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[ Also see Months ]

Who first beholds the light of day
  In Spring's sweet flowery month of May
    And wears an Emerald all her life,
      Shall be a loved and happy wife.
      - Unattributed Author, May,
        in "Notes and Queries", May 11, 1889, p. 371

Hebe's here, May is here!
  The air is fresh and sunny;
    And the miser-bees are busy
      Hoarding golden honey.
      - Thomas Bailey Aldrich, May

As it fell upon a day
  In the merry month of May,
    Sitting in a pleasant shade
      Which a grove of myrtles made.
      - Richard Barnfield,
        Address to the Nightingale

Spring's last-born darling, clear-eyed, sweet,
  Pauses a moment, with white twinkling feet,
    And golden locks in breezy play,
      Half teasing and half tender, to repeat
        Her song of "May."
      - Susan Coolidge (pseudonym of Sarah Chauncey Woolsey),

For thee, sweet month; the groves green liveries wear.
  If not the first, the fairest of the year;
    For thee the Graces lead the dancing hours,
      And Nature's ready pencil paints the flowers.
        When thy short reign is past, the feverish sun
          The sultry tropic fears, and moves more slowly on.
      - John Dryden

But winter lingering chills the lap of May.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, The Traveller (l. 172)

Sweet May hath come to love us,
  Flowers, trees, their blossoms don;
    And through the blue heavens above us
      The very clouds move on.
      - Heinrich Heine, Book of Songs--New Spring
         (no. 5)

'Tis like the birthday of the world,
  When earth was born in bloom;
    The light is made of many dyes,
      The air is all perfume:
        There's crimson buds, and white and blue,
          The very rainbow showers
            Have turned to blossoms where they fell,
              And sown the earth with flowers.
      - Thomas Hood

O May, sweet-voice one, going thus before,
  Forever June may pour her warm red wine
    Of life and passions,--sweeter days are thine!
      - Helen Hunt Jackson (Helen Hunt),

O month when they who love must love and wed.
      - Helen Hunt Jackson (Helen Hunt),

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, Saint's Tragedy
         (act II, sc. 9)

When April steps aside for May,
  Like diamonds all the rain-drops glisten;
    Fresh violets open every day:
      To some new bird each hour we listen.
      - Lucy Larcom

For it ne sits not unto fresh May
  Forto be coupled to cold January.
      - John Lydgate, Temple of Glas, (c. 1400)

Ah! my heart is weary waiting,
  Waiting for the May:
    Waiting for the pleasant rambles
      Where the fragrant hawthorn brambles,
        Where the woodbine alternating,
          Scent the dewy way;
            Ah! my heart is weary, waiting,
              Waiting for the May.
      - Denis Florence McCarthy (MacCarthy),
        Summer Longings

Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger,
  Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
    The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
      The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose.
        Hail, bounteous May, that doth inspire
          Mirth, and youth, and warm desire;
            Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
              Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing,
                Thus we salute thee with our early song,
                  And welcome thee, and wish thee long.
      - John Milton, Song--On May Morning

A warm January; a cold May.
      - Proverb, (Welsh)

In the under-wood and the over-wood
  There is murmur and trill this day,
    For every bird is in lyric mood,
      And the wind will have its way.
      - Clinton Scollard, May Magic

As full of spirit as the month of May.
      - William Shakespeare

No doubt they rose up early to observe
  The rite of May; and, hearing our intent,
    Came here in grace of our solemnity.
      - William Shakespeare,
        A Midsummer Night's Dream
         (Theseus at IV, i)

All furnished, all in arms;
  All plum'd like estridges that with the wind
    Bated like eagles having lately bathed;
      Glittering in golden coats like images;
        As full of spirit as the month of May
          And gorgeous as the sun at midsummer;
            Wanton as youthful goats, wild as young bulls.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Fourth, Part I
         (Vernon at IV, ii)

There's her cousin, an she were not possessed with a fury, exceeds her as much in beauty as the first of May doth the last of December.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Much Ado About Nothing
         (Benedick at I, i)

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
  And summer's lease hath all too short a date.
      - William Shakespeare, Sonnet XVIII

More matter for a May morning.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Fabian at III, iv)

Another May new buds and flowers shall bring:
  Ah! why has happiness no second Spring?
      - Charlotte Smith,
        Elegiac Sonnets and Other Poems
         (sonnet II)

When May, with cowslip-braided locks,
  Walks through the land in green attire.
    And burns in meadow-grass the phlox
      His torch of purple fire:
        . . . .
          And when the punctual May arrives,
            With cowslip-garland on her brow,
              We know what once she gave our lives,
                And cannot give us now!
      - Bayard Taylor, The Lost May

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