Anna Laetitia Barbauld
Beauty of Insects
Observe the insect race, ordain'd to keep
The lazy Sabbath of a half-year's sleep.
Entomb'd beneath the filmy web they lie,
And wait the influence of a kinder sky.
When vernal sunbeams pierce their dark retreat,
The heaving tomb distends with vital heat;
The full-form'd brood, impatient of their cell,
Start from their trance, and burst their silken shell
Trembling awhile they stand, and scarcely dare
To launch at once upon the untried air.
At length assured, they catch the favouring gale,
And leave their sordid spoils and high in ether sail.
Lo! the bright train their radiant wings unfold,
With silver fringed, and freckled o'er with gold.
On the gay bosom of some fragrant flower,
They, idly fluttering, live their little hour;
Their life all pleasure, and their task all play,
All spring their age, and sunshine all their day.
Not so the child of sorrow, wretched man;
His course with toil concludes, with pain began,
That his high destiny he might discern,
And in misfortune's school this lesson learn -
Pleasure's the portion of the inferior kind;
But glory, virtue, heaven for man design'd.
What atom forms of insect life appear!
And who can follow nature's pencil here?
Their wings with azure, green, and purple gloss'd,
Studded with colour'd eyes, with gems emboss'd,
Inlaid with pearl, and mark'd with various stains
Of lively crimson, through their dusky veins.
Some shoot like living stars athwart the night,
And scatter from their wings a vivid light,
To guide the Indian to his tawny loves,
As through the woods with cautious step he moves.
See the proud giant of the beetle race,
With shining arms his polish'd limbs enchase!
Like some stern warrior formidably bright,
His steely sides reflect a gleaming light;
On his large forehead spreading horns he wears,
And high in air the branching antlers bears;
O'er many an inch extends his wide domain,
And his rich treasury swells with hoarded grain.
Anna Laetitia Barbauld's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Beauty of Insects by Anna Laetitia Barbauld )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Casey Renee Kiser
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi
(1207 - 1273)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- The Saddest Poem, Pablo Neruda
- The Cremation Of Sam McGee, Robert William Service
Poem of the Day
- Lost, Paul Sebastian
- Farewell 2014, Paul Sebastian
- The Right Religion, Kevin Forbes
- Miles away, hannah wilbert
- (8) जिख्लाबसे लाइजाम: 'रैसुमै'नो, Ronjoy Brahma
- A life unexamined, Robert Plese
- Dying, Dipankar Chakraborty
- Quotation # 5, saint cynosure ( Ken Bennigh ..
- Control, Robert Plese
- Time is your worst enemy, Leong Ming Loong