Charlotte Smith

(4 May 1749 – 28 October 1806 / London)

The Bee's Winter Retreat


Go, while the summer suns are bright,
Take at large thy wandering flight,
Go, and load thy tiny feet
With every rich and various sweet;
Cling around the flowering thorn,
Dive in the woodbine's honey'd horn,
Seek the wild rose that shades the dell,
Explore the foxglove's freckled bell;
Or in the heath-flower's fairy cup,
Drink the fragrant spirit up,
But when the meadows shall be mown,
And summer's garlands overblown,
Then come, thou little busy bee,
And let thy homestead be with me:-
There, shelter'd by the straw-built hive,
In my garden thou shalt live,
And that garden shall supply
Thy delicious alchymy;-
There, for thee, in autumn, blows
The Indian pink and latest rose,
The mignonette perfumes the air,
And stocks, unfading flowers, are there.

Yet fear not when the tempests come,
And drive thee to thy waxen home,
That I shall then, most treacherously,
For thy honey murder thee:-
Oh, no! -throughout the winter drear
I'll feed thee, that another year
Thou may'st renew thy industry
Among the flowers, thou busy bee.

Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

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