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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Bees
 
  Many-colored, sunshine-loving, spring-betokening bee! yellow bee, so mad for love of early-blooming flowers!
Professor Wilson.    
  1
        How doth the little busy bee
  Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day,
  From every opening flower.
Watts.    
  2
        Even bees, the little alms-men of spring bowers,
Know there is richest juice in poison-flowers.
Keats.    
  3
        Look on the bee upon the wing ’mong flowers;
How brave, how bright his life! then mark him hiv’d,
Cramp’d, cringing in his self-built, social cell,
Thus it is in the world-hive; most where men
Lie deep in cities as in drifts.
Bailey.    
  4
        The pedigree of honey
  Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
  Is aristocracy.
Emily Dickinson.    
  5
        His labor is a chant,
  His idleness a tune;
Oh, for a bee’s experience
  Of clovers and of noon!
Emily Dickinson.    
  6
                    Listen! O, listen!
Here ever hum the golden bees
Underneath full-blossomed trees,
At once with glowing fruit and flowers crowned.
Lowell.    
  7
  The bee is enclosed, and shines preserved, in a tear of the sisters of Phaëton, so that it seems enshrined in its own nectar. It has obtained a worthy reward for its great toils; we may suppose that the bee itself would have desired such a death.
Martial.    
  8
        “O bees, sweet bees!” I said; “that nearest field
Is shining white with fragrant immortelles.
Fly swiftly there and drain those honey wells.”
Helen Hunt.    
  9
        The wild bee reels from bough to bough
  With his furry coat and his gauzy wing,
Now in a lily cup, and now
  Setting a jacinth bell a-swing,
            In his wandering.
Oscar Wilde.    
  10
        Bees work for man, and yet they never bruise
  Their Master’s flower, but leave it having done,
As fair as ever and as fit to use;
  So both the flower doth stay and honey run.
Herbert.    
  11
        The careful insect ’midst his works I view,
Now from the flowers exhaust the fragrant dew,
With golden treasures load his little thighs,
And steer his distant journey through the skies.
Gay.    
  12
        The little bee returns with evening’s gloom,
  To join her comrades in the braided hive,
Where, housed beside their mighty honeycomb,
  They dream their polity shall long survive.
Charles (Tennyson) Turner.    
  13
        The honey-bee that wanders all day long
The field, the woodland, and the garden o’er,
To gather in his fragrant winter store,
Humming in calm content his winter song,
Seeks not alone the rose’s glowing breast,
The lily’s dainty cup, the violet’s lips,
But from all rank and noxious weeds he sips
The single drop of sweetness closely pressed
Within the poison chalice.
Anne C. Lynch Botta.    
  14
                        So work the honey-bees;
Creatures, that by a rule in nature teach
The art of order to a peopled kingdom.
They have a king and officers of sorts;
Where some, like magistrates, correct at home;
Others, like merchants, venture trade abroad;
Others, like soldiers, armed in their stings,
Make boot upon the summer’s velvet buds;
Which pillage they, with merry march, bring home,
To the tent royal of their emperor;
Who, busied in his majesty, surveys
The singing masons building roofs of gold;
The civil citizens kneading up the honey;
The poor mechanic porters crowding in
Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate;
The sad-ey’d justice, with his surly hum,
Delivering o’er to executors pale
The lazy yawning drone.
Shakespeare.    
  15
 
 
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