Poetry Sunday: It is Not Always May by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Can it really be May already? Where did those first four months go? 

But as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow pointed out in this poem, it will not always be May. Soon enough June will arrive and we will wonder where those first five months have gone. So let us enjoy the pleasures of this month while they last. 

It is Not Always May

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

No hay pajaros en los nidos de antano.
Spanish Proverb

The sun is bright,--the air is clear,
The darting swallows soar and sing.
And from the stately elms I hear
The bluebird prophesying Spring.
So blue yon winding river flows,
It seems an outlet from the sky,
Where waiting till the west-wind blows,
The freighted clouds at anchor lie.
All things are new;--the buds, the leaves,
That gild the elm-tree's nodding crest,
And even the nest beneath the eaves;--
There are no birds in last year's nest!
All things rejoice in youth and love,
The fulness of their first delight!
And learn from the soft heavens above
The melting tenderness of night.
Maiden, that read'st this simple rhyme,
Enjoy thy youth, it will not stay;
Enjoy the fragrance of thy prime,
For oh, it is not always May!
Enjoy the Spring of Love and Youth,
To some good angel leave the rest;
For Time will teach thee soon the truth,
There are no birds in last year's nest!


  1. Let's enjoy May to the fullest! I really start to appreciate poems by reading them here and there on your blog, Dorothy.
    I'm usually not the biggest fan :).. But this is another great one!

  2. Longfellow was a favourite poet of my youth and it gives me great delight to read this lovely verse, with a message that is true for all of us.

    1. I think Longfellow is one of the first poets that many of us on this continent get to know and like.

  3. Replies
    1. Longfellow did know how to write them, didn't he?

  4. I used to love spring when I lived in OH/KY but since moving to tornado alley... it's scary!!!

    1. It certainly can be. Keep an eye on those local weather reports.

  5. A lovely poem...and so true about present moments never lasting. It's a good reminder to stop and be thankful for today.

  6. I can relate to this poem as I am probably November (in age) now! Time is passing all too fast. You are right -- every day is a gift! Lovely poem! P. x

  7. "There are no birds in last year's nest!" Ah!


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