I wish I could remember the first day,
First hour, first moment of your meeting me;
If bright or dim the season, it might be
Summer or winter for aught I can say.
So unrecorded did it slip away,
So blind was I to see and to foresee,
So dull to mark the budding of my tree
That would not blossom yet for many a May.
If only I could recollect it! Such
A day of days! I let it come and go
As traceless as a thaw of bygone snow.
It seemed to mean so little, meant so much!
If only now I could recall that touch,
First touch of hand in hand! – Did one but know!
This is Christina Rossetti writing about a first meeting that was to come to mean so much, using the idea of May as a transition point into life itself, and not just into summer. Robert Browning wrote: Oh to be in England now that April’s here; but it’s May for me. It sometimes seems madness even to think of leaving the village, let along the country.