And thereafter, for an hour, as they wandered through the May-time sweetness of the forest, she would permit him to talk of only Yellow Bird and Sun Cloud; and, one thing leading to another, she learned how it was that Yellow Bird had been his fairy in childhood days, and how he came to be an outlaw for her in later manhood.
The Dickens scenes were repeated for a younger club, just trying its dramatic wings in charades, and when May-time came these younger girls of twelve to fifteen gave a very successful representation of an old English May-day with Robin Hood and his merry band, a Jester, a Dragon, a Hobby-horse and Jack in the Green, Maid Marian and the Lord and Lady of the May on the library green.
What an exquisite despair is this that one shall never possess that beautiful personality again, sweet-scented as the May-time, that I shall never hold that dainty oval face in my hands again, shall look into those beautiful eyes no more, that all the intimacy of her person is now but a memory never to be renewed by actual presence in these moments of passionate memory one experiences real grief, a pang that never has found expression perchance except in Niobe; even that concentration of features is more an expression of despair than grief.
The banded ones were all dressed in white gowns a gay survival from Old Style days, when cheerfulness and May-time were synonyms days before the habit of taking long views had reduced emotions to a monotonous average. Their first exhibition of themselves was in a processional march of two and two round the parish.
Many of the doors had their pillars wreathed with ivy and green boughs, so that the season seemed to be May-time rather than November. On both sides of the street, the walls were hung with satin, excepting those houses which have lately been adorned with frescoes, and which are no less beautiful than tapestries.
Surely, of all the flowers of the May-time there is none so fair as the maiden. And the young man thought as he stood watching her that in all the world there was no maiden so fair as this. She did not see him, for her eyes were lifted to a little bobolink that had come flying down the wind.
Whoever speaks to me in the right voice, him or her will I follow," says Walt Whitman. If you have ever loved a woman and you care to go back to May-time and try to analyze the why and the wherefore, you probably will not be able to locate the why and the wherefore, but this negative truth you will discover: you were not won by logic.
Past a line of booths and pensions I wander in the direction of that pinery which year by year is creeping further into the waves, and driving the sea back from its old shore. There is peace in this green domain; all is hushed, and yet pervaded by the mysterious melody of things that stir in May-time.
The long-drawn virgin vales; the mild blue hill-sides; as over these there steals the hush, the hum; you almost swear that play-wearied children lie sleeping in these solitudes, in some glad May-time, when the flowers of the woods are plucked. And all this mixes with your most mystic mood; so that fact and fancy, half-way meeting, interpenetrate, and form one seamless whole.
Harland were always there, I do believe for sheer love of Paris in the May-time, and I rather think theirs was the wisest reason of all. During no week throughout my hard-working year did I have to work harder than during that May week spent in Paris.