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The Months: A Pageant
by [?]


And gathering flowers I listened to the song
Of every bird in bower.
The world and I are far too full of bliss
To think or plan or toil or care;
The sun is waxing strong,
The days are waxing long,
And all that is,
Is fair.

Here are my buds of lily and of rose,
And here’s my namesake-blossom, may;
And from a watery spot
See here forget-me-not,
With all that blows

Hark to my linnets from the hedges green,
Blackbird and lark and thrush and dove,
And every nightingale
And cuckoo tells its tale,
And all they mean
Is love.

[June appears at the further end of the garden, coming slowly towards May, who, seeing her, exclaims]


Surely you’re come too early, sister June.


Indeed I feel as if I came too soon
To round your young May moon
And set the world a-gasping at my noon.
Yet come I must. So here are strawberries
Sun-flushed and sweet, as many as you please;
And here are full-blown roses by the score,
More roses, and yet more.

[May, eating strawberries, withdraws among the flower beds.]


The sun does all my long day’s work for me,
Raises and ripens everything;
I need but sit beneath a leafy tree
And watch and sing.

[Seats herself in the shadow of a laburnum.

Or if I’m lulled by note of bird and bee,
Or lulled by noontide’s silence deep,
I need but nestle down beneath my tree
And drop asleep.

[June falls asleep; and is not awakened by the voice of July, who behind the scenes is heard half singing, half calling.]


[Behind the scenes.]

Blue flags, yellow flags, flags all freckled,
Which will you take? yellow, blue, speckled!
Take which you will, speckled, blue, yellow,
Each in its way has not a fellow.

[Enter July, a basket of many-colored irises slung upon his shoulders, a bunch of ripe grass in one hand, and a plate piled full of peaches balanced upon the other. He steals up to June, and tickles her with the grass. She wakes.]


What, here already?


Nay, my tryst is kept;
The longest day slipped by you while you slept.
I’ve brought you one curved pyramid of bloom,

[Hands her the plate.

Not flowers, but peaches, gathered where the bees,
As downy, bask and boom
In sunshine and in gloom of trees.
But get you in, a storm is at my heels;
The whirlwind whistles and wheels,
Lightning flashes and thunder peals,
Flying and following hard upon my heels.

[June takes shelter in a thickly-woven arbor.]


The roar of a storm sweeps up
From the east to the lurid west,
The darkening sky, like a cup,
Is filled with rain to the brink;

The sky is purple and fire,
Blackness and noise and unrest;
The earth, parched with desire,
Opens her mouth to drink.

Send forth thy thunder and fire,
Turn over thy brimming cup,
O sky, appease the desire
Of earth in her parched unrest;
Pour out drink to her thirst,
Her famishing life lift up;
Make thyself fair as at first,
With a rainbow for thy crest.

Have done with thunder and fire,
O sky with the rainbow crest;
O earth, have done with desire,
Drink, and drink deep, and rest.

[Enter August, carrying a sheaf made up of different kinds of grain.]


Hail, brother August, flushed and warm
And scatheless from my storm.
Your hands are full of corn, I see,
As full as hands can be:

And earth and air both smell as sweet as balm
In their recovered calm,
And that they owe to me.