Sunday, May 24, 2015

The May Tree / Radclyffe Hall

The May Tree

A garden in the month of May, 
The fading of a golden day 
     Upon the tulip flowers. 
An anthem sung by little birds, 
The sigh more eloquent than words 
     Of earth to listening hours. 

And shadows . . . like the fringe that lies 
On cheek, at close of drowsy eyes, 
     And paths, grown damp with dew; 
And secret places, where to tread 
Were to disturb the bridal bed 
     Of creatures born anew. 

And fairer than each living thing 
That stirs with longings of the Spring, 
     A May tree, bearing flower. 
Like some young nymph the sunlight charms 
She stretches forth her slender arms, 
     New decked with leafy dower, 

While through her wondrous, living form 
The sap of life leaps strong and warm, 
     Awaking from repose 
The folded buds to know the Spring, 
It seems I almost hear them sing 
     For rapture as it flows. 

Ay! and it seems as though my heart 
Strained upward, but to take some part 
     In that sweet hymn of praise; 
As though my pulses quicker beat, 
To see perfection so complete 
     Revealed to my gaze. 

As though the problem of unrest 
Were solved at last, in this behest 
     To silently fulfil; 
And deeper still, my soul perceives 
The mighty Presence that conceives 
     Such beauty at Its will. 

Radclyffe Hall (1880-1943)
from 'Twixt Earth and Stars, 1906

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

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