Landon in The Literary Gazette 1823/On May Day

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Literary Gazette, 3rd May 1823, Page 286


On May-day, by Leslie,

Beautiful and radiant May,
Is not this thy festal day?
Is not this spring revelry
Held in honour, Queen, of thee?
'Tis a fair: the booths are gay,
With green boughs and quaint display;
Glasses, where the Maiden's eye
May her own sweet face espy;
Ribands for her braided hair,
Beads to grace her bosom fair;
From yon stand the Juggler plays
With the rustic crowd's amaze;
There the Morris-dancers stand.
Glad bells ringing on each hand;
Here the maypole rears its crest,
With the rose and hawthorn drest;
And beside are painted bands
Of strange beasts from other lands.
In the midst, like the young Queen,
Flower crowned, of the rural green,
Is a bright-checked girl, her eye
Blue, like April's morning sky,
With a blush, like what the rose
To her moonlight minstrel shows;
Laughing at her love the while,—
Yet such softness in the smile,
As the sweet coquette would hide
Woman's love by woman's pride.
Farewell, cities! who could bear
All their smoke and all their care,
All their pomp, when wooed away
By the azure hours of May?
Give me woodbine, scented bowers,
Blue wreathes of the violet flowers,
Clear sky, fresh air, sweet birds and trees,
Sights and sounds, and scenes like these! [1]

  1. Signature after later poem