Forget not bees in winter, though they sleep.
For winter’s big with summer in her womb,
And when you plant your rose-trees, plant them deep,
Having regard to bushes all aflame,
And see the dusky promise of their bloom
In small red shoots, and let each redolent name-
Tuscany, Crested Cabbage, Cottage Maid-
Load with full June November’s dank repose,
See the kind cattle drowsing in the shade,
And hear the bee about his amorous trade
Brown in the gipsy crimson of the rose.
In February, if the days be clear,
The waking bee, still drowsy on the wing,
Will sense the opening of another year
And blunder out to seek another spring.
Crashing through winter sunlight’s pallid gold
His clumsiness sets catkins on the willow
Ashake like lambs’ tails in the early fold,
Dusting with pollen all his brown and yellow,
But when the rimy afternoon turns cold
And undern squalls buffet the chilly fellow,
He’ll seek the hive’s warm waxen welcoming
And set about the chambers’ classic mould.