Clinton Scollard

May in Umbria (Lyrics of the Dawn)

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Say, O wander-lover, say,
What is May in Umbria?

Days that never dim nor darkle;
Nights that spangle, nights that sparkle;
Dawns that flame with burnished splendor;
Eves that melt in raptures tender;
Noons that glow with sapphire burning;
Singing waters seaward yearning;
Shouting weir and lilting shallow;
Green on fertile field and fallow;
Grain in ripples, grain in billows;
Silvery poplars, silvery willows;
Music-making contadini;
Glossy curls and dark eyes sheeny;
Nightingales in copse and clover,
Each a little lyric lover;
Cuckoo-gossips never quiet;
Blossom-revel, blossom-riot;
Every breeze abrim with fragrance
From the hill and valley vagrants;
Roses in the tangled coppice,
Privet, pimpernel and poppies;

Harebells, thyme in purple stretches;
Vervain, violets and vetches;
Stately corn-flags hued as fire is;
Honeysuckle, orchid, iris --
Web as delicate and dear as
Ever Shah beheld in Shiraz;
And through all, above and under,
Something moving like a wonder,
Something vigorous and vernal,
Evanescent, yet eternal!

Such, the wander-lovers say,
Such is May in Umbria.

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Clinton Scollard