Friday, May 03, 2013



A.C. Benson (1862-1925), "The Ant-Heap":
High in the woodland, on the mountain side,
   I ponder, half a golden afternoon,
Storing deep strength to battle with the tide
   I must encounter soon.

Absorbed, inquisitive, alert, irate,
   The wiry wood-ants run beneath the pines,
And bristle if a careless footfall grate
   Among their travelled lines.

With prey unwieldy, slain in alien lands,
   When shadows fall aslant, laden they come,
Where, piled of red fir-needles, guarded stands
   Their dry and rustling dome.

They toil for what they know not; rest they shun;
   They nip the soft intruder; when they die,
They grapple pain and fate, and ask from none
   The pity they deny.
Related post: Homer of the Insects.

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