Butterfly

 

Fluttering beside
The dusty hedge,
Beauty espied,
Summer’s pledge.
Settling now –
What are thou?
Silent, unheard,
Insect or bird?

When thy gaudy tints
Flash I receive hints
Of temporary pride
And beauty; now

Thou art most gloriously bedecked
In flimsy fabrics, colour-flecked;
Thou wilt not meet tomorrow’s morn,
And yesterday thou wast not born!

Dancing along
The dusty hedge,
Fluttering among
The marshy sedge,
Inconsistent, gay,
Now here, then away
Come with the sun,
With the sun gone,
Just for a day!

But in this age
Are many like thee,
Born for a day
To fade away;

Just like thine own their beauty dust,
Gone with a finger lightly brushed;
Fluttering unstable, just like thee

Nothing their wage.
Defying health and sanity,
Courting wealth and vanity,
But not old age!

1925