May 1 John Milton

Song on a May Morning         John Milton

Now the bright morning star, Day’s harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
The flowery May that from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose.
Hail bounteous May that dost inspire
Mirth and youth and warm desire;
Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.


John Milton’s poem contradicts his stereotype as the austere Puritan whose Paradise Lost became almost required reading on Victorian Sunday afternoons.
The scholar poet was in reality the possessor of a mind that had harvested all the fruits of Classical and Renaissance poetry to distil its beauty.