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COME, gentle May!
Come with thy robe of flowers,
Come with thy sun and sky, thy clouds and showers,

Come, and bring forth unto the eye of day,
From their imprisoning and mysterious night,
The buds of many hues, the children of thy light.

Come, wondrous May!
For at the bidding of thy magic wand,
Quick from the caverns of the breathing land,

In all their green and glorious array
They spring, as spring the Persian maids to hail
Thy flushing footsteps in Cashmerian vale.

Come, vocal May!
Come with thy train, that high
On some fresh branch pour out their melody,

Or carolling thy praise, the live-long day,
Sit perched in some lone glen, on echo calling,
Mid murmuring woods, and musical waters falling.

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Come, sunny May!
Come with thy laughing beam,
What time the lazy mist melts on the stream,

Or seeks the mountain-top to meet thy ray,
Ere yet the dew-drop on thine own soft flower,
Hath lost its light or died beneath his power.

Come, holy May !
When sunk behind the cold and western hill,
His light hath ceased to play on leaf and rill,

And twilight's footsteps hasten his decay;
Come with thy musings, and my heart shall be
Like a pure temple consecrate to thee.

Come, beautiful May!
Like youth and loveliness-
Like her I love; oh, come in thy full dress,

The drapery of dark winter cast away;
To the bright eye, and the glad heart appear,
Queen of the spring and mistress of the year!

Yet, lovely May !
Teach her whose eye shall rest upon this rhyme
To spurn the gilded mockeries of time,

The heartless pomp that beckons to betray,
And keep as thou wilt find that heart each year,
Pure as thy dawn, and as thy sunset clear.



And let me too, sweet May!
Let thy fond votary see
As fade thy beauties, all the vanity

Of this world's pomp, then teach, that though decay In his short winter, bury beauty's frame,

In fairer worlds the soul shall break his sway, Another spring shall bloom eternal and the same.



“Now, if I fall, will it be my lot
To be cast in some lone, and lowly spot,
To melt, and to sink unseen, or forgot ?

And there will my course be ended ?"
'Twas this a feathery Snow-Flake said,
As down through measureless space it strayed,
Or, as half by dalliance, half afraid,

It seemed in mid air suspended.

“Oh! no,” said the Earth, “ thou shalt not lie
Neglected and lone on my lap to die,
Thou pure and delicate child of the sky!

For thou wilt be safe in my keeping.



But then, I must give thee a lovelier form-
Thou wilt not be part of the wintry storm,
But revive, when the sunbeams are yellow and warm,

And the flowers from my bosom are peeping !

“ And then thou shalt have thy choice, to be
Restored in the lily, that decks the lea,
In the jessamine-bloom, the anemone,

Or aught of thy spotless whiteness :-
To melt, and be cast in a glittering bead,
With the pearls, that the night scatters over the mead,
In the cup where the bee and the fire-fly feed,

Regaining thy dazzling brightness.

“ I'll let thee awake from thy transient sleep,
When Viola's mild blue eye shall weep,
In a tremulous tear; or, a diamond, leap

In a drop from the unlocked fountain :
Or, leaving the valley, the meadow and heath,
The streamlet, the flowers and all beneath,
Go up and be wove in the silvery wreath

Encircling the brow of the mountain.

“ Or, wouldst thou return to a home in the skies!
To shine in the Iris I'll let thee arise,
And appear in the many and glorious dyes

A pencil of sunbeams is blending!



But true, fair thing, as my name is Earth,
I'll give thee a new and vernal birth,
When thou shalt recover thy primal worth,

And never regret descending !"

“ Then I will drop,” said the trusting Flake; “But, bear it in mind, that the choice I make Is not in the flowers, nor the dew to wake;

Nor the mist that shall pass with the morning. For, things of thyself, they will die with thee; But those that are lent from on high, like me, Must rise, and will live, from thy dust set free,

To the regions above returning.

“ And if true to thy word and just thou art, Like the spirit that dwells in the holiest heart, Unsullied by thee, thou wilt let me depart

And return to my native heaven. For I would be placed in the beautiful Bow, From time to time, in thy sight to glow; So thou may’st remember the Flake of Snow,

By the promise that God hath given !"

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