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Nor must the lizard's painted brood appear,
Nor wood-pecks, nor the swallow harbour near.
They waste the swarms, and as they fly along
Convey the tender morsels to their young.

Let purling streams, and fountains edg'd with moss
And shallow rills run trickling through the grass;
Let branching olives o'er the fountain grow,

Or palms shoot up, and shade the streams below;
That when the youth, led by their princes, shun
The crowded hive, and sport it in the sun,
Refreshing springs may tempt 'em from the heat,
And shady coverts yield a cool retreat.

Whether the neighbouring water stands or runs,
Lay twigs across, and bridge it o'er with stones;
That if rough storms, or sudden blasts of wind
Should dip, or scatter those that lag behind,
Here they may settle on the friendly stone,
And dry their reeking pinions at the sun.
Plant all the flowery banks with lavender,
With store of sav'ry scent the fragrant air,
Let running betony the field o'erspread,
And fountains soak the violet's dewy bed.

Tho' barks or plaited willows make your hive,

A narrow inlet to their cells contrive;

For colds congele and freeze the liquors up,

And, melted down with heat, the waxen buildings drop
The bees, of both extremes alike afraid,

Their wax around the whistling crannies spread,
And suck out clammy dews from herbs and flow'rs,
To smear the chinks, and plaister up the pores;
For this they hoard up glue, whose clinging drops,
Like pitch, or bird-lime, hang in stringy ropes.

They oft, 'tis said, in dark retirements dwell,
And work in subterraneous caves their cell;
At other times th' industrious insects live
In hollow rocks, or make a tree their hive.

Point all their chinky lodgings round with mud,
And leaves most thinly on your work be strow'd;
But let no baleful eugh-tree flourish near,

Nor rotten marshes send out streams of mire;
Nor burning crabs grow red, and crackle in the fire.
Nor neighb'ring caves return the dying sound,
Nor echoing rocks the doubled voice rebound.
Things thus prepar'd-

When th' under-world is seiz'd with cold and night,
And summer here descends in streams of light,
The bees thro' woods and forests take their flight.
They rifle ev'ry flow'r and lightly skim

The chrystal brook, and sip the running stream;
And thus they feed their young with strange delight,
And knead the yielding wax, and work the slimy sweet.
But when on high you see the bees repair,

Born on the winds thro' distant tracts of air,

And view the winged cloud all blackning from afar;
While shady coverts, and fresh streams they chuse,
Milfoil and common honey-suckles bruise,

And sprinkle on their hives the fragrant juice.
On brazen vessels beat a tinkling sound,
And shake the cymbals of the goddess round;
Then all will hastily retreat, and fill
The warm resounding hollow of their cell.

If once two rival kings their right debate,
And factions and cabals embroil the state,

The people's actions will their thoughts declare;
All their hearts tremble, and beat thick with war;
Hoarse broken sounds, like trumpets' harsh alarms,
Run thro' the hive, and call 'em to their arms;
All in a hurry spread their shiv'ring wings,
And fit their claws, and point their angry stings:
In crowds before the king's pavilion meet,
And boldly challenge out the foe to fight:
At last, when all the heav'ns are warm and fair,
They rush together out, and join; the air
Swarms thick, and echoes with the humming war.
All in a firm round cluster mix, and strow
With heaps of little corps the earth below;
As thick as hail-stones from the floor rebound,
Or shaken acorns rattle on the ground.

No sense of danger can their kings controul,
Their little bodies lodge a mighty soul:
Each obstinate in arms pursues his blow,
'Till shameful flight secures the routed foe.
This hot dispute and all this mighty fray
A little dust flung upward will allay.

But when both kings are settled in their hive, Mark him who looks the worst, and lest he live Idle at home in ease and luxury,

The lazy monarch must be doom'd to die;

So let the royal insect rule alone,

And reign without a rival in his throne.

The kings are different; one of better note

All speckt with gold, and many a shining spot,
Looks gay, and glistens in a gilded coat;
But love of ease, and sloth, in one prevails.

That scarce his hanging paunch behind him trails:

The people's looks are different as their king's,
Some sparkle bright, and glitter in their wings;
Others look loathsome and diseas'd with sloth,
Like a faint traveller, whose dusty mouth
Grows dry with heat, and spits a maukish froth.
The first are best-

From their o'erflowing combs, you'll often press
Pure luscious sweets, that mingling in the glass
Correct the harshness of the racy juice,

And a rich flavour through the wine diffuse.

But when they sport abroad, and rove from home,
And leave the cooling hive, and quit th' unfinish'd com}
Their airy ramblings are with ease confin'd,
Clip their king's wings, and if they stay behind

No bold usurper dares invade their right,
Nor sound a march, nor give the sign for flight.
Let flow'ry banks entice 'em to their cells,
And gardens all perfum'd with native smells;
Where carv'd Priapus has his fix'd abode,
The robber's terror, and the scare-crow god.
Wild thyme and pine-trees from their barren hill
Transplant, and nurse 'em in the neighbouring soil,
Set fruit-trees round, nor e'er indulge thy sloth,
But water 'em, and urge their shady growth.

And here, perhaps, were I not giving o'er,
And striking sail, and making to the shore,
I'd show what art the gardener's toils require,
Why rosy pæstum blushes twice a year;
What streams the verdant succory supply,

And how the thirsty plant drinks rivers dry;

With what a cheerful green does parsley grace,

And writhes the bellying cucumber along the twisted grass,

Nor wou'd I pass the soft Acanthus o'er,

Ivy nor myrtle-trees that love the shore;

Nor daffodils, that late from earth's slow womb

Unrumple their swoln buds, and show their yellow bloom.

For once I saw in the Tarentine vale,

Where slow Galesus drencht the washy soil,
An old Corician yeoman who had got

A few neglected acres to his lot,

Where neither corn nor pasture grac'd the field,
Nor would the vine her purple harvest yield;
But sav'ry herbs among the thorns were found,
Vervain and poppy-flowers his garden crown'd,
And drooping lilies whiten'd all the ground.
Blest with these riches he could empires slight,
And when he rested from his toils at night,
The earth unpurchas'd dainties wou'd afford,
And his own garden furnish'd out his board:
The spring did first his opening roses blow,"
First ripening autumn bent his fruitful bough.
When piercing colds had burst the brittle stone,
And freezing rivers stiffen'd as they run,
He then would prune the tend'rest of his trees,
Chide the late spring, and lingring western breeze:
His bees first swarm'd, and made his vessels foam
With the rich squeezing of the juicy comb.
Here lindons and the sappy pine increas'd;

Here, when gay flow'rs his smiling orchard drest,

Roses blow. Not usual or exact to use the word blow actively. Yet Milton speaks of banks that blow flowers, (Mask at Ludlow Castle, page 993.) And, indeed, it is not easy to say, how far this licentious construction, if sparingly used, si sumpta pudentèr, may be allowed, especially in the higher poetry. The reason is, that it takes the expression out of the taineness of prose, and pleases by its novelty, more than it disgusts by its irregularity and whatever pleases in this degree, is poetical.


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