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
Wild Honey
Maurice Thompson (1844–1901)
WHERE hints of racy sap and gum
Out of the old dark forest come;
Where birds their beaks like hammers wield,
And pith is pierced, and bark is peeled;
Where the green walnut’s outer rind        5
Gives precious bitterness to the wind;—
There lurks the sweet creative power,
As lurks the honey in the flower.
In winter’s bud that bursts in spring,
In nut of autumn’s ripening,        10
In acrid bulb beneath the mold,
Sleeps the elixir, strong and old,
That Rosicrucians sought in vain,—
Life that renews itself again!
What bottled perfume is so good        15
As fragrance of split tulip-wood?
What fabled drink of god or Muse
Was rich as purple mulberry-juice?
And what school-polished gem of thought
Is like the rune from Nature caught?        20
He is a poet strong and true
Who loves wild thyme and honey-dew;
And like a brown bee works and sings,
With morning freshness on his wings,
And a gold burden on his thighs,—        25
The pollen-dust of centuries!

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