May First, the Time of Love
On the evening of May 1st, lovers gather at the statue of Karel Hynek Mácha, the Czech Romantic "poet of love", in Prague's Petrín park where they lay flowers and spend a few moments. Then they kiss under the blooming cherry trees of the park.
Karel Hynek Mácha (1810 - 1836) was a great Czech Romantic poet and author of the epic poem Máj (May). The poem, written in a remarkably beautiful style, tells about the tragic love of two young people and has become a poetic masterpiece of the Czech Romantic period and Czech literature in general.
Late evening, on the first of May—
The twilit May—the time of love.
Meltingly called the turtle-dove,
Where rich and sweet pinewoods lay.
Whispered of love the mosses frail,
The flowering tree as sweetly lied,
The rose's fragrant sigh replied
To love-songs of the nightingale.
In shadowy woods the burnished lake
Darkly complained a secret pain,
By circling shores embraced again;
And heaven's clear sun leaned down to take
A road astray in azure deeps,
Like burning tears the lover weeps.
The complete poem
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