Verse > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow > Complete Poetical Works
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882).  Complete Poetical Works.  1893.
 
Appendix
II. Unacknowledged and Uncollected Translations.
Tell me, tell me, thou pretty bee
 
By Giovanni Meli

TELL me, tell me, thou pretty bee,
Whither so early thy flight may be?
Not a neighboring mountain height
Yet blushes with the morning light;
Still the dew on spray and blossom        5
Trembling shines in the meadow’s bosom;
Why do I see thee, then, unfold
Thy soft and dainty wings of gold;—
Those little wings are weary quite,
Still thou holdest thy onward flight,—        10
Then tell me, tell me, thou pretty bee,
Whither so early thy flight may be.
 
Thou seekest honey?—if it be so,
Fold up thy wings,—no farther go;
I ’ll show thee a safe and sacred spot,        15
Where all the year round ’t will fail thee not.
Knowest thou the maid for whom I sigh,—
Her of the bright and beaming eye?
Endless sweetness shalt thou sip,
Honied stores upon her lip.        20
On those lips of brightest red,
Lips of the beloved maid,
Sweetest honey lies for thee;—
Sip it,—sip it;—this is she.
 
 
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