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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889


By Henry Augustin Beers (1847–1926)

[Born in Buffalo, N. Y., 1847. Died in New Haven, Conn., 1926. From The Thankless Muse. 1885.]

AS I lay yonder in tall grass

A drunken bumble-bee went past

Delirious with honey toddy.

The golden sash about his body

Could scarce keep in his swollen belly

Distent with honeysuckle jelly.

Rose-liquor and the sweet-pea wine

Had filled his soul with song divine;

Deep had he drunk the warm night through;

His hairy thighs were wet with dew.

Full many an antic he had played

While the world went round through sleep and shade.

Oft had he lit with thirsty lip

Some flower-cup’s nectared sweets to sip,

When on smooth petals he would slip

Or over tangled stamens trip,

And headlong in the pollen rolled,

Crawl out quite dusted o’er with gold.

Or else his heavy feet would stumble

Against some bud and down he’d tumble

Amongst the grass; there lie and grumble

In low, soft bass—poor maudlin bumble!

With tipsy hum on sleepy wing

He buzzed a glee—a bacchic thing

Which, wandering strangely in the moon,

He learned from grigs that sing in June,

Unknown to sober bees who dwell

Through the dark hours in waxen cell.

When south wind floated him away

The music of the summer day

Lost something: sure it was a pain

To miss that dainty star-light strain.