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For this they hoard up glew, whofe clinging drops,
Like pitch, or birdlime, hang in ftringy ropes.
They oft, 'tis faid, in dark retirements dwell,
And work in fubterraneous caves their cell;
At other times th' induftrious infects live
In hollow rocks, or make a tree their hive.
Point all their chinky lodging round with mud,
And leaves must thinly on your work be ftrow'd;
But let no baleful yew-tree flourish near,
Nor rotten marshes send out fteams of mire ;
Nor burning crabs grow red, and crackle in the fire.
Nor neighb'ring caves return the dying found,
Nor echoing rocks the doubled voice rebound.
Things thus prepar'd
When th' under-world is seized with cold and night,
And fummer here defcends in streams of light,
'The bees thro' woods and forests take their flight.
They rifle every flow'r, and lightly skim
The cryftal brook, and fip the running stream:
And thus they feed their young with strange delight. And knead the yielding wax, and work the flimy sweet. But when on high you fee the Bees repair,
Borne on the wind, thro' diftant tracts of air,
And view the winged cloud all blackening from afar ;
While fhady coverts, and fresh streams they chufe,
Milfoil and common honey fuckles bruise,
And sprinkle on their hives the fragrant juice.
On brazen veffels beat a tinkling found,
And shake the cymbals of the goddess round;
Then all will haftily retreat, and fill
The warm refounding hollow of their cell.
If once two rival kings their right debate,
And factions and cabals embroil the ftate,
The people's actions will their thoughts declare;
All their hearts tremble and beat thick with war;
Hoarse broken founds, like trumpets' harsh alarms,
Run thro' the hive, and call 'em to their arms;
All in a hurry fpread their fhiv'ring wings,
And fit their claws, and point their angry ftings:
In crowds before the king's pavillion meet,
And boldly challenge out the foe to fight;
At laft, when all the heav'ns are warm and fair,
They rush together out, and join; the air
Swarm thick, and echoes with the humming war.
All in a firm round cluster mix, and ftrow
With heaps of little corps the earth below;
As thick as hail-ftones from the floor rebound,
Or fhaken acorns rattle on the ground.
No fenfe of danger can their minds control,
Their little bodies lodge a mighty foul:
Each obftinate in arms pursue his blow,
'Till fhameful flight fecures the routed foe,
This hot difpute and all this mighty fray
A little duft flung upwards will allay.
But when both kings are fettled in their hive, Mark him who looks the worst, and left he live Idle at home in ease and luxury,
The lazy monarch must be doom'd to die;
So let the royal infect rule alone,
And reign without a rival in his throne.
The kings are diff'rent: one of better note,
All fpeckt with gold, and many a fhining spot,
Looks gay, and gliftens in a gilded coat;
But love of eafe, and floth in one prevails,
That fcarce his hanging paunch behind him trails:
The people's looks are diff'rent as their kings;
Some fparkle bright, and glitter in their wings;
Others look loathsome and diseas'd with floth,
Like a faint traveller whose dusty mouth.
Grows dry with heat, and spits a maukish froth.
The firft are beft-
From their o'erflowing combs, you'll often prefs
Pure luscious fweets that mingling in the glass.
Correct the harfhnefs of the racy juice,,
And a rich flavour through the wine diffufe..
But when they sport abroad, and rove from home,
And leave the cooling hive, and quit th' unfinish'd comb;
Their airy ramblings are with ease confin'd,
Clip their king's wings, and if they stay behind
No bold ufurper dare invade their right,
Nor found a march, nor give the fign for flight.
Let flow'ry banks entice 'em to their cells,
And gardens all perfum'd with native fmells;
Where carv'd Priapus has his fix'd abode,
The robber's terror, and the fcare-crow god.
Wild Thyme and Pine-trees from their barren hill
Transplant, and nurse 'em in the neighb'ring foil,
Set fruit-trees round, nor e'er indulge thy floth,
But water 'em, and urge their fhady growth.
And here, perhaps, were not I giving o'er,
And striking fail, and making to the shore,
I'd fhew what art the Gard'ner's toils require,
Why rofy Paftum blushes twice a year;
What streams the verdant Succory supply,
And how the thirsty plant drinks rivers dry;
What with a chearful green does Parfly grace,
And writhes the bellying cucumber along the twisted grafs;
Nor would I pass the soft acanthus o'er,
Ivy nor myrtle-trees that love the fhore;
Nor daffodils, that late from earth's flow womb
Unrumple their fwoln buds, and shew their yellow bloom. For once I faw in the Tarentine vale,
Where flow Galefus drencht the wafhy foil,
An old Corician yeoman, who had got
A few neglected acres to his lot,
Where neither corn nor pafture grac'd the field.;
Nor would the vine her purple harveft yield;
But fav'ry herbs among the thorns were found,
Vervain and poppy-flow'rs his garden crown'd,
And drooping lilies whiten'd all the ground.
Bleft with thefe riches he cou'd empires flight,
And when he refted from his toils at night,
The earth unpurchas'd dainties would afford,
And his own garden furnish out his board:
The fpring did firft his opening roses blow,
Firft ripening autumn bent his fruitful bough.
When piercing colds had burst the brittle stone,
And freezing rivers ftiffen'd as they run,
He then would prune the tender'ft of his trees,
Chide the late fpring, and lingring western breeze ::
His bees firft fwarm'd, and made his veffels foam
With the rich squeezing of the juicy comb.
Here lindons and the fappy pine increas'd;
Here, when gay flow'rs his fmiling orchard dreft,
As many bloffoms as the fpring cou'd show,
So many dangling apples mellow'd on the bough.
In rows his elms and knotty pear-trees bloom,
And thorns ennobled now to bear a plumb,
And spreading plane-trees, where fupinely laid
He now enjoys the cool, and quaffs beneath the shade.
But thefe for want of room I must omit,
And leave for future Poets to recite.
Now I'll proceed their natures to declare, Which Jove himself did on the bees confer;