Saturday, 30 April 2016

Anticipating May

"May is Mary's month, and I
Muse at that and wonder why:
Her feasts follow reason,
Dated due to season -- 

Candlemas, Lady Day;
But the Lady Month, May,
Why fasten that upon her,
With a feasting in her honour?




Is it only its being brighter
Than the most are must delight her?
Is it opportunist
And flowers finds soonest?




v.9:  Well but there was more than this:
Spring's universal bliss
Much, had much to say
To offering Mary May.

When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple
Bloom lights the orchard-apple
And thicket and thorp are merry
With silver-surfed cherry

And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes
And magic cuckoocall
Caps, clears, and clinches all --

This ecstasy all through mothering earth
Tells Mary her mirth till Christ's birth
To remember and exultation
In God who was her salvation."


The May Magnificat  Gerald Manley-Hopkins
Images from The Wilton Diptych c. 1395   ©  National Gallery London

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