My orchard's girt with tree-stump hives of honey-bees
That sing like music-makers with unending humming,
Their bell-song bellies out from summer unto summer.
To near and distant villages it flies forth constantly.
I tend the hives, smoke them, bless them as it should be,
In autumn-time I leave a mighty store of honey,
I watch in winter lest some parasite may come in,
In springtime, top and base I cleanse devotedly.
But when the time of swarming comes around - that day
The bees decline to settle where I built their arbour,
Off where another's blossoms bloom they swiftly stray,
And when I go for honey to the vat, my labour
Is all in vain... More trouble!...By my kinsman-neighbour
Just like the swarm, the honey has been whisked away!