Thursday 1 April 2010

April is Icumen In

I am feeling idle and working frantically at tomorrow's post: so a mere medley on April as we are now entering the months of women's names: April, May, June, Julia and Augusta.

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.
   - 1984 by George Orwell

'But tell me, now, which season do you like best, Kay?'
'I like them all,' he said. 'I suppose I like April best, on the whole.'
    - The Box of Delights by John Masefield

April is in my mistress' face,
And July in her eyes hath place;
Within her bosom is September,
But in her heart a cold December.
  - Thomas Morley

Oh, to be in England
Now that April's there,
And whoever wakes in England
Sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf
Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough
In England - now!
   - Home Thoughts From Abroad by Robert Browning

Whan that Aprill, with his shoures soote [sweet showers]
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote [drought]
And bathed every veyne in swich licour, [liquid]
Of which vertu engendred is the flower;
Whan Zephirus eek with his sweete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sun
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours yronne, [Sun's in Aries]
And smale foweles maken melodye, [fowls: birds]
That slepen al the nyght with open eye-
(So priketh hem Nature in hir corages);
Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages.
   - Canterbury Tales by Chaucer

It was Easter as I walked in the public gardens
Hearing the frogs exhaling from the pond,
Watching traffic of magnificent cloud
Moving without anxiety on open sky–
Season when lovers and writers find
An altering speech for altering things,
   - Auden It was Easter...

April brings the sweet spring showers:
On and on for hours and hours.
    - A Song of the Weather by Flanders and Swann
There! And I didn't mention The Waste Land once.
The Inky Fool beset by feral youths


  1. Browning's poem reminds me of the song 'April in Paris', which was (appparently) supposed to be an ode to the month of May, but which didn't have enough syllables to fit the meter.

  2. I think the same is true of the song Streets of London, which was originally about Paris but he couldn't get a record deal or somesuch.