Saturday, May 1, 2010

The May Queen - Part Two


If you’re waking call me early, call me early, mother dear,
For I would see the sun rise upon the glad New-year.
It is the last New-year that I shall ever see,
Then you may lay me low i’ the mould and think no more of me.

To-night I saw the sun set; he set and left behind
The good old year, the dear old time, and all my peace of mind;
And the New-year’s coming up, mother, but I shall never see
The blossom on the blackthorn, the leaf upon the tree.

Last May we made a crown of flowers; we had a merry day;
Beneath the hawthorn on the green they made me Queen of May;
And we danced about the may-pole and in the hazel copse,
Till Charles’s Wain came out above the tall white chimney-tops.

There’s not a flower on all the hills; the frost is on the pane.
I only wish to live till the snowdrops come again;
I wish the snow would melt and the sun come out on high;
I long to see a flower so before the day I die.

The building rook’ll caw from the windy tall elm-tree,
And the tufted plover pipe along the fallow lea,
And the swallow ’ill come back again with summer o’er the wave,
But I shall lie alone, mother, within the mouldering grave.

Upon the chancel-casement, and upon that grave of mine,
In the early early morning the summer sun ’ill shine,
Before the red cock crows from the farm upon the hill,
When you are warm-asleep, mother, and all the world is still.

When the flowers come again, mother, beneath the waning light
You’ll never see me more in the long gray fields at night;
When from the dry dark wold the summer airs blow cool
On the oat-grass and the sword-grass, and the bulrush in the pool.

You’ll bury me, my mother, just beneath the hawthorn shade,
And you’ll come sometimes and see me where I am lowly laid.
I shall not forget you, mother, I shall hear you when you pass,
With your feet above my head in the long and pleasant grass.

I have been wild and wayward, but you’ll forgive me now;
You’ll kiss me, my own mother, and forgive me ere I go;
Nay, nay, you must not weep, nor let your grief be wild;
You should not fret for me, mother, you have another child.

If I can I’ll come again, mother, from out my resting-place;
Tho’ you’ll not see me, mother, I shall look upon your face;
Tho’ I cannot speak a work, I shall harken what you say,
And be often, often with you when you think I’m far away.

Good-night, good-night, when I have said good-night for evermore,
And you see me carried out from the threshold of the door,
Don’t let Effie come to see me till my grave be growing green.
She’ll be a better child to you than ever I have been.

She’ll find my garden-tools upon the granary floor.
Let her take ’em, they are hers; I shall never garden more;
But tell her, when I’m gone, to train the rosebush that I set
About the parlor-window and the box of mignonette.

Good-night, sweet mother; call me before the day is born.
All night I lie awake, but I fall asleep at morn;
But I would see the sun rise upon the glad New-year,
So, if you’re waking, call me, call me early, mother dear.


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