John Logan

(1748-1788 / Scotland)

The Tears Of Old May Day - Poem by John Logan

Led by the jocund train of vernal hours
And vernal airs, uprose the gentle May;
Blushing she rose, and blushing rose the flowers
That sprung spontaneous in her genial ray.

Her looks with heav'n's ambrosial dews were bright,
And am'rous zephyrs flutter'd on her breast;
With every shining gleam of morning light
The colours shifted of her rainbow vest.

Imperial ensigns grac'd her smiling form,
A golden key, and golden wand, she bore;
This charms to peace each sullen eastern storm,
And that unlocks the summer's copious store.

Onward, in conscious majesty she came,
The grateful honours of mankind to taste;
To gather fairest wreaths of future fame,
And blend fresh triumphs with her glories past.

Vain hope! no more in choral bands unite
Her virgin votaries, and at early dawn,
Sacred to May and Love's mysterious rite,
Brush the light dewdrops from the spangled lawn.

To her no more Augusta's wealthy pride
Pours the full tribute of Potosi's mine;
Nor fresh blown garlands village maids provide,
A purer off'ring, at her rustic shrine.

No more the Maypole's verdant height around
To valour's games th' ambitious youth advance;
No merry bells, and tabors sprightlier sound
Wake the loud carol, and the sportive dance.

Ah me! for now a younger rival claims
My ravish'ed honors, and to her belong
My choral dances, and victorious games,
To her my garlands and triumphal song.

O say, what yet untasted bounties flow,
What purer joys await her gentler reign?
Do lilies fairer, vi'lets sweeter blow?
And warbles Philomel a sweeter strain?

Do morning suns in ruddier glory rise?
Does ev'ning fan her with serener gales?
Do clouds drop fatness from the wealthier skies,
Or wantons plenty in her happier vales?

Ah! no; the blunted beams of morning light
Skirt the pale orient with uncertain day;
And Cynthia, riding on the ear of night,
Through clouds embattled faintly wins her way.

Pale immature, the blighted verdure springs,
Nor mountain juices feed the swelling flow'r,
Mute all the groves, nor Philomela sings,
When silence listens at the midnight hour.

Nor wonder man that nature's bashful face,
And op'ning charms her rude embraces fear;
Is she not sprung of April's wayward race,
The sickly daughter of th' unripen'd year

With show'rs and sunshine in her fickle eyes,
With hollow smiles proclaiming treach'rous peace!
With blushes harb'ring in their thin disguise,
The blast that riots on the spring's increase.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010



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