Beyond the Hills of Dream

by William Wilfred Campbell


The Humming Bee


GLAD music of the summer’s heart,
     Jargoning from flower to flower,
     A part of each unconscious hour
Until the happy days depart!
Thou dream-like toiler of the fields!
     Each honeyed spot thou knowest well
Where Nature’s heart her sweetness yields,
     Some ruined trunk thy citadel;
There buildest a home for Winter’s hour
     In some lone, sunlight-haunted place,

When all the year is at its power,
And June’s high-tide on bank and bower
     Mirrors in blossoms Nature’s face. 

At early morn by breathing wood,
     Or in some dewy clover dell,

Tuning the young day’s solitude,—
     Or down the slumbrous afternoon,
Rich-freighted, wingest thy tuneful way,
     Self-musing, murmurous, musical;
Amid the whole world’s dreamy swoon,
     Sole voice of all the drowsèd day,
Until the gradual shadows fall:—
     Then, by some lonely pasture-fell
At ruddy eve when homeward come
Past deepening shade or fading ray
The weary children of the day.
     I hear thy joyous, drowsy hum,
Till stars peep out and woods breathe low,
     And sounds of humans toil grow dumb,
And Night, the blessèd, comes apace,
Bending to Earth’s her cooling face,
     While airs across the dark outblow:
Then rocked on some glad blossom’s breast,
     Thou dreamest to rest.
When Summer wanes to Autumn’s age,
And come the days of fate and rage,
     O happy Humming Bee!
Then wilt thou sink to wintry sleep,
When storms are hoarse along the deep,
     In hushed tranquillity.
No more wilt wind thy subtle horn
By dreamy eve or misty morn,
When trees are leafless, pastures shorn.
     Ah me! ah me!
Could we, like thee, go down the days
Of summer hush to autumn haze.
Housing, with what we built before,
The gold of all our memory’s store
And garnered thought;
So when the bleak December’s hate
Beat round the bastions of our fate,
We, wrapt in wealth of honeyed dreams
Of kindlier visions, far-off streams,
     Might heed it not.