Landon in The Literary Gazette 1832/Our Present May


Literary Gazette, 12th May, 1832, Page 300



"May is full of flowers."—Southwell.

"Born in yon blaze of orient sky.
    Sweet May, thy radiant form unfold.
Unclose thy blue voluptuous eye,
    And wave thy shadowy lock of gold."


      "The month of flowers," May,
      Were they not wont to say
That, of the Year's twelve lovely daughters, thou
Didst wear most perfect sweetness on thy brow?

      They said the crimson rose
      Was eager to unclose
For thee the fragrant mysteries which lie
Hidden in leafless boughs beneath the winter sky.

      The poets told thy birth
      Was welcomed upon earth
By the sweet multitude of shining flowers,
By bursting buds, green leaves, and sunny hours.

      And thou art come, sweet May;
      A week beneath thy sway
The world has been; yet is it dull and cold:
Doth it not own thy reign, as in the days of old?

      To-day all life is strange
      With great and utter change;
The power is past away from many a shrine
And many a throne—must it, too, pass from thine?

      Still o’er the darkened sky
      The heavy clouds sail by,
Till the bleak shower comes down unpityingly,
Beating the few faint blossoms from the tree.

      Where is the yellow ore
      Which the laburnum bore,
As if transformed, the Theban princess there,
Amid the golden shower, loosed her more golden hair?

      The lilac with its stars,
      Small, shining like the spars
With which some sea-nymph decks her ocean-bowers—
Lilac, that seems the jewellry of flowers?

      Where is the gelder-rose,
      Wreathed as from Alpine snows?
Where is the lime-tree's bud of faint perfume?
Where is the hawthorn wealth, thine own peculiar bloom?

      They do not meet thee now!
      I see the barren bough;
The earth is melancholy as a grave—
I see the driving rain, I hear the bleak winds rave.

      Is this the pilgrimage
      Of Earth in her old age?
And is the shadow all things present wear
Cast on the circling beauty of the year?

      Or is it but delay?
      Are south winds on their way,
And songs and blossoms bringing May once more
The sunshine which rejoiced all hearts of yore?

      Hope whispers of their birth—
      Hope which upon our earth
Doth wander like an angel, at whose feet
Fresh flowers spring up to gladden and to greet.

      How many now may see
      Their likeness, May, in thee!
Mournful and spiritless, their spring is known
But by its measured time, and time alone;
They know there must be May within the year,
Else would they never dream that May was here.

May 9, 1832. L. E. L.