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Why wing your flight, ye bees! from flow'r to flow'r?
Why, toiling thus, collect the luscious store
From blossom'd thyme empurpling all the ground?
From the rich anise breathing odours round?
Why sip the vernal vi'let's nectar'd dew?
Or spoil the fragrant rose of blushing hue?
Fly to the lips, ye wantons! of my fair;
And gather all your balmy treasures there;
Thence catch the fragrance of the blushing rose;
Thence sip that dew which from the vi'let flows;
Thence the rich odours of the anise steal;
And thence the blossom'd thyme's perfume inhale:
Lips! where those tears in genuine moisture dwell,
That from Narcissus self-enamour'd fell;
Lips! deeply-ting'd with Hyacinthus' blood,
Which, with the tears in one commingled flood,
Impregnating the fertile womb of earth,
First gave the variegated flow'r its birth:
Soon, by the nectar'd show'rs that heav'n bestow'd,
With fanning gales, the motley offspring blow'd:
For drops of blood, lo! crimson streaks appear;
And streaks uncolour'd for each lucid tear.


But still, ye bees well-favour'd! grateful prove;
Let no unkind refusals pay my love,
If e'er I claim (what's sure my rightful due)
To share those lips, those honied lips! with you:
Nor suck insatiate all their balm away,
And to your bursting cells the sweets convey:
Lest, when to cool my fever'd lips I try,
NeƦra's lips no cooling dews supply;
Then shall I justly reap the sad reward
Of what misguided confidence declar'd.


And, oh! to wound her tender lips forbear;
Or dread the fatal vengeance of the fair:
Tho' sharp your stings, her eyes can scatter round
Darts that with more tormenting stings may wound!
Nor, as ye sip, inflict the slightest pain,
For unreveng'd the wrong will ne'er remain;
But gently gather, from those precious rills,
Th' ambrosial drops each humid lip distils.