On a Honey Bee

Thou born to sip the lake or spring,
Or quaff the waters of the stream,
Why hither come on vagrant wing?–
Does Bacchus tempting seem–
Did he, for you, the glass prepare?–
Will I admit you to a share?

Did storms harrass or foes perplex,
Did wasps or king-birds bring dismay–
Did wars distress, or labours vex,
Or did you miss your way?–
A better seat you could not take
Than on the margin of this lake.

Welcome!–I hail you to my glass:
All welcome, here, you find;
Here let the cloud of trouble pass,
Here, be all care resigned.–
This fluid never fails to please,
And drown the griefs of men or bees.

What forced you here, we cannot know,
And you will scarcely tell–
But cheery we would have you go
And bid a glad farewell:
On lighter wings we bid you fly,
Your dart will now all foes defy.

Yet take not oh! too deep a drink,
And in the ocean die;
Here bigger bees than you might sink,
Even bees full six feet high.
Like Pharaoh, then, you would be said
To perish in a sea of red.

Do as you please, your will is mine;
Enjoy it without fear–
And your grave will be this glass of wine,
Your epitaph–a tear–
Go, take your seat in Charon’s boat,
We’ll tell the hive, you died afloat.

Ode

GOD save the Rights of Man!
Give us a heart to scan
Blessings so dear:
Let them be spread around
Wherever man is found,
And with the welcome sound
Ravish his ear.

Let us with France agree,
And bid the world be free,
While tyrants fall!
Let the rude savage host
Of their vast numbers boast–
Freedom’s almight trust
Laughs at them all!

Though hosts of slaves conspire
To quench fair Gallia’s fire,
Still shall they fail:
Though traitors round her rise,
Leagu’d with her enemies,
To war each patriot flies,
And will prevail.

No more is valor’s flame
Devoted to a name,
Taught to adore–
Soldiers of Liberty
Disdain to bow the knee,
But ateach Equality
To every shore.

The world at last will join
To aid thy grand design,
Dear Liberty!
To Russia’s frozen lands
The generous flame expands:
On Afric’s burning sands
Shall man be free!

In this our western world
Be Freedom’s flag unfurl’d
Through all its shores!
May no destructive blast
Our heaven of joy o’ercast,
May Freedom’s fabric last
While time endures.

If e’er her cause require!–
Should tyrants e’er aspire
To aim their stroke,
May no proud despot daunt–
Should he his standard plant,
Freedom will never want
Her hearts of oak!

Into My Own

One of my wishes is that those dark trees,
So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze,
Were not, as ’twere, the merest mask of gloom,
But stretched away unto th eedge of doom.

I should not be withheld but that some day
into their vastness I should steal away,
Fearless of ever finding open land,
or highway where the slow wheel pours the sand.

I do not see why I should e’er turn back,
Or those should not set forth upon my track
To overtake me, who should miss me here
And long to know if still I held them dear.

They would not find me changed from him the knew–
Only more sure of all I though was true.