Summer Is Here

June has now come, bending beneath her weight of roses, to ornament the halls and bowers which summer has hung with green. For this is the month of roses, and their beauty and fragrance conjure up again many in poetical creation which memory had buried . . .

This is the season to wander into the fields and woods, with a volume of sterling poetry for companionship, and compare the descriptive passages with the objects that lie around. We never enjoy reading portions of Spenser’s Fairy Queen so much as when among the great green trees in summer.

1st June is generally regarded as the first day of summer.

June probably takes its name from the Roman goddess Juno. The Saxons called it ‘dry month’. In Welsh it is ‘Mehefin’, in Irish-Gaelic ‘Meitheamh’, and in Scottish it is ‘Meadhan-Sambraidh’.

June water is said to cure eye ailments.

Here are some popular rhymes and sayings for the month.

‘If on the eighth of June it rain,
It foretells a wet harvest, men sain.’

A good leak in June
Sets all in tune.

Married in the month of roses – June
Life will be one long honeymoon.

‘Calm weather in June
Sets the corn in tune.’

Grey mist at dawn
The day will be warm.

A sunshiny shower
Won’t last half an hour.

‘Rain from the east
Will last three days at least.’

June damp and warm
Doth the farmer no harm.

The moon and the weather
Cbange together.

‘Moon on it’s back
Holds water in its lap.’

If the rain comes down slanting
It will be everlasting.

A swarm of bees in June
Is worth a silver spoon.

‘Spud a thistle in June,
It will come again soon.’

The Merrie Month of May

Jolly rumbelow
We were up
Long before the day-o,
To welcome in the summer,
To welcome in the May-o!
Summer is a comin’ in
And winter’s gone away-o!


Rough winds do shake
The darling buds of May


May probably takes its name from Maia, a Roman goddess of growth. The Welsh word is Mai. The Irish-Gaelic name for the month is Bealtaine. The festival Beltane takes place on 1st May.

The Anglo-Saxons named it Tri-Milchi, because cattle feeding on the rich pastures could be milked three times a day. The Gauls called it Mios Bochuin – the month of swelling.

May brings with her the beauty and fragrance of hawthorn blossoms and the song of the nightingale. Our old poets delighted in describing her as a beautiful maiden, clothed in sunshine, and scattering flowers on the earth, while she danced to the music of birds and brooks.

She has given a rich greenness to the young corn, and the grass is now tall enough for the flowers to play at hide-and-seek as they are chased by the wind. The grass also gives a softness to the dazzling white of the daisies and the glittering gold of the buttercups.


Here are some popular rhymes and sayings for May:

A hot May makes a fat churchyard

The haddocks are good
When dipped in May flood

Many thunderstorms in May
And the farmer sings ‘hey, hey!’

“Keep buttoned to the chin ’till May be out.”

Shear your sheep in May
And shear them all away.

Married when bees over May-blossom flit,
Strangers around your board will sit.

A warm and dapple May,
The barns are full of hay.

“Cold May
Long corn, short hay.”

Cast not a clout
‘Till May is out.

Marry in May
Rue the day.

Who weeds in May
Throws all away.

“A swarm of bees in May
Is worth a load of hay.”

Water in May is bread all the year

A snowstorm in May
Brings weight to the hay.

Who doffs his coat on a winter’s day
Will gladly put it on in May.

“A windy March and a rainy April
Make a beautiful May.”

May makes or mars the wheat.

Mist in May, heat in June
Makes the harvest come right soon.

No wind is colder than a May wind