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Poem by Madison Julius Cawein

Beetle and Moth


There's a bug at night that goes
Drowsily down the garden ways;
Lumberingly above the rose,
And above the jasmine sprays;
Bumping, bungling, buzzing by,
Falling finally, to crawl
Underneath the rose and lie
Near its fairest bud. That's all.
And I ask my father why
This old bug goes by that way:
This is what he has to say:
"That's old Parson Beetle, sonny;
He's in love with some rich flower;
After her and all her honey
And he'll have them in an hour.
He is awkward, but, I say,
With the flowers he has a way;
And, I tell you, he's a power;
Never fails to get his flower:
He's a great old Beetle, sonny."


Then again, when it is wet,
And we sit around the lamp,
On the screen, near which it's set,
Comes a fluttering, dim and damp,
Of white, woolly wings; and I
Go to see what's there and find
Something like a butterfly,
Beating at the window-blind.
And I ask my father why
This strange creature does that way:
This is what he has to say:
"Lady Moth that; she's the fashion:
Fall's in love with all bright things:
She has a consuming passion
For this light: will singe her wings.
Once it was a star, you know,
That she loved. I told you so!
Take her up. What lovely rings
On her scorched and dainty wings!
It's a pity, but the fashion."

Madison Julius Cawein

Madison Julius Cawein's other poems:
  1. The Wood God
  2. Poe
  3. Dogtown
  4. Love's Calendar
  5. Fall

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