Samuel Howard
(c.1710 - 1782)

Howard : The Queen of May : illustration

The Queen of May
(S./T.2Vn.Continuo)
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Sung at Ranelagh pleasure gardens, and pub. 1754.

This edition is available with the full string accompaniment, or with a keyboard reduction of the string parts.
Lyrics: Anon

Ev'ry nymph and shepherd bring
Tributes to the Queen of May;
Rifle for her brows the spring;
Make her as the season gay.
Teach her then from ev'ry flow'r
How to use the fleeting hour.

Now the fair Narcissus blows,
With his sweetness now delights;
By his side the maiden rose
With her artless blush invites;
Such, so fragrant and so gay,
Is the blooming Queen of May.

Soon the fair Narcissus dies,
Soon he droops his languid head;
From the rose her purple flies,
None inviting to her bed:
Such, tho' now so sweet and gay,
Soon shall be the Queen of May.

Tho' thou art a rural queen,
By the suffrage of the swains,
Beauty, like the vernal green,
In thy shrine not long remains:
Bless, then quickly bless the youth,
Who deserves thy love and truth.