The butterfly is perfuming
It's wings in the scent
Of the orchid.

by Matsuo Basho.

Defrauded I A Butterfly

730

Defrauded I a Butterfly—
The lawful Heir—for Thee—

by Emily Dickinson.

This Moth Saw Brightness

This moth saw brightness
in a woman's chamber--
burnt to a crisp.


Translated by Robert Hass

by Kobayashi Issa.

The Butterfly In Honored Dust

The Butterfly in honored Dust
Assuredly will lie
But none will pass the Catacomb
So chastened as the Fly -

by Emily Dickinson.

In the fierce light the butterfly wings free —
So delicate, and yet so fibred to
Withstand the stress a giant would faint under.

by Robert Crawford.

A Moth The Hue Of This

841

A Moth the hue of this
Haunts Candles in Brazil.
Nature's Experience would make
Our Reddest Second pale.

Nature is fond, I sometimes think,
Of Trinkets, as a Girl.

by Emily Dickinson.

Hurt No Living Thing

Hurt no living thing:
Ladybird, nor butterfly,
Nor moth with dusty wing,
Nor cricket chirping cheerily,
Nor grasshopper so light of leap,
Nor dancing gnat, nor beetle fat,
Nor harmless worms that creep.

by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

The Butterfly Upon The Sky

The Butterfly upon the Sky,
That doesn't know its Name
And hasn't any tax to pay
And hasn't any Home
Is just as high as you and I,
And higher, I believe,
So soar away and never sigh
And that's the way to grieve -

by Emily Dickinson.

TO-NIGHT a gilded moth took wing,
And round-a-round yon wax-light flew;
And, while his flight did her enring,
He nearer to the dazzler drew.

'So fair art thou,' he cried, 'to view,
I'd die upon thy lips to feed;'
And so must snatch a kiss and rue—
Ah, he was murder'd for the deed.

by Joseph Skipsey.

The butterfly from flower to flower
The urchin chas’d; and, when at last
He caught it in my lady’s bower,
He cried, “Ha, ha!” and held it fast.

Awhile he laugh’d, but soon he wept,
When looking at the prize he’d caught
He found he had to ruin swept
The very glory he had sought

by Joseph Skipsey.

The Butterfly Obtains

The butterfly obtains
But little sympathy
Though favorably mentioned
In Entomology -

Because he travels freely
And wears a proper coat
The circumspect are certain
That he is dissolute -

Had he the homely scutcheon
Of modest Industry
'Twere fitter certifying
For Immortality -

by Emily Dickinson.

Some Such Butterfly Be Seen

541

Some such Butterfly be seen
On Brazilian Pampas—
Just at noon—no later—Sweet—
Then—the License closes—

Some such Spice—express and pass—
Subject to Your Plucking—
As the Stars—You knew last Night—
Foreigners—This Morning—

by Emily Dickinson.

The Desire Of The Moth

Woman's a star, a rose;
Man but a moth, a bee:
High now as heaven she glows,
Low now as earth and sea:
Star of the world and rose,
Clothed on with mystery.
Ever a goal, a lure,
Man, for his joy and woe,
Strives to attain to her,
Beating wild wings below,
Dying to make him sure
If she be flame or snow.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

'Twould Ease—a Butterfly

682

'Twould ease—a Butterfly—
Elate—a Bee—
Thou'rt neither—
Neither—thy capacity—

But, Blossom, were I,
I would rather be
Thy moment
Than a Bee's Eternity—

Content of fading
Is enough for me—
Fade I unto Divinity—

And Dying—Lifetime—
Ample as the Eye—
Her least attention raise on me—

by Emily Dickinson.

Song

Butterfly, butterfly, where are you going?
'Over the roses into the sky.'
Butterfly, butterfly, there is no knowing
When you'll come back again, so good-bye!

Butterfly, butterfly, summer is glowing,
But with the winter you too must die,
And your frail soul will be gently blowing
Upward to God on a rose's sigh.
Butterfly, butterfly, butterfly!

by Radclyffe Hall.

Moth To The Flame

Moth to the flame !
Fool that you be,
Life 's but a game,
Love is the same,
Better go free !

Moth to the fire !
Madness your' fate ;
Burnt of desire,
If you expire,
Joy comes too late.

Moth to the kiss
Bringing you death !
'Gladly for this
Agonized bliss,
With my last breath
Will I adore
As ne'er before!'
Foolish Moth saith.

by Radclyffe Hall.

The Butterfly and the Bee

Methought I heard a butterfly
Say to a labouring bee:
'Thou hast no colours of the sky
On painted wings like me.'

'Poor child of vanity! those dyes,
And colours bright and rare,'
With mild reproof, the bee replies,
'Are all beneath my care.

'Content I toil from morn to eve,
And scorning idleness,
To tribes of gaudy sloth I leave
The vanity of dress.'

by William Lisle Bowles.

THE Butterfly, an idle thing,
Nor honey makes, nor yet can sing,
As do the bee and bird;
Nor does it, like the prudent ant,
Lay up the grain for times of want,
A wise and cautious hoard.

My youth is but a summer's day:
Then like the bee and ant I'll lay
A store of learning by;
And though from flower to flower I rove,
My stock of wisdom I'll improve
Nor be a butterfly.

by Ann Taylor.

I Write About The Butterfly

'I write about the butterfly,
It is a pretty thing;
And flies about like the birds,
But it does not sing.

'First it is a little grub,
And then it is a nice yellow cocoon,
And then the butterfly
Eats its way out soon.

'They live on dew and honey,
They do not have any hive,
They do not sting like wasps, and bees, and hornets,
And to be as good as they are we should strive.

by Louisa May Alcott.

The Butterfly That Stamped

There was never a Queen like Balkis,
From here to the wide world's end;
But Balkis talked to a butterfly
As you would talk to a friend.

There was never a King like Solomon
Not since the world began;
But Solomon talked to a butterfly
As a man would talk to a man.

She was Queen of Sabea--
And he was Asia's Lord--
But they both of 'em talked to butterflies
When they took their walks abroad!

by Rudyard Kipling.

Chuang Tzu And The Butterfly

Chuang Tzu in dream became a butterfly,
And the butterfly became Chuang Tzu at waking.
Which was the real—the butterfly or the man ?
Who can tell the end of the endless changes of things?
The water that flows into the depth of the distant sea
Returns anon to the shallows of a transparent stream.
The man, raising melons outside the green gate of the city,
Was once the Prince of the East Hill.
So must rank and riches vanish.
You know it, still you toil and toil,—what for?

by Li Po.

Butterfly Laughter

In the middle of our porridge plates
There was a blue butterfly painted
And each morning we tried who should reach the
butterfly first.
Then the Grandmother said: "Do not eat the poor
butterfly."
That made us laugh.
Always she said it and always it started us laughing.
It seemed such a sweet little joke.
I was certain that one fine morning
The butterfly would fly out of our plates,
Laughing the teeniest laugh in the world,
And perch on the Grandmother's lap.

by Katherine Mansfield.

Coming with the daffodils and dying with the roses,
Wafted by the zephyr's wing athwart the spaces high,
Lurking in the flower's bloom or e'er its breast uncloses,
Reeling with sweet draughts of scent, and light, and deep blue sky;
Shaking wide its dusty wings and like the breezes breasting
Burdenless and innocent the sky's eternal steep:-
Thus doth fare the butterfly like hope that never resting,
Rifles all but cannot quench desire that ever questing,
Bears it home to heaven again for lasting joy and deep.

translated by Wilfrid Thorley

by Alphonse de Lamartine.

A Gas Butterfly

Tell me what's happening to me?
Why is my heart beating so fervently?
why has this madness, like a wave,
Broken through the rock of habit?

Is it my strength or just my torment
I'm too disturbed to tell:
From the shimmering lines of life
I extract a forgotten phrase...

Is it a thief who turns his lantern
Upon the crowd of dreary letters?
I can't help reading the phrase,
But haven't the strength to go back...

It really had to flare up,
But it only harries the darkness;
All night, like a gas-flame butterfly
It trembles, but cannot escape...

by Innokenty Fedorovich Annensky.

Mariposa Lily, The

Insect or blossom? Fragile, fairy thing,
Poised upon slender tip, and quivering
To flight! a flower of the fields of air;
A jewelled moth; a butterfly, with rare
And tender tints upon his downy wing,
A moment resting in our happy sight;
A flower held captive by a thread so slight
Its petal-wings of broidered gossamer
Are, light as the wind, with every wind astir, —
Wafting sweet odor, faint and exquisite.
O dainty nursling of the field and sky,
What fairer thing looks up to heaven’s blue
And drinks the noontide sun, the dawning’s dew?
Thou wingëd bloom! thou blossom-butterfly!

by Ina D. Coolbrith.

STAY near me---do not take thy flight!
A little longer stay in sight!
Much converse do I find I thee,
Historian of my infancy !
Float near me; do not yet depart!
Dead times revive in thee:
Thou bring'st, gay creature as thou art!
A solemn image to my heart,
My father's family!

Oh! pleasant, pleasant were the days,
The time, when, in our childish plays,
My sister Emmeline and I
Together chased the butterfly!
A very hunter did I rush
Upon the prey:---with leaps and spring
I followed on from brake to bush;
But she, God love her, feared to brush
The dust from off its wings.

by William Wordsworth.

To A Butterfly (2)

I'VE watched you now a full half-hour,
Self-poised upon that yellow flower;
And, little Butterfly! indeed
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless!---not frozen seas
More motionless! and then
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Hath found you out among the trees,
And calls you forth again !

This plot of orchard-ground is ours;
My trees they are, my Sister's flowers;
Here rest your wing when they are weary;
Here lodge as in a sanctuary!
Come often to us, fear no wrong;
Sit near us on the bough!
We'll talk of sunshine and of song,
And summer days, when we were young;
Sweet childish days, that were as long
As twenty days are now.

by William Wordsworth.

VIATOR loquitur

'Royal in purple and gold and red,
Free, and unknowing sorrow,
Blithely and lithely to and fro,
With flowers for thy choosing still a-blow,
Flaunt through the idle noon:
But the day is short and the summer sped,
And alas for the end of joy so soon;
The days are short and the rose is dead,
And thou wilt be dying to-morrow.'

BUTTERFLY loquitur

'Sunshine and blossoms are on my way;
What is thy talk of sorrow?
Blithe on the wing, with the flowers for rest,
Hither and thither as likes me best:
Oh! the joy of the while!
Minutes are many to bask and to play,
The earth is glad and the blue skies smile;
Minutes are many and joy is to-day;
Dying is far till to-morrow.'

by Augusta Davies Webster.

To A Butterfly Resting Upon A Skull

Creature of air and light,
Emblem of that which cannot die,
Wilt thou not speed thy flight,
To chase the south wind through the sunny sky?
What lures thee thus to stay,
With silence and decay,
Fix'd on the wreck of dull mortality?

The thoughts once chamber'd there
Have gather'd up their treasures and are gone:
Will the dust tell us where
They that have burst the prison-house are flown?
Rise, nursling of the day,
If thou wouldst trace their way;
Earth has no voice to make the secret known.

Who seeks the vanish'd bird
By the forsaken nest and broken shell?
Far hence he sings unheard,
Yet free and joyous, 'midst the woods to dwell.
Thou of the sunshine born,
Take the bright wings of morn;
Thy hope calls heavenward from yon ruin'd cell.

by Felicia Dorothea Hemans.

Joy And Pleasure

Now, joy is born of parents poor,
And pleasure of our richer kind;
Though pleasure's free, she cannot sing
As sweet a song as joy confined.

Pleasure's a Moth, that sleeps by day
And dances by false glare at night;
But Joy's a Butterfly, that loves
To spread its wings in Nature's light.

Joy's like a Bee that gently sucks
Away on blossoms its sweet hour;
But pleasure's like a greedy Wasp,
That plums and cherries would devour.

Joy's like a Lark that lives alone,
Whose ties are very strong, though few;
But Pleasure like a Cuckoo roams,
Makes much acquaintance, no friends true.

Joy from her heart doth sing at home,
With little care if others hear;
But pleasure then is cold and dumb,
And sings and laughs with strangers near.

by William Henry Davies.

The Candle And The Moth

O Candle! Why does the moth love you?
Why is this restless soul devoted to you?

Your charm keeps it restless like mercury
Did you teach it the etiquette of Love?

It circumambulates the site of your manifestation
Is it inspired with the fire of your lightning?

Do the woes of death give it the peace of life?
Does your flame possess the quality of eternal life?

If you do not brighten this sorrowful world
This burning heart's tree of Longing may not green up

Falling before you is the prayer of this little heart
The taste for impassioned Love knows this little heart

It has some zeal of the Primeval Beauty's Lover
You are a small ñër, it is a small Kalam

The moth and the taste for the Sight of the Light!
This small insect and the Longing for the Light!

by Allama Muhammad Iqbal.

Hugo's "Flower To Butterfly"

Sweet, bide with me and let my love
Be an enduring tether;
Oh, wanton not from spot to spot,
But let us dwell together.

You've come each morn to sip the sweets
With which you found me dripping,
Yet never knew it was not dew
But tears that you were sipping.

You gambol over honey meads
Where siren bees are humming;
But mine the fate to watch and wait
For my beloved's coming.

The sunshine that delights you now
Shall fade to darkness gloomy;
You should not fear if, biding here,
You nestled closer to me.

So rest you, love, and be my love,
That my enraptured blooming
May fill your sight with tender light,
Your wings with sweet perfuming.

Or, if you will not bide with me
Upon this quiet heather,
Oh, give me wing, thou beauteous thing,
That we may soar together.

by Eugene Field.

Butterfly, the wind blows sea-ward,
strong beyond the garden-wall!
Butterfly, why do you settle on my
shoe, and sip the dirt on my shoe,
Lifting your veined wings, lifting them?
big white butterfly!

Already it is October, and the wind
blows strong to the sea
from the hills where snow must have
fallen, the wind is polished with
snow.
Here in the garden, with red
geraniums, it is warm, it is warm
but the wind blows strong to sea-ward,
white butterfly, content on my shoe!

Will you go, will you go from my warm
house?
Will you climb on your big soft wings,
black-dotted,
as up an invisible rainbow, an arch
till the wind slides you sheer from the
arch-crest
and in a strange level fluttering you go
out to sea-ward, white speck!


Anonymous submission.

by David Herbert Lawrence.

From Cocoon Forth A Butterfly

354

From Cocoon forth a Butterfly
As Lady from her Door
Emerged—a Summer Afternoon—
Repairing Everywhere—

Without Design—that I could trace
Except to stray abroad
On Miscellaneous Enterprise
The Clovers—understood—

Her pretty Parasol be seen
Contracting in a Field
Where Men made Hay—
Then struggling hard
With an opposing Cloud—

Where Parties—Phantom as Herself—
To Nowhere—seemed to go
In purposeless Circumference—
As 'twere a Tropic Show—

And notwithstanding Bee—that worked—
And Flower—that zealous blew—
This Audience of Idleness
Disdained them, from the Sky—

Till Sundown crept—a steady Tide—
And Men that made the Hay—
And Afternoon—and Butterfly—
Extinguished—in the Sea—

by Emily Dickinson.

The Genesis Of The Butterfly

The dawn is smiling on the dew that covers
The tearful roses; lo, the little lovers
That kiss the buds, and all the flutterings
In jasmine bloom, and privet, of white wings,
That go and come, and fly, and peep and hide,
With muffled music, murmured far and wide.
Ah, the Spring time, when we think of all the lays
That dreamy lovers send to dreamy mays,
Of the fond hearts within a billet bound,
Of all the soft silk paper that pens wound,
The messages of love that mortals write
Filled with intoxication of delight,
Written in April and before the May time
Shredded and flown, playthings for the wind's playtime,
We dream that all white butterflies above,
Who seek through clouds or waters souls to love,
And leave their lady mistress in despair,
To flit to flowers, as kinder and more fair,
Are but torn love-letters, that through the skies
Flutter, and float, and change to butterflies

by Victor Marie Hugo.

The Desire Of The Moth

Golden-colored miller,
Leave the lamp, and fly away!
In that flame so brightly gleaming,
Sure, though smiling, death is beaming;
Hasten to thy play!

Nearer? foolish miller!
Look! thy tiny wings will burn.
Just escaped,-but soon 'twill reach thee;
Ah! can dying only teach thee
Truths thou wilt not learn?

Didst thou whisper, miller?
Something like a voice and sigh
Seemed to say,-'in all thy teaching,
Is there practice, or but preaching;
Doest thou more than I?'

Wisest little miller!
I indeed have hung too long
Round a flame more wildly burning,
And, with heart too fond and yearning,
Heard no charmer's song.

Blinder than a miller
Hovering with devoted gaze,
Where such visions vain I cherish,
Either they or I must perish,
Like that flickering blaze.

But the moonlight, miller,
Better far befits our mirth;
That calm, streaming light is given
From the silent depths of heaven;
Fire is born of earth!

by Rose Terry Cooke.

Verses On A Butterfly

Fair Child of Sun and Summer! we behold
With eager eyes thy wings bedropp'd with gold;
The purple spots that o'er thy mantle spread,
The sapphire's lively blue, the ruby's red,
Ten thousand various blended tints surprise,
Beyond the rainbow's hues or peacock's eyes:
Not Judah's king in eastern pomp array'd,
Whose charms allur'd from far the Sheban maid,
High on his glitt'ring throne, like you could shine
(Nature's completest miniature divine):
For thee the rose her balmy buds renews,
And silver lillies fill their cups with dews;
Flora for thee the laughing fields perfumes,
For thee Pomona sheds her choicest blooms,
Soft Zephyr wafts thee on his gentlest gales
O'er Hackwood's sunny hill and verdant vales;
For thee, gay queen of insects! do we rove
From walk to walk, from beauteous grove to grove;
And let the critics know, whose pedant pride
And awkward jests our sprightly sport deride:
That all who honours, fame, or wealth pursue,
Change but the name of things--they hunt for you.

by Joseph Warton.

Of The Boy And Butterfly

Behold, how eager this our little boy
Is for a butterfly, as if all joy,
All profits, honours, yea, and lasting pleasures,
Were wrapped up in her, or the richest treasures
Found in her would be bundled up together,
When all her all is lighter than a feather.

He halloos, runs, and cries out, 'Here, boys, here!'
Nor doth he brambles or the nettles fear:
He stumbles at the molehills, up he gets,
And runs again, as one bereft of wits;
And all his labour and his large outcry
Is only for a silly butterfly.

Comparison

This little boy an emblem is of those
Whose hearts are wholly at the world's dispose.
The butterfly doth represent to me
The world's best things at best but fading be.
All are but painted nothings and false joys,
Like this poor butterfly to these our boys.

His running through nettles, thorns, and briers,
To gratify his boyish fond desires,
His tumbling over molehills to attain
His end, namely, his butterfly to gain,
Doth plainly show what hazards some men run
To get what will be lost as soon as won.

by John Bunyan.

IF a leaf rustled, she would start:
And yet she died, a year ago.
How had so frail a thing the heart
To journey where she trembled so?
And do they turn and turn in fright,
Those little feet, in so much night?

The light above the poet’s head
Streamed on the page and on the cloth,
And twice and thrice there buffeted
On the black pane a white-winged moth:
’T was Annie’s soul that beat outside
And “Open, open, open!” cried:

“I could not find the way to God;
There were too many flaming suns
For signposts, and the fearful road
Led over wastes where millions
Of tangled comets hissed and burned—
I was bewildered and I turned.

“O, it was easy then! I knew
Your window and no star beside.
Look up, and take me back to you!”
—He rose and thrust the window wide.
’T was but because his brain was hot
With rhyming; for he heard her not.

But poets polishing a phrase
Show anger over trivial things;
And as she blundered in the blaze
Towards him, on ecstatic wings,
He raised a hand and smote her dead;
Then wrote “That I had died instead!”

by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch.

Butterfly, butterfly, where are you going?
Do you dine today with the regal rose
Or nectar sip with the lilies blowing
In the golden noontide's sweet repose?
Away, away, on silken pinions,
Gay guest of Flora's proudest minions.

Or will you pause midst the fragrant clover
And their humbler viands not despise,
While the proud tuberoses wait their lover
And the pansies smile from their velvet eyes?
Away, away, on dainty pinions
Gay guest in Flora's fair dominions.

Butterfly, butterfly, praised and petted
Welcomed and feasted and loved by all,
Say have you ever yet regretted
That an humble worm you learned to crawl
You who soar on sun-dyed pinions
With bees and blossoms for companions?

O, like the worm we must aspire
To a higher flight and a lovelier guise,
If on unseen wings we mount up higher
And from a worm of the dust arise,
A full-fledged wonderful new creation
On the pinions of noble aspiration!

O, like the worm we must repair
From the coarse low things of the worm's delight
And wind our souls in the shreds of prayer
And fashion us wings for an endless flight;
Then bursting forth from our chrysalis
Taste the sweets of the highest happiness!

by Martha Lavinia Hoffman.