"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.
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