May Day ‘A-Maying We Will Go’

Title Go A Maying

There are several old customs related to May Day one is the country custom of ‘Going A-Maying’ a time when young couples went off into the neighbouring woods to collect flowers and blossoms (often from the Hawthorn) to bring back to their village, to decorate the doors and windows of the villagers homes. Many poets have penned remarkable poems but this one is a little more obscure featured in Mrs C.M. Kirtland’s ‘Poetry of the Flowers’ 1800.

‘Going A-Maying’ by John Ingram

Oh, we will go a-Maying, love,
A-Maying we will go.
Beneath the branches swaying, love,
With weight of scented snow.
Laburnum’s golden tresses, love.
Float in the perfumed air;
Which heedless their caresses, love.
Seeks violets in their lair;
And with their scents a-playing, love.
It gambols to and fro,—
Where we will go a-Maying, love,
Where we will Maying go.

The bees are busy humming, love,
Amid the opening blooms.
Foretelling Summer’s coming, love,
Farewell to wintry glooms.
The primrose pale, from crinkly sheen.
Up from the ground now speeds;
And cowslips slim, ‘mid leafy green,
Else in the unknown meads.
And buttercups are weighing, love,
The gold they soon -must strow,—
Where we will go a-Maying, love,
‘Where we will Maying go.

The hawthorn’s bloom is falling, love,
We must no longer wait;
Each bird is blithely calling, love.
Unto his chosen mate;
Each bud unblown is swelling, love.
Green grow the vernal fields;
Each insect leaves its dwelling, love,
And all to Summer yields:
The mowers are out haying, love,
Woodbine is in full blow,—
Where we will go a-Maying, love,
Where we will Maying go.

(Featured in Mrs Kirtland Poetry of Flowers 1800)

I hope you enjoyed this poem especially chosen for May Day

Visit the blog post of DM Denton to learn more about May Day Traditions

Click the image below

edwin-austin-abbey-may-day-morning‘May Day Morning’ by Edwin Austin Abbey (1852 – 1911)

Happy Reading

Pink Rose



One thought on “May Day ‘A-Maying We Will Go’

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