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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Maurice Thompson (1844–1901)

Wild Honey

WHERE hints of racy sap and gum

Out of the old dark forest come;

Where birds their beaks like hammers wield,

And pith is pierced, and bark is peeled;

Where the green walnut’s outer rind

Gives precious bitterness to the wind;—

There lurks the sweet creative power,

As lurks the honey in the flower.

In winter’s bud that bursts in spring,

In nut of autumn’s ripening,

In acrid bulb beneath the mold,

Sleeps the elixir, strong and old,

That Rosicrucians sought in vain,—

Life that renews itself again!

What bottled perfume is so good

As fragrance of split tulip-wood?

What fabled drink of god or Muse

Was rich as purple mulberry-juice?

And what school-polished gem of thought

Is like the rune from Nature caught?

He is a poet strong and true

Who loves wild thyme and honey-dew;

And like a brown bee works and sings

With morning freshness on his wings,

And a gold burden on his thighs,—

The pollen-dust of centuries!