Corinna's Going A-Maying
How we cite our quotes:
Wash, dress, be brief in praying:
Few beads are best when once we go a-Maying. (27-28)
Lust is the engine that drives this impatient poem. Notice how every word in these two lines (except for "praying" and "a-Maying") is one syllable, hurrying her out of bed and prayers and into the pagan fun outside.
Come, we'll abroad; and let's obey
The proclamation made for May:
And sin no more, as we have done, by staying;
But, my Corinna, come, let's go a-Maying. (39-42)
Our speaker wants to celebrate May Day right, with some al fresco lovin'. To stay in bed is to sin, since this holiday basically proclaims that everyone needs to get out, find a shady grove, and do it. Like Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus, May Day celebrates the naturalness of sex and love.
There's not a budding boy or girl this day
But is got up, and gone to bring in May (43-44)
Every adolescent in the town is out celebrating May, letting those hormonal urges get out in the open, renewing life right along with the spring. And could they be more like flowers? These youngsters are actually "budding."