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Butterfly, butterfly, where are you going?
Do you dine today with the regal rose
Or nectar sip with the lilies blowing
In the golden noontide's sweet repose?
Away, away, on silken pinions,
Gay guest of Flora's proudest minions.


Or will you pause midst the fragrant clover
And their humbler viands not despise,
While the proud tuberoses wait their lover
And the pansies smile from their velvet eyes?
Away, away, on dainty pinions
Gay guest in Flora's fair dominions.


Butterfly, butterfly, praised and petted
Welcomed and feasted and loved by all,
Say have you ever yet regretted
That an humble worm you learned to crawl
You who soar on sun-dyed pinions
With bees and blossoms for companions?


O, like the worm we must aspire
To a higher flight and a lovelier guise,
If on unseen wings we mount up higher
And from a worm of the dust arise,
A full-fledged wonderful new creation
On the pinions of noble aspiration!


O, like the worm we must repair
From the coarse low things of the worm's delight
And wind our souls in the shreds of prayer
And fashion us wings for an endless flight;
Then bursting forth from our chrysalis
Taste the sweets of the highest happiness!