Beyond the Hills of Dream

by William Wilfred Campbell


 

The Humming Bee


 

GLAD music of the summer’s heart,
     Jargoning from flower to flower,
     A part of each unconscious hour
Until the happy days depart!
 
Thou dream-like toiler of the fields!
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     Each honeyed spot thou knowest well
Where Nature’s heart her sweetness yields,
     Some ruined trunk thy citadel;
There buildest a home for Winter’s hour
     In some lone, sunlight-haunted place,
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When all the year is at its power,
And June’s high-tide on bank and bower
     Mirrors in blossoms Nature’s face. 

At early morn by breathing wood,
     Or in some dewy clover dell,

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Tuning the young day’s solitude,—
     Or down the slumbrous afternoon,
Rich-freighted, wingest thy tuneful way,
     Self-musing, murmurous, musical;
Amid the whole world’s dreamy swoon,
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     Sole voice of all the drowsèd day,
Until the gradual shadows fall:—
     Then, by some lonely pasture-fell
At ruddy eve when homeward come
Past deepening shade or fading ray
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The weary children of the day.
     I hear thy joyous, drowsy hum,
Till stars peep out and woods breathe low,
     And sounds of humans toil grow dumb,
And Night, the blessèd, comes apace,
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Bending to Earth’s her cooling face,
     While airs across the dark outblow:
Then rocked on some glad blossom’s breast,
     Thou dreamest to rest.
 
When Summer wanes to Autumn’s age,
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And come the days of fate and rage,
     O happy Humming Bee!
Then wilt thou sink to wintry sleep,
When storms are hoarse along the deep,
     In hushed tranquillity.
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No more wilt wind thy subtle horn
By dreamy eve or misty morn,
When trees are leafless, pastures shorn.
     Ah me! ah me!
Could we, like thee, go down the days
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Of summer hush to autumn haze.
Housing, with what we built before,
The gold of all our memory’s store
And garnered thought;
So when the bleak December’s hate
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Beat round the bastions of our fate,
We, wrapt in wealth of honeyed dreams
Of kindlier visions, far-off streams,
     Might heed it not.