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In a gleam of sunshine a gentian stood,
Dreaming her life away,
While the leaves danced merrily through the wood,
And rode on the wind for play.


She stood in the light and looked at the sky,
Till her leaves were as fair a blue;
But she shut her heart from the butterfly
And the coaxing drops of dew.


Dreaming and sunning that autumn noon,
She stayed the idlest bee
That ever lingered to hear the tune
Of the wind in a rustling tree.


He had a golden cuirass on,
And a surcoat black as night,
And he wandered ever from shade to sun,
Seeking his own delight.


Now were the blossoms of Summer fled,
And the bumble-bee felt the frost;
He knew that the asters all lay dead,
And the honey-vine cups were lost.


So he poised and fluttered above the flower,
And tried his tenderest arts,
With whispers and kisses, a weary hour,
Till he opened its heart of hearts.


Not for love of the gentian blue,
But for his own wild will;
All he wanted was honey-dew,
And there he drank his fill.


No more dreaming in sun or shade!
It never could close again!
The gentian withered, alone, dismayed;
The bee flew over the plain.