As those of us who stay in Orkney know there is a saying, “ne’er cast a cloot until May is oot”, which we were starkly reminded of on Monday when in the height of spring the snow returned, so today I have chosen a spring song Menie from Burns reminding us of the glory of spring and a poem centered around snow in spring. April Snow by Pene Burkey
The chorus in the Burn’s song was borrowed from a song composed by an Edinburgh gentleman an is sung to the tune of “Johnny’s Gray Breeks”
Again rejoicing nature sees
Her robe assume its vernal hues,
Her leafy locks wave in the breeze,
All freshly steep’d in morning dews.
And maun I still on Menie dote,
And bear the scorn that’s in her ee?
For it’s jet, jet black, and it’s like a hawk,
And it winna let a body be!
In vain to me the cowslips blaw,
In vain to me the violets spring
In vain to me, in glen or shaw
The mavis and the lintwhite sing.
The merry ploughboy cheers his team
Wi’ joy the tentie seedsman stalks,
But life to me’s a weary dream
a dream of ane that never waulks.
The wanton coot the water skims,
Amang the reeds the ducklings cry,
The stately swan majestic swims,
And everything is blest but I.
The shepherd steeks his faudling slap,
And owre the moorlands whistles shrill,
Wi’ wild, unequal, wandering step,
I meet him on the dewy hill.
And when the lark, ‘tween light, and dark,
Blithe waukens by the daisy’s side,
And mounts and sings on flittering wings,
A woe-worn ghaist I hameward glide.
Come, winter, with thine angry howl,
And raging bend the naked tree;
Thy gloom will soothe my cheerless soul,
When nature all is sad like me!
Menie by Robert Burns (1786)
The sky grew dark this April morn,
The north wind blew his snowy scorn.
Suddenly all was dressed in white,
Spring turned to Winter by his smite.
Dark clouds passed and the sun shone through,
The snow was gone and Spring renewed.
Old man Winter tried one last hour….
But new maiden Spring would not cower! !
Copyright ©2006 Pene Burkey