Gone A-Maying… Gone Gone Gone!

This Entry Is Dedicated To The Ancient/Future Ways…. Happy Beltane, Happy May Day!

(Art: Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema)
A Blessing on You and Yours. Run Free!



by Robert Herrick
Get up, get up for shame, the blooming morn

Upon her wings presents the god unshorn.

See how Aurora throws her fair

Fresh-quilted colours through the air :

Get up, sweet slug-a-bed, and see

The dew bespangling herb and tree.

Each flower has wept and bow’d toward the east

Above an hour since : yet you not dress’d ;

Nay ! not so much as out of bed?

When all the birds have matins said

And sung their thankful hymns, ’tis sin,

Nay, profanation to keep in,

Whereas a thousand virgins on this day

Spring, sooner than the lark, to fetch in May.
Rise and put on your foliage, and be seen

To come forth, like the spring-time, fresh and green,

And sweet as Flora. Take no care

For jewels for your gown or hair :

Fear not ; the leaves will strew

Gems in abundance upon you :

Besides, the childhood of the day has kept,

Against you come, some orient pearls unwept ;

Come and receive them while the light

Hangs on the dew-locks of the night :

And Titan on the eastern hill

Retires himself, or else stands still

Till you come forth. Wash, dress, be brief in praying :

Few beads are best when once we go a-Maying.
Come, my Corinna, come ; and, coming, mark

How each field turns a street, each street a park

Made green and trimm’d with trees : see how

Devotion gives each house a bough

Or branch : each porch, each door ere this

An ark, a tabernacle is,

Made up of white-thorn neatly interwove ;

As if here were those cooler shades of love.

Can such delights be in the street

And open fields and we not see’t ?

Come, we’ll abroad ; and let’s obey

The proclamation made for May :

And sin no more, as we have done, by staying ;

But, my Corinna, come, let’s go a-Maying.
There’s not a budding boy or girl this day

But is got up, and gone to bring in May.

A deal of youth, ere this, is come

Back, and with white-thorn laden home.

Some have despatch’d their cakes and cream

Before that we have left to dream :

And some have wept, and woo’d, and plighted troth,

And chose their priest, ere we can cast off sloth :

Many a green-gown has been given ;

Many a kiss, both odd and even :

Many a glance too has been sent

From out the eye, love’s firmament ;

Many a jest told of the keys betraying

This night, and locks pick’d, yet we’re not a-Maying.
Come, let us go while we are in our prime ;

And take the harmless folly of the time.

We shall grow old apace, and die

Before we know our liberty.

Our life is short, and our days run

As fast away as does the sun ;

And, as a vapour or a drop of rain

Once lost, can ne’er be found again,

So when or you or I are made

A fable, song, or fleeting shade,

All love, all liking, all delight

Lies drowned with us in endless night.

Then while time serves, and we are but decaying,

Come, my Corinna, come, let’s go a-Maying.
Beads, prayers.

Left to dream, ceased dreaming.

Green-gown, tumble on the grass.
Maypole Song

(from the film The Wicker Man)
In the woods there grew a tree,

And a very fine tree was he.

And on that tree there was a limb,

And on that limb there was a branch,

And on that branch there was a spray,

And on that spray there was a nest,

And in that nest there was an egg,

And in that egg there was a bird,

And on that bird there was a feather,

And on that feather was a bed,

And on that bed there was a girl,

And on that girl there was a man,

And from that man there was a seed.

And from that seed there was a boy,

And from that boy there was man,

And from that man there was a grave,

And on that grave there grew a tree.

In the Summerisle wood.


E. Nesbit
Will you go a-maying, a-maying, a-maying,

Come and be my Queen of May and pluck the may with me?

The fields are full of daisy buds and new lambs playing,

The bird is on the nest, dear, the blossom’s on the tree.”
“If I go with you, if I go a-maying,

To be your Queen and wear my crown this May-day bright,

Hand in hand straying, it must be only playing,

And playtime ends at sunset, and then good-night.
“For I have heard of maidens who laughed and went a-maying,

Went out queens and lost their crowns and came back slaves.

I will be no young man’s slave, submitting and obeying,

Bearing chains as those did, even to their graves.”
“If you come a-maying, a-straying, a-playing,

We will pluck the little flowers, enough for you and me;

And when the day dies, end our one day’s playing,

Give a kiss and take a kiss and go home free.”

A Maying Song

(English -16th Century)

If all those young men were like hares on the mountain

Then all those pretty maids would get guns, go a-hunting.

If all those young men were like fish in the water

Then all those pretty maids would soon follow after.
Oh, in the even they go

Merry young men and merry young maids

Down to the woods to seek the bloom

Returning by dawn

The first of May.
If all those young men were like foxes a-hiding

Then all those pretty maids would get hounds, go a-riding.

If all those young men were like quail in the bracken

Then all those pretty maids would soon come a-clapping.
Oh, in the even they…
If all those young men were like fruit on the bramble

Then all those pretty maids would gather a lap full.

If all those young men were like rushes a-growing

Then all those pretty maids would get scythes, go a-mowing.
Oh, in the even…
If all those young men were like oak trees a-biding

Then all those pretty maids would get axes, come hying.

If all those young men were like hilltops a-fire

Then all those pretty maids each a leap would desire.
Oh, in the even…

Cornish May Carol – The Padstow May Song
Unite and unite and let us all unite

For summer is a-come unto day

And wither we are going, we will all unite

In the merry morning of May
With a merry ring and now the joyful spring

O give us a cup of ale and the merrier we will sing
The young men of Padstow, they might if they would

They might have built a ship and gilded it all in gold
The young women of Padstow, they might if they would

They might have built a garland of the white rose and the red
Where are those young men that now here should dance?

For some they are in England and some they are in France
O where is St. George?

O where is he o ?

He’s out in his longboat

All on the salt sea-o

Up flies the kite

Down falls the lark-o

And Ursula Birdhood she had an old ewe

And she died in her own park-o
With a merry ring and now the joyful spring

So happy are those little birds and the merrier we will sing


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