The Imperial Mantle
(Translation circa late 1800s,
publisher: Estes and Lauriat)
O ye whose labour is bliss alway,
Blithe-winged ones who have for prey
But odorous breaths of azure skies,
Who, ere December come, far flee,
Sweet thieves of sweetest blooms! O ye
Who bear to men the honey prize,
Chaste sippers of the morning dew,
Who visit 'neath noon's amorous blue
The lily glowing like a star,
Fond sisters of May's flowrest bright,
Bees, blithesome daughters of the light,
From that foul mantle flit afar!
Winged warriors, rush upon that man!
O busy toilers, noble clan,
For duty and virtue arduous,
With golden wings, keen darts of flame,
Swarm round that dull foul thing of shame,
And hiss, "For what has taken us?"
The Imperial Cloak
(Translation - 2001
EH and AM Blackmore)
You honeybees whose work is play,
Who never look for any prey
But scents, breaths of celestial grace,
O you that flee the wintry hours,
And, stealing amber from the flowers,
Make honey for the human race,
Visiting on your way, like brides,
The lilies of the mountainsides,
You virtuous dew-drinking folk,
Daughters and sisters of the day
And scarlet petals, come away --
Rise up, fly from this cloak!
And hurl yourself against the man!
You things of purity and plan,
Workers of good, wagers of war,
You wings of gold, you darts of fire,
Whirl round and round the shameful liar!
Tell him: "What do you take us for?