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Oh, the fireflies! oh, the fireflies!
They rival heaven's starlit skies;
Myriads floating in the air,
Now flashing here, now sparkling there,
They rise--they fall--they dart--they glide--
'Tis their lantern feast at ev'ntide;
The fragrant solitudes they seek,
Peopling the silent groves and creek;
Skimming the plain and reedy cove,
In countless brilliant points they rove;
Glancing amid the gloomy trees,
Like a mute swarm of burning bees;
Meteor-like, with vivid glare,
Sweeping, blazing, everywhere;
Swift from out the depths appearing,
Down, and up, in mad careering;
Or wild with sport, or urged by ire,
On--on they rush a tide of fire;
Beautiful creatures! Israel's host,
Could of its fiery pillar boast,
But these, to guide them through the dark,
Bear on each breast a tiny spark.


With wonder struck, we stand to view
Such a glorious revelation;
Nor sun, nor moon, has ought to do
With their living light's creation;
Heaven-lit lamps for purpose wise,
All independent of the skies;
Bright, wondrous denizens of night,
Evolving with self-kindling light;
Luminous bodies, circling round
In geometric laws profound,
They star the sky, or dot the ground;
Or, quiv'ring on the boughs and stems,
They flash like ocean's liquid gems,
Nor can the diamond's bright beam,
Outshine the lustre of their gleam;
Dazzling as lightning's fervid dart,
From out the blackness forth they start,
Wheeling, in bright fantastic game,
Their glitt'ring torches all aflame,
Ere from the nectrine buds they sip
The luscious sweets that court their lip,
Spangling the trees and shady bow'r,
With a mysterious golden show'r.


Oh! who can keep their startling pace?
Who their tortuous path can trace?
Who can view without devotion,
Such living suns in constant motion,
Knowing each tiny spark we see,
Burns with the fire of Deity?
Is fraught with life--nor life in vain--
But forms a link in nature's chain;
And while we gaze, and ponder so,
Teaches a moral lesson too,
That, when affliction brings us night,
Our oil should burn--our lamps be bright--
And howsoever deep the gloom,
Their light should all our path illume.