’Twas May—bright May: bird,
flower, and shrub, and tree,
Rejoiced in light; while, as a waveless sea
Of living music, glowed the clear blue sky,
And every fleecy cloud that floated by
Appeared an isle of song!—as all around
And all above them echoed with the sound
Of joyous birds, in concert loud and sweet,
Chanting their summer hymns. Beneath their feet
The daisy put its crimson liv’ry on;
While from beneath each crag and mossy stone
Some gentle flower looked forth; and love and life
Through the Creator’s glorious works were rife,
As though his Spirit in the sunbeams said,
“Let there be life and love!” and was obeyed.
Then, in the valley danced a joyous throng,
And happy voices sang a bridal song;
Yea, tripping jocund on the sunny green,
The old and young in one glad dance were seen;
Loud o’er the plain their merry music rang,
While cripple granddames, smiling, sat and sang
The ballads of their youth; and need I say
’Twas Edmund’s and fair Helen’s wedding-day?
Then, as he led her forth in joy and pride,
A hundred voices blessed him and his bride.
Yet scarce he heard them; for his every sense,
Lost in delight and ecstasy intense,
Dwelt upon her; and made their blessings seem
As words breathed o’er us in a wand’ring dream.
Now months and years in quick succession flew,
And joys increased, and still affection grew.
For what is youth’s first love to wedded joy?
Or what the transports of the ardent boy
To the fond husband’s bliss, which, day by day,
Lights up his spirit with affection’s ray?
Man knows not what love is, till all his cares
The partner of his bosom soothes and shares—
Until he find her studious to please—
Watching his wishes!—Oh, ’tis acts like these
That lock her love within his heart, and bind
Their souls in one, and form them of one mind.
Love flowed within their bosoms as a tide,
While the calm rapture of their own fireside
Each day grew holier, dearer; and esteem
Blended its radiance with the glowing beam
Of young affection, till it seemed a sun
Melting their wishes and their thoughts as one.
Eight years passed o’er them in unclouded joy,
And now by Helen’s side a lovely boy,
Looked up and called her, Mother; and upon
The knee of Edmund climbed a little one—
A blue-eyed prattler—as her mother fair.
They were their parents’ joy, their hope, their care;
But, while their cup with happiness ran o’er,
And the long future promised joys in store,
Death dropped its bitterness within the cup,
And its late pleasant waters mingled up
With wailing and with woe. Like early flowers,
Which the slow worm with venomed tooth devours,