Apollo Speaks

 On the bees

from the Homeric Hymn to Hermes

For there are sisters three, called Thriae, maide things
Three are they and they joy in the glory of swift wings
Upon ther head is sprinkled the flour of barley white
They dwell aloof in dwelling beneath Parnassos' height.
They taught me love of soothsaying, whilst I my flocks did feed,
Being yet a boy; of me and mine my father took no heed,
and they flittted, now this way, now that, upon the wing,
And of all things that were to be they uttered soothsaying;
What time they fed on honey fresh, food of the gods devine
The holy madness made their hearts to speak the truth incline.
But if from food of honeycomb they needs must keep aloof,
Confused they buzz among themselves and speak no word of sooth.