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THE COMMONWEALTH OF BEES.
And utter now and then an awful voice,
THE COMMONWEALTH OF BEES.
So work the honey-bees : Creatures that, by a rule in nature, teach The art of order to a peopled kingdom.
TO MAY. They have a king, and officers of sorts, Where some, like magistrates, correct at home; Others, like merchants, venture trade abroad; Others, like soldiers, armèd in their stings, Make boot upon the summer's velvet buds ; Which pillage they with merry march bring home To the tent royal of their emperor ; Who, busied in his majesty, surveys The singing masons building roofs of gold ; The civil citizens kneading up the honey; The poor mechanic porters crowding in Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate; The sad-eyed justice, with his surly hum, Delivering o’er to executors pale The lazy yawning drone.
Though many suns have risen and set
Since thou, blithe May, wert born,
Thy gifts, thy beauty scorn;
Confine not harp and voice,
Are grateful, and rejoice.
Too sweet to pass away;
Oh, for a deathless song to meet
The soul's desire-a lay,
Should praise thee, genial power!
And winter's dreariest hour.
(If yon ethereal blue
The heavens have felt it too.
Partakes a livelier cheer ;
Let fall a brighten’d tear.
Of hope that grew by stealth,
Have kindled into health!
“Another year is ours ;”.
Have smiled upon thy flowers.
Amid his playful peers ?
A prisoner of fond fears ;
Is quiet in its sheath,
Earth's sweetness in thy breath.
Thy help is with the weed that creeps
Along the humblest ground;
Thy favours may be found;
That our own hands have drest,
And seem to love it best.
And yet how pleased we wander forth
When May is whispering, “Come!
The happiest for your home ;
From sunshine, clouds, winds, waves, -
And on your turf-clad graves.”
Hath not old custom made this life more sweet
VANITY OF HUMAN GREATNESS.
This is no flattery : these are counsellors
Sweet are the uses of adversity,
brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.
VANITY OF HUMAN GREATNESS. FAREWELL, a long farewell to all my greatness ! This is the state of man : to-day he puts forth The tender leaves of hope ; to-morrow blossoms, And bears his blushing honours thick upon him ; The third day comes a frost, a killing frost; And when he thinks, good easy man, full surely His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root, And then he falls, as I do. I have ventur'd, Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders, This many summers in a sea of glory, But far beyond my depth : my high-blown pride At length broke under me; and now hath left me, Weary and old with service, to the mercy Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me. Vain pomp and glory of the world, I hate ye ! I feel my heart new open'd. Oh, how wretched Is that poor man that hangs on princes' favours !