Richard Chenebix Trench

(1807-1886 / Ireland)

Fair Vessel Hast Thou Seen With Honey Filled - Poem by Richard Chenebix Trench

I.
Fair vessel hast thou seen with honey filled,
Which is no sooner opened, than descend
Upon the clammy sweets by bees distilled
A troop of flies, quick swarming without end?

II.
Yet these when one doth fan away and beat,
Such as had lighted with a fearful care
On the jar's edge, nor cumbered wings and feet,
Lightly they mount into the upper air.

III.
But all that headlong plunged those sweets among,
No flight is theirs, in cloying sweetness bound;
The heavy toils have all around them clung,
In woful surfeiting their lives are drowned.

IV.
Such vessel is this world -- fanned evermore
By death's dark Angel with his mighty wing;
Then all that had in pleasure's honied store
Their spirits sunk, they upward cannot spring.

V.
Only they mount who, on this vessel's side
With heed alighting, had with extreme lip
Just ventured, there while suffered to abide,
Its sweets in measure and with fear to sip.


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, September 18, 2010



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