William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Sunday, 1, May, 2011

Merry May Folk

Filed under: Circle Game,Poetry — williamthecoroner @ 07:19

On a fresh May morning, I took my love to church
To see if Parson Pruneface was properly a-perched
The sermon scarcely started, someone began to snore
When like a sunlit sea wave
A green and crimson wave
A band of merry May folk came a-whooping through the door
singing:

Come up, come in with streamers
Come in with boughs of May
Come green and white and trip the lawn
Till night becomes the day
Jump up and dance the Tom-fool
Jump up and duck and leap
Jump up and wake the people that
The parson puts to sleep

They brandished nut-brown tabors, their garlands fell in showers
Came lads and lasses after them with feet like dancing flowers
Their queen had torn her green gown and bared a shoulder white
White as the May that crowned her
And all the minstrels round her
Tilted back their crimson hats and sang for sheer delight,

Come up, come in with streamers
Come in with boughs of May
Come green and white and trip the lawn
Till night becomes the day
The Earth is dressed in flowers
Bedecked as if to wed
Go on and kiss the lady-o
Before the moment’s fled

The dusky velvet hassocks were cloaked in fragrant dew
The font grew white with hawthorn, it frothed in every pew
The parson’s beard was frosted from the queen’s hawthorny kiss
When like a Morris saber
Tom Fool raised his tabor
Bounded to the pulpit and commenced to preaching this:

Come up, come in with streamers
Come in with boughs of May
Come green and white and trip the lawn
Till night becomes the day
We sing of life arisen
From the Lord who shed and died
Your God’s alive in greenwood
With the Lady by his side

At Easter dawned our Morris, ere Pentecost our May
The words we sing are different, but the tune’s not far away
So stand with us, join hand to hand
And raise a sacred call
We sing of life arisen
We sing of glory risen
We sing that love is risen again
And love is lord of all!

Come up, come in with streamers
come in with boughs of May
Come green and white and trip the lawn
Till night becomes the day
So dance with joy remembered
And sing of love’s reward
Raise up a cup of May wine
To the Lady and the Lord

Emerald Rose 1994-2004

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2 Comments »

  1. Time to go pluck woodruff for the May wine!

    Comment by rethoryke — Monday, 2, May, 2011 @ 10:01 | Reply

  2. I love a lively poem with a happy meter!

    Comment by Auntie J — Tuesday, 31, May, 2011 @ 12:47 | Reply


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