Thursday, May 1, 2008

The crowning of a Queen or How one girl got her wings

So you must wake and call me early, call me early, mother dear,
To-morrow 'ill be the happiest time of all the glad New-year;
To-morrow 'ill be of all the year the maddest merriest day,
For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.

~Alfred Lord Tennyson, excerpt from The May Queen

The month of May was come, when every lusty heart beginneth to blossom, and to bring forth fruit; for like as herbs and trees bring forth fruit and flourish in May, in likewise every lusty heart that is in any manner a lover, springeth and flourisheth in lusty deeds.  For it giveth unto all lovers courage, that lusty month of May.

~Sir Thomas Malory, excerpt from Le Morte d'Arthur, 1485

Now the bright morning-star, Day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.
Hale, bounteous May, that doth inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire!
Woods and groves are of thy dressing;
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with out early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.

~John Milton, Song on a May Morning, 1660

Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of night.

~Rainer Maria Rilke, The Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke

The first of May is a day known in some parts of the world as May Day.  It has its tie to pre-Christian Europe and was a time to celebrate the beginning of summer.  A May Queen was crowned, normally a young girl dressed in white to symbolize purity, and tradition held that they would dance around a Maypole.  You can read more about these traditions here at Wikipedia, and here on a web page devoted to celebrating May Day.

I was once crowned the Queen of May.  It was when I was a young maiden of about fifteen or sixteen, and a lovely fellow crowned me under an arbor of cherry blossoms as the ruler of May.  It was for one glorious month that ruled over such a short span of time, but I have claimed the right to make this month mine ever since.  That season when I was young and fresh has passed, but I am reminded of past and future glory every year on May 1st.  I am crowned Queen, and with the aid of the faeries, I benevolently reign, calling forth the Spring, and looking forward to an eternal Spring.  May is indeed a time of love and remembrances, and a time when the earth bursts forth in song.

This day has passed rather uneventfully, nursing a sick mom, and spending time with my sister and the four puppies.  I have felt ill today, but am not saddened as I have the rest of May to look forward.  Erin and I baked cupcakes as a means of celebrating, of which I will post pictures tomorrow.  There shall be a day when, God willing, I will receive flowers on this the first of May.  And perhaps one day, I will be able to wear a dress such as this:

These dresses and more are all from this site, Vintage Textile.

No comments: