Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Maiden of the May

This Maiden of the Maytime was inspired by the joyful Mayfair that happens close to where I live. There I watched my daughters make flower crowns and join in the Maypole dancing, and also pick  little gifts from the skirts of the pocket lady. This Fairy Queen of May offers her skirt pockets to nestle fairyland's young ones as they blossom into their dance of rainbows. 

I have gathered a few poems to weave amongst the pictures, and as inspiration and resource for Maytime celebrations.

In May I go a-walking to hear the linnet sing,
The blackbird and the throstle, a-praising everything,
It cheers the heart to hear them, to see the leaves unfold,
And the meadows scattered over with buttercups of gold.
- a song my mother sang to me and I to my children
The fair maid who, the first of May 
Goes to the fields at break of day
And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree
Will ever after handsome be.
- Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme
"What is now the foliage moving? 
Air is still, and hush'd the breeze,
Sultriness, this fullness loving, 
Through the thicket, from the trees.
Now the eye at once gleams brightly, 
See! the infant band with mirth
Moves and dances nimbly, lightly,
As the morning gave it birth, 
Flutt'ring two and two o'er earth."
- Wolfgang Goethe, May 815
But I must gather knots of flowers,
And buds and garlands gay,
For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother,
I'm to be Queen o' the May.
-  Alfred Lord Tennyson, from The May Queen, 

Oh! that we two were Maying 
Down the stream of the soft spring breeze;
Like children with violets playing,
In the shade of the whispering trees.
- Charles Kingsley
Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves; 
And mid-May's eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.
- John Keats
"Winter is many months of the year
But now at last Maytime is here;
And birds sing from a leafy screen
In the trees and hedgerow freshly green;
And the wood-anemone is out in the shade,
With its blushing petals which too soon fade;
Once more the bracken is unfurling there,
And bluebells gently perfume the damp air."
-  Veronica Ann Twells, Maytime
MAY! queen of blossoms, 
And fulfilling flowers, 
With what pretty music 
Shall we charm the hours? 
Wilt thou have pipe and reed, 5 
Blown in the open mead? 
Or to the lute give heed 
In the green bowers? 

Thou hast no need of us, 
Or pipe or wire; 10 
Thou hast the golden bee 
Ripen'd with fire; 
And many thousand more 
Songsters, that thee adore, 
Filling earth's grassy floor 15 
With new desire. 

Thou hast thy mighty herds, 
Tame and free-livers; 
Doubt not, thy music too 
In the deep rivers; 20 
And the whole plumy flight 
Warbling the day and night— 
Up at the gates of light, 
See, the lark quivers!

- Edward Thurlow, May
- Here’s a branch of snowy may,
A branch the fairies gave me.
Who would like to dance today
With the branch the fairies gave me?

Dance away, dance away.
Holding high the branch of may.

Dance away, dance away.
Holding high the branch of may
-from Waldorf school Maypole celebrations
Red, yellow, green and blue
Dancing ribbons weave with you.
Round the maypole, dance and skip
Under, over, lift and dip.
Flowers, garlands, May Day clothes
Coloured ribbons, dainty bows.
Yellow, red, blue and green
The brightest maypole you have seen!
 - Brenda Williams Colourful Maypole

Tiptoe around the fairy ring
Posies and bluebells, scattering
Songs of the wee folk we will sing
Laughter and dancing, what we bring.

Cross tightrope web with arms flung wide
Mice and butterflies, seek and hide
Windflowers standing tall with pride
Buttercups nestled by their side.

Whispering trees play flute in breeze
Courtly toads bow from bended knees
Dragonflies waltz with practiced ease
Through open doors that need not keys.

All the kinfolk gather now
To share in evergreen’s cacao
And join in solstice chanting sough
To sip sweet nectar, cupped in bough

Voices raised in tender descant
The tallest stag to smallest ant
To praise for blessing’s dear regrant
For ev’ry being, life and plant

Daffodil chariots parade
With rainbow maypoles in the glade
Fairy children in clear ponds wade
Entranced with kingdom, fairy-made

- J.C. Edwards, Fairy Children

1 comment:

  1. May is such a lovely time of year--the return of the green is a balm to the soul. Thank you for sharing all your creations and verses. It is good to see you back!