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But often in their journeys, as they fly,
No prostrate vassal of the East can more
Some, from such instances as these, have taught,
Whene'er their balmy sweets you mean to seize,
Twice in the year their flowery toils begin,
The bees are prone to rage, and often found To perish for revenge, and die upon
the wound. Their venomed sting produces aching pains, And swells the flesh, and shoots among the veins.
When first a cold hard winter's storms arrive, And threaten death or famine to their hive, If now their sinking state and low affairs Can move your pity, and provoke your cares, Fresh burning thyme before their cells convey, And cut their dry and husky wax away; For often lizards seize the luscious spoils, Or drones, that riot on another's toils : Oft broods of moths infest the hungry swarms, And oft the furious wasp their hive alarms With louder hums, and with unequal arms; Or else the spider at their entrance sets Her snares, and spins her bowels into nets.
When sickness reigns, (for they as well as we Feel all the effects of frail mortality,) By certain marks the new disease is seen, Their colour changes, and their looks are thin; Their funeral rites are formed, and every bee With grief attends the sad solemnity; The few diseased survivors hang before Their sickly cells, and droop about the door, Or slowly in their hives their limbs unfold, Shrunk
up with hunger, and benumbed with cold; In drawling hums the feeble insects grieve, And doleful buzzes echo through the hive, Like winds that softly murmur through the trees, Like flames pent up, or like retiring seas. Now lay fresh honey near their empty rooms, In troughs of hollow reeds, whilst frying gums Cast round a fragrant mist of spicy fumes. Thus kindly tempt the famished swarm to eat, And gently reconcile 'em to their meat. Mix juice of galls, and wine, that grow in time Condensed by fire, and thicken to a slime; To these dried roses, thyme, and century join, And raisins, ripened on the Psythian vine.
Besides, there grows a flower in marshy ground, Its name Amellus, easy to be found;
A mighty spring works in its root, and cleaves
But if the whole stock fail, and none survive;
For where the Egyptians yearly see their bounds Refreshed with floods, and sail about their grounds, Where Persia borders, and the rolling Nile Drives swiftly down the swarthy Indians' soil, Till into seven it multiplies its stream, And fattens Egypt with a fruitful slime: In this last practice all their hope remains, And long experience justifies their pains.
First then a close contracted space of ground, With straitened walls and low-built roof, they found; A narrow shelving light is next assigned To all the quarters, one to every wind; Through these the glancing rays obliquely pierce: Hither they lead a bull that's young and fierce, When two years' growth of horn he proudly shows, And shakes the comely terrors of his brows: His nose and mouth, the avenues of breath, They muzzle up, and beat his limbs to death ; With violence to life and stifling pain He flings and spurns, and tries to snort in vain, Loud heavy mows fall thick on every side, Till his bruised bowels burst within the hide; When dead, they leave him rotting on the ground, With branches, thyme and cassia, strowed around.
All this is done, when first the western breeze
and all the bee at length appears ;
side the fruitful carcass pours
Thus have I sung the nature of the bee.
A SONG FOR ST. CECILIA'S DAY,
CECILIA, whose exalted hymns
With joy and wonder fill the blest,
Known and distinguished from the rest, 1 The success of Alexander's Feast made it fashionable for succeeding poets to try their hand at a musical ode; but they mistook the matter, when They thought it enough to contend with Mr. Dryden.—It was reserved for one or two of our days to give us a true idea of lyric poetry in English.
Attend, harmonious saint, and see
Thy vocal sons of harmony;
Enliven all our earthly airs,
Tune every string and every tongue,
Let all Cecilia's praise proclaim,
The organ labours in her praise.
voice the tuneful accents fly,
The work of every skilful tongue,
For ever consecrate the day,
To music and Cecilia ;
Music can noble hints impart,
all the man with secret art.
The wolf and lamb around him trip,
The bears in awkward measures leap,
And tigers mingle in the dance.
Music religious heats inspires,
It wakes the soul, and lifts it high,