Home  »  Complete Poetical Works by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  »  It is not always May

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882). Complete Poetical Works. 1893.

Ballads and Other Poems

It is not always May

  • No hay pájaros en los nidos de antaño.
  • 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!