Every year (or nearly), I post the following poem that taught me, in college, what May Day is all about:
I wonder, by my troth, what thou and I
Did, till we loved? Were we not weaned till then?
But sucked on country pleasures, childishly?
Or snorted we in the Seven Sleepers’ den?
’Twas so; but this, all pleasures fancies be.
If ever any beauty I did see,
Which I desired, and got, ’twas but a dream of thee.
And now good-morrow to our waking souls,
Which watch not one another out of fear;
For love, all love of other sights controls,
And makes one little room an everywhere.
Let sea-discoverers to new worlds have gone,
Let maps to other, worlds on worlds have shown,
Let us possess one world, each hath one, and is one.
My face in thine eye, thine in mine appears,
And true plain hearts do in the faces rest;
Where can we find two better hemispheres,
Without sharp north, without declining west?
Whatever dies, was not mixed equally;
If our two loves be one, or, thou and I
Love so alike, that none do slacken, none can die.
English Lit class – sophomore year of college – Professor Stephen Lacy shouts at the class after we read the poem and no one had a response:
“What the fuck is he saying?!?”
Then he starts breaking it down and explains it is a reflection of lovers – looking back when they were children – on May Day when it was traditional that the men and women, boys and girls, would run off into nature and spend the day fucking. Or “SUCK-ling CUNT-ry PLEASURES”…..yes, he said it just like that.
I will forever recall this poem on May Day.
And it will forever be one of my favorite love poems.
Now off with you, dear reader, off – to go find some May Day fun – find it with one you love…..