‘Day’ a lute-song for May, Mary’s month

madonna of the magnificat


This is a little lyric I wrote when I was seventeen, one of a pair called ‘Night’ and ‘Day’. I wasn’t a believer then, but looking back on this old lyric, I guess my muse was peeking over that horizon. I post it now to celebrate the coming of the glad month of May.


With the passing night the day

Shines upon her sleeping head

And all the fragrant flowers of May

Breathe upon her marriage bed

Light of light like music ringing

Melts her winter into mirth.

Buried seeds are blossoms springing

Out of the expectant earth

And a single maiden singing

Celebrates the promised birth.

Soon the day of love is dawning

And the time will not be long

When the radiance of morning

Breaks the darkness with a song.

Through the passing night the day

Shines upon his sleeping head

Who will wipe our tears away

And comfort the awakened dead.


Filed under imagination

2 responses to “‘Day’ a lute-song for May, Mary’s month

  1. This reminds me of W H Auden’s ‘Lay your sleeping head, my love.’ Same metrical form. Had you been reading Auden?

  2. malcolmguite

    I probably had read the Auden by then, but my mind was full of lyric poetry at that age, especially Byron and Shelley. I may have caught the cadence from Byron’s fare thee well and if for ever/ still forever fare thee well’ or ‘she walks in beauty like the night’ from his Hebrew melodies.

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