would see the sun rise upon the glad New Year; It is the last New Year that I shall ever see, Then ye may lay me low in the mould, and think no

more o' me

To-night I saw the sun set; he set and left behind The good old year, the dear old time, and all my peace

of mind;

154

NEW YEAR'S EVE.

And the New Year's coming up, mother, but I shall

never see The May upon the blackthorn, the leaf upon the tree. Last May we made a crown of flowers; we had a

merry day! Beneath the hawthorn on the green they made me

Queen o' May; And we danced about the May-pole, and in the hazle.

copse, Till Charles's-wain* came out above the tall, white

chimney-tops. There's not a flower on all the hills; the frost is on

the pane; I only wish to live till the snowdrops come again; I wish the snow would melt, and the sun come out on

high ; I long to see a flower so, before the day I die.

The building rook 'll caw from the windy, tall elm

tree, And the tufted plover pipe along the fallow lea; And the swallow 'll come back again with summer

o'er the wave, But I shall lie alone, mother, within the mouldering

grave.

Upon the chancel-casement and upon that grave o'

mine, In the early, early morning, the summer sun 'll shine, Before the red cock crows from the farm upon the hill, When you are warm-asleep, mother, and all the world

is still.

* A constellation in the heavens.

When the flowers come again, mother, beneath the

waving light, Ye'll never see ine more in the long, gray fields at

night; When from the dry dark wold the summer airs blow

cool On the oat-grass and the sword-grass and the bulrush

in the pool.

Ye'll bury me, my mother, just beneath the hawthorn

shade, And ye 'll come sometimes and see me where I am

lowly laid ; I shall not forget you, mother, I shall hear you when

you pass, With your feet above my head, in the long and pleas

ant grass.

I have been wild and wayward, but ye 'll forgive me

now; Ye 'll kiss me, my own mother, upon my cheek and

brow; Nay, — nay,- ye must not weep, nor let your grief

be wild, Ye shall not fret for me, mother, ye have another child.

If I can I'll come again, mother, from out my resting

place; Though ye 'll not see me, mother, I shall look upon

your face; Though I cannot speak a word, I shall hearken what

ye say, And be often and often with you, when ye think I'm

far away.

« PreviousContinue »