Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
May
By Ben Jonson (1572–1637)
 
WHENCE is it that the air so sudden clears,
And all things in a moment turn so mild?
Whose breath or beams have got proud Earth with child
Of all the treasure that great Nature’s worth,
And makes her every minute to bring forth?        5
How comes it winter is so quite forced hence
And locked up under ground? That every sense
Hath several objects, trees have got their heads,
The fields their coats, that now the shining meads
Do boast the paunce, the lily, and the rose,        10
And every flower doth laugh as Zephyr blows?
That seas are now more even than the land;
The rivers run as smoothèd by his hand;
Only their heads are crispèd by his stroke.
How plays the yearling, with his brow scarce broke,        15
Now in the open grass, and frisking lambs
Make wanton salts about their dry-sucked dams,
Who to repair their bags do rob the fields.
How is’t each bough a several music yields?
The lusty throstle, early nightingale,        20
Accord in tune though vary in their tale.
The chirping swallow, called forth by the sun,
And crested lark, doth his division run.
The yellow bees the air with murmur fill,
The finches carol and the turtles bill;—        25
Whose power is this? What god? Behold a King,
Whose presence maketh this perpetual spring,
The glories of which spring grow in that bower,
And are the marks and beauties of his power.
 
 
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