Verse > Anthologies > Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed. > The Book of New York Verse
Hamilton Fish Armstrong, ed.  The Book of New York Verse.  1917.
The May Party
By James Oppenheim
  And whose dumb heart but wakes and thrills?
Now, as of old, the break-of-day
  Sings through the heart as through the hills—
New spirit and new day are born—        5
  Yea, in our souls great suns arise
With flame more glorious than the morn
  Lit with sun-centred skies!
O we have watched the blossoms slip
  Through hills of sunniest silent green,        10
And when at morn the bluebirds drip
  Dew on wet logs, our eyes have seen—
Yea, marked the unmowed meadow tremble
  Through a million blades of grass new-born—
Yea, heard the birds of song assemble        15
  The beauty of the morn!
But there is one thing I have seen
  That shall be held within the heart,
When all that deepens into green
  Or blooms in bright blue shall depart—        20
It was a hill that blossomed rich
  With buds of an all-lovelier hue
Than the wild spring-things that bewitch
  Each year our souls anew!
Lo, in the park, and up the lawn,        25
  And laughing in the leafiness,
And fresh with all the fragrant dawn,
  And dancing in gay gala dress,
Our city children loosed to skies,
  A thousand little souls laid bare        30
To all the gales of Paradise
  That wandered through their hair.
O loveliness more absolute
  Than bird or bough or beast or bud,
O pure sweet splendors that transmute        35
  May’s unsoul’d marvellous full flood
Into a something lit with God!
  O gazing where they danced and ran
I knew then why earth’s blossoming sod
  Had given birth to man!        40

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