Tuesday, 6 May 2008

A Masque of May Morning

Winter surrenders to May and kisses her farewell

April and the cast of spring flowers prepare the way for May

This beautiful old book has sat on my book shelf for quite a few years. Written and illustrated by W. Graham Robertson it was published by John Lane The Bodley Head and printed by Ballantyne, Hanson & Co on the most beautiful thick handmade paper. It is not dated, I think however, it was published in the early part of the 20th century. Masque is a now little used word for an amateur dramatic and musical entertainment. The cast of players in this Masque are: Winter, the Snowdrop, the Primrose, the Violet, the Celandine, the Anemone, Three Personages in Green, April, May, the Spirit of the Rose, Voices of the Snow, and Chorus of the May Dew Gatherers.
It is set in a woodland clearing and the first song is The Song of the Snow-flakes
Down through the air we softly sweep
Feathers that fall from wings of sleep
Bearing the kisses of clouds and sky
To hush the world with lullaby.