Bienensegen

I am contemplating bees
and their blessings,
how they might be like poets
(fruitful conceit?)—it is that season
for buzzing accomplishment
before the days draw down.

If this were Virgil’s celestial honey,
you would store it in crocks
with your household gods.
In these less golden days, I give
thin summer stuff: a great love
of flowers, glory in creating.

Oh, Lord, protect this wandering spirit
from burden-bruised wings,
from idle play, from aimless winds
and breathing life away
beside pools green with moss
and violet beds.

 

Last weekend, I visited Lorsch Abbey in Germany. This abbey is the source of the 9th- or 10th- century manuscript of the Lorscher Bienensegen, or bee blessing (here in German, with a pretty picture). My favorite lines:

Sit, sit bees.
……………….
Don’t fly into the woods;
……………….
Sit completely still.
Do God’s will.

Also, while thinking of bees, I stumbled across Virgil’s Georgics, with its Book IV about bees. Here is the lovely English translation by A. S. Kline, from which I borrowed a few phrases.

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