Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. V. Nature
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume V. Nature.  1904.
VI. Animate Nature
To the Humblebee
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)
BURLY, dozing humblebee!
Where thou art is clime for me;
Let me chase thy waving lines;
Far-off heats through seas to seek,
I will follow thee alone,        5
Thou animated torrid zone!
Zigzag steerer, desert cheerer,
Let me chase thy waving lines;
Keep me nearer, me thy hearer,
Singing over shrubs and vines.        10
Insect lover of the sun,
Joy of thy dominion!
Sailor of the atmosphere;
Swimmer through the waves of air,
Voyager of light and noon,        15
Epicurean of June!
Wait, I prithee, till I come
Within earshot of thy hum,—
All without is martyrdom.
When the south-wind, in May days,        20
With a net of shining haze
Silvers the horizon wall;
And, with softness touching all,
Tints the human countenance
With the color of romance;        25
And infusing subtle heats
Turns the sod to violets,—
Thou in sunny solitudes
Rover of the underwoods,
The green silence dost displace        30
With thy mellow breezy bass.
Hot midsummer’s petted crone,
Sweet to me thy drowsy tone
Tells of countless sunny hours,
Long days, and solid banks of flowers;        35
Of gulfs of sweetness without bound,
In Indian wildernesses found;
Of Syrian peace, immortal leisure,
Firmest cheer, and birdlike pleasure.
Aught unsavory or unclean        40
Hath my insect never seen;
But violets, and bilberry bells,
Maple sap, and daffodels,
Grass with green flag half-mast high,
Succory to match the sky,        45
Columbine with horn of honey,
Scented fern, and agrimony,
Clover, catchfly, adder’s-tongue,
And brier-rose, dwelt among:
All beside was unknown waste,        50
All was picture as he passed.
Wiser far than human seer,
Yellow-breeched philosopher,
Seeing only what is fair,
  Sipping only what is sweet,        55
Thou dost mock at fate and care,
  Leave the chaff and take the wheat.
When the fierce northwestern blast
Cools sea and land so far and fast,—
Thou already slumberest deep;        60
Woe and want thou canst outsleep;
Want and woe, which torture us,
Thy sleep makes ridiculous.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.