from the Bee-Master
Victoria Sackville-West

Or scarlet windflower low among the stone,
Intent upon their crops,
The Syrian queens mate in the high hot day
Rapt visionaries of creative fray;
Soaring from fecund ecstasy alone,
And, through the blazing ether, drops
Like a small thunderbolt the vindicated drone

Forget not bees in winter, though they sleep.
For winter's big with summer in her womb,
And when you plant your rose-trees, plant them deep,
Having regard to bushes all aflame

In February, if the days be clear,
The waking bee, still drowsy on the wing,
Will sense the opening of another year
And blunder out to seek another spring

And then, pell-mell, his harvest follows swift,
Blossom and borage, lime and balm and clover,
On Downs the thyme, on cliffs the scantling thrift,
Everywhere bees go racing with the hours,
For every bee becomes a drunken lover,

Pillaging in their citadels,
Defeating wantonly their provident plan,
Making a havoc of their patient hoard;
Still start afresh, not knowing to what end,
Not knowing to what ultimate reward,
Or what new ruin of the garnered hive
The senseless god in man will send.