MAYTIME
By Lutie G. Richards

In the spring meadow
T'was in the Maytime, laddie, when the  apple blossoms were pink upon the trees, and all the fields and woods were starred with flowers.
Cowslips made a carpet of gold in the meadow, and in little hollows were patches of violets that minded me of bits of the blue sky fallen down like your eyes, dear laddie.
Ah! I remember as it were but yesterday—yet it is long ago—so long ago! We had gone for a day's holiday; had left the factory, with its whirr and dust and grime, and had gone with a crowd of lads and lassies for a long, delicious day in the fields and woods, "a day in God's green country," we said. And while the others gathered their arms full of bloom-cowslips and violets and sweet pink mayflowers, and the lovely white "wakerobin," standing so tall and stately, like vestal virgins, guarding the temple of the wood—while they laughed and danced in the sunshine, we two loitered behind, and you told me the sweet old story, ever new, ever beautiful, to a maiden who loves.
And I loved you, laddie, in that sweet Maytime. And I love you now, after the cruel years have robbed my cheek of its bloom, and stolen the gold from my hair. And I shall love you as long as my heart can. beat—and after, mayhap—who knows? Oh, well do I remember the day, laddie— every smallest detail is graven upon my heart. We were in a narrow road that wound 'round a wooded hill, on either side was a hedge of wild cherry, a mass of snowy bloom. The scent of it was in our nostrils, the air was pulsing with bird melody, it seemed as though all the birds of all the woods were singing for very Joy of life and love.
The hedge of cherry-bloom was so close on either side the narrow road that only flecks of sunshine peeped between the leaves, but no shadow touched me, for the Joy ot that sweet, old-new story you were telling me glorified all nature that golden day.
How well I remember the words you whispered—words too sweet, too precious, too sacred to utter—I treasure them in my heart, I whisper them in the silence, I twine them 'round my memory like a golden girdle. We were young, we loved, we were together—what more could we ask of life? So, hand in hand we crossed the cowslip meadow and joined the lads and lassies, laden with their fragrant burden of flowers. They made merry jest of our empty hands, but we cared just naught at all for that, for into our life had bloomed a fairer flower than all their fragrant load.
'Tis Maytime again. I sit in my doorway and watch the merry, crowd of youths and maidens start off for "a day in the "woods." I know they will return at eventime, with loads of flowers; their hearts brimming over with the joy of Maytime. I know whither they are bound; I can see, with my eyes closed, the cowslip meadow, the little dimpled hollows where the violets are beginning to open their blue eyes—can again see the narrow path fringed with wild cherrybloom—can almost hear the song of meadow lark and bluebird. "'Tis a warm day," folks say as they pass my door. Aye, a warm day; a May day, full of sunshine, fragrant with Spring odors, jubilant with the very spirit of Spring; and my thoughts go back to the past, to that other Maytime. We were so happy; you gave me a glimpse of heaven and were tender and loving in your own bonnie way. Time went on in sun and shade— clouds hovered over us and storms came, but we had strong hands and brave hearts and best of all we had each other. And laddie, through it all, through storm and stress, through joy and sorrow, the flower of love that blossomed on that far off May day still sheds its fragrance into our life, made sweeter by sorrows shared. The Maytimes bloom and fade, and each year we hold as a sacred memorial the May day that made us one. Ah well, the journey is almost finished, laddie, and we have gone hand in hand all the way.