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WRITTEN IN APRIL MDCCLXI.
1 THE virgin, when soften'd by May,
2 Attends to the villager's vows;
3 The birds sweetly bill on the spray,
4 And poplars embrace with their boughs.
5 On Ida bright Venus may reign,
6 Ador'd for her beauty above;
7 We shepherds, that live on the plain,
8 Hail May as the mother of Love.
9 From the west, as it wantonly blows,
10 Fond Zephyr caresses the pine;
11 The bee steals a kiss from the rose,
12 And willows and woodbines entwine;
13 The pinks by the rivulet's side,
14 That border the vernal alcove,
15 Bend downwards to kiss the soft tide,
16 For May is the mother of Love.
17 May tinges the butterfly's wing;
18 He flutters in bridal array:
19 If the larks and the linnets now sing,
20 Their music is taught them by May.
21 The stock-dove, recluse with her mate,
22 Conceals her fond bliss in the grove;
23 And murmuring seems to repeat,
24 That May is the mother of Love.
25 The goddess will visit you soon;
26 Ye virgins, be sportive and gay;
27 Get your pipes, oh ye shepherds, in tune,
28 For music must welcome the May.
29 Would Damon have Phillis prove kind,
30 And all his keen anguish remove,
31 Let him tell a soft tale, and he'll find,
32 That May is the mother of Love.
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About this text
Author: John Cunningham
Themes: rural life; nature
References: DMI 29006
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Pearch, G. A collection of poems in four volumes. By several hands. Vol. III. [The second edition]. London: printed for G. Pearch, 1770, pp. 303-304. 4v. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T116245; DMI 1136; OTA K093079.003) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [(OC) 280 o.790].)
The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.