Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1861–1889
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889
 
Bumble-Bee
By Henry Augustin Beers (1847–1926)
 
[Born in Buffalo, N. Y., 1847. Died in New Haven, Conn., 1926. From The Thankless Muse. 1885.]

AS I lay yonder in tall grass
A drunken bumble-bee went past
Delirious with honey toddy.
The golden sash about his body
Could scarce keep in his swollen belly        5
Distent with honeysuckle jelly.
Rose-liquor and the sweet-pea wine
Had filled his soul with song divine;
Deep had he drunk the warm night through;
His hairy thighs were wet with dew.        10
Full many an antic he had played
While the world went round through sleep and shade.
Oft had he lit with thirsty lip
Some flower-cup’s nectared sweets to sip,
When on smooth petals he would slip        15
Or over tangled stamens trip,
And headlong in the pollen rolled,
Crawl out quite dusted o’er with gold.
Or else his heavy feet would stumble
Against some bud and down he’d tumble        20
Amongst the grass; there lie and grumble
In low, soft bass—poor maudlin bumble!
With tipsy hum on sleepy wing
He buzzed a glee—a bacchic thing
Which, wandering strangely in the moon,        25
He learned from grigs that sing in June,
Unknown to sober bees who dwell
Through the dark hours in waxen cell.
When south wind floated him away
The music of the summer day        30
Lost something: sure it was a pain
To miss that dainty star-light strain.
 
 
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