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The Bee Analysis

Author: Poetry of Sidney Lanier Type: Poetry Views: 111

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What time I paced, at pleasant morn,

A deep and dewy wood,

I heard a mellow hunting-horn

Make dim report of Dian's lustihood

Far down a heavenly hollow.

Mine ear, though fain, had pain to follow:

`Tara!' it twanged, `tara-tara!' it blew,

Yet wavered oft, and flew

Most ficklewise about, or here, or there,

A music now from earth and now from air.

But on a sudden, lo!

I marked a blossom shiver to and fro

With dainty inward storm; and there within

A down-drawn trump of yellow jessamine

A bee

Thrust up its sad-gold body lustily,

All in a honey madness hotly bound

On blissful burglary.

A cunning sound

In that wing-music held me:down I lay

In amber shades of many a golden spray,

Where looping low with languid arms the Vine

In wreaths of ravishment did overtwine

Her kneeling Live-Oak, thousand-fold to plight

Herself unto her own true stalwart knight.

As some dim blur of distant music nears

The long-desiring sense, and slowly clears

To forms of time and apprehensive tune,

So, as I lay, full soon

Interpretation throve:the bee's fanfare,

Through sequent films of discourse vague as air,

Passed to plain words, while, fanning faint perfume,

The bee o'erhung a rich, unrifled bloom:

"O Earth, fair lordly Blossom, soft a-shine

Upon the star-pranked universal vine,

Hast nought for me?

To thee

Come I, a poet, hereward haply blown,

From out another worldflower lately flown.

Wilt ask, `What profit e'er a poet brings?'

He beareth starry stuff about his wings

To pollen thee and sting thee fertile:nay,

If still thou narrow thy contracted way,

-- Worldflower, if thou refuse me --

-- Worldflower, if thou abuse me,

And hoist thy stamen's spear-point high

To wound my wing and mar mine eye --

Nathless I'll drive me to thy deepest sweet,

Yea, richlier shall that pain the pollen beat

From me to thee, for oft these pollens be

Fine dust from wars that poets wage for thee.

But, O beloved Earthbloom soft a-shine

Upon the universal Jessamine,

Prithee, abuse me not,

Prithee, refuse me not,

Yield, yield the heartsome honey love to me

Hid in thy nectary!"

And as I sank into a dimmer dream

The pleading bee's song-burthen sole did seem:

"Hast ne'er a honey-drop of love for me

In thy huge nectary?"


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