ODE TO MAY.
1 FAIREST daughter of the year,
2 Ever blooming, lovely May;
3 While thy vivid skies appear,
4 Nature smiles, and all is gay.
5 Thine the flowery-painted mead,
6 Pasture fair, and mountain green;
7 Thine, with infant-harvest spread,
8 Laughing lies the lowland scene.
9 Friend of thine, the shepherd plays
10 Blithsome near the yellow broom,
11 While his flock, that careless strays,
12 Seeks the wild thyme's sweet perfume.
13 May, with thee I mean to rove
14 O'er these lawns and vallies fair,
15 Tune my gentle lyre to love,
16 Cherish hope, and soften care.
17 Round me shall the village swains,
18 Shall the rosy nymphs, appear;
19 While I sing in rural strains,
20 May, to shepherds ever dear.
21 I had never skill to raise
22 Peans from the vocal strings,
23 To the god-like Hero's praise,
24 To the pageant pomp of Kings,
25 Stranger to the hostile plains,
26 Where the brazen trumpets sound;
27 Life's purple stream the verdure stains,
28 And heaps promiscuous press the ground:
29 Where the murderous cannon's breath
30 Fate denounces from afar,
31 And the loud report of death
32 Stuns the cruel ear of war.
33 Stranger to the park and play,
34 Birth-night balls, and courtly trains;
35 Thee I woo, my gentle May,
36 Tune for thee my native strains.
37 Blooming groves, and wandering rills,
38 Soothe thy vacant poet's dreams,
39 Vocal woods, and wilds, and hills,
40 All her unexalted themes.