“Buzzing, buzzing, buzzing, my honey-making bees,
They left the musk, and the marigolds and the scented faint sweet-peas;
They gather’d in a darkening cloud, and sway’d, and rose to fly;
A blackness on the summer blue, they swept across the sky.
Gaunt and ghastly with gaping wounds—(my soldier son, alas)!
Footsore and faint, the messenger came halting through the grass.
The wind went by and shook the leaves—the mint-stalk shed its flower—
And I miss’d the murmuring round the hives, and my boding heart beat slower.
His soul we cheer’d with meat and wine;
With women’s craft and balsam fine
We bath’d his hurts, and bound them soft,
While west the wind played through the croft,
And the low sun dyed the pinks blood red,
And, straying near the mint-flower shed,
A wild bee wanton’d o’er the bed.”
From “The Bees of Myddelton Manor”, by May Probyn, found at http://bartelby.org/246/1002.html