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Eugene Field

Telling the Bees

Out of the house where the slumberer lay

Grandfather came one summer day,

And under the pleasant orchard trees

He spake this wise to the murmuring bees:

"The clover-bloom that kissed her feet

And the posie-bed where she used to play,

Have honey store, but none so sweet

As ere our little one went away.

O bees, sing soft, and, bees, sing low;

For she is gone who loved you so."

A wonder fell on the listening bees

Under those pleasant orchard trees,

And in their toil that summer day

Ever their murmuring seemed to say:

"Child, O child, the grass is cool,

And the posies are waking to hear the song

Of the bird that swings by the shaded pool,

Waiting for one that tarrieth long."

'Twas so they called to the little one then,

As if to call her back again.

O gentle bees, I have come to say

That grandfather fell asleep to-day,

And we know by the smile on grandlfather's face

He has found his dear one's biding-place.

So, bees, sing soft, and, bees, sing low,

As over the honey-fields you sweep—

To the trees abloom and the flowers ablow

Sing of grandfather fast asleep;

And ever beneath these orchard trees

Find cheer and shelter, gentle bees.