May-Eve or, Kate of Aberdeen

May-Eve or, Kate of Aberdeen
by John Cunningham

The silver moon's enamoured beam
    Steals softly through the night,
To wanton with the winding stream,
    And kiss reflected light.
To beds of state go, balmy sleep,
    (Tis where you've seldom been,)
May's vigil whilst the shepherds keep
    With Kate of Aberdeen.

Upon the green the virgins wait,
    In rosy chaplets gay,
Till Morn unbar her golden gate,
    And give the promised May.
Methinks I hear the maids declare,
    The promised May, when seen,
Not half so fragrant, half so fair,
    As Kate of Aberdeen.

Strike up the tabor's boldest notes,
    We'll rouse the nodding grove;
The nested birds shall raise their throats,
    And hail the maid I love:
And see--the matin lark mistakes,
    He quits the tufted green:
Fond bird! 'tis not the morning breaks,
    'Tis Kate of Aberdeen.

Now lightsome o'er the level mead,
    Where midnight fairies rove,
Like them the jocund dance we'll lead,
    Or tune the reed to love:
For see the rosy May draws nigh;
    She claims a virgin queen!
And hark, the happy shepherds cry,
    'Tis Kate of Aberdeen.

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.