Of the wild bee's morning chase, of the wild flower's time and place,
flight of fowl and habitude of the tenants of the wood;
How the tortoise bears his shell, how the woodchuck digs his cell, and the ground mole sinks his well,
How the robin feeds her young, how the oriole's nest is hung;
Where the whitest lilies blow, where the freshest berries grow,
where the groundnut trails its vine, where the wood grape's clusters shine;
Of the black wasp's cunning way, Mason of his walls of clay,
and the architectural plans, of gray hornet artisans!
For, eschewing books and tasks, nature answers all he asks;
Hand in hand with her he walks, face to face with her he talks,
part and parcel of her joy, blessings on thee, barefoot boy!
Oh for boyhood's time of June, crowding years in one brief moon,
when all things I heard or saw me, their master, waited for.
I was rich in flowers and trees, humming birds and honeybees;