Thou who hast nursed me in my mother's womb,
Whose arms have borne me into life and light,
Whose genial warmth has swelled my childhood's bloom.
Whose teachings made the school-boy's rambles bright,—
Spare not thy balm, when standing at my tomb
I more than ever need thy counsel's might.—
Have thanks, e'en now thou hast fulfilled my prayer
In yon cocoon, suspended in the air.
[He takes a caterpillar s web from an overhanging branch.]
Thou chrysalis! how well thou showest me
Kind Nature's beneficial ordinance,
That saves her children from the agony
Of transitory progress by the trance
Of sleep and death, whose torpid mystery
Begets in them new powers for their advance,
Thou only slumber'st to await the change
That will extol thee to a higher range!
Of loathsome mien, of uncouth form till late,
Thou shalt be draped in raiments proud and rare,
When summer-heats unlock thy prison-gate
And send thee forth as "blossom of the air,"