Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
1143. Honey Dripping from the Comb
By James Whitcomb Riley
HOW slight a thing may set one’s fancy drifting
  Upon the dead sea of the Past!—A view—
Sometimes an odor—or a rooster lifting
  A far-off “Ooh! ooh-ooh!”
And suddenly we find ourselves astray        5
  In some wood’s-pasture of the Long Ago,—
Or idly dream again upon a day
  Of rest we used to know.
I bit an apple but a moment since,—
  A wilted apple that the worm had spurned,—        10
Yet hidden in the taste were happy hints
  Of good old days returned.
And so my heart, like some enraptured lute,
  Tinkles a tune so tender and complete,
God’s blessing must be resting on the fruit—        15
  So bitter, yet so sweet!


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