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Cleveland, John: Poems (1657)
FUSCURA, or the Bee Errant.
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FUSCURA, or the Bee Errant.

(by Cleveland, John)



Natures confectioner, the Bee,
Whose suckets are moist Alchimie,
The Still of his refining mould,
Minting the Garden into gold;
Having rifled all the fields
Of what dainties Flora yields,
Ambitious now to take Excise
Of a more fragrant Paradise,
At my Fuscara's sleeve arriv'd
Where all delicious sweets are hiv'd.
The ayrie Free-booter destreins
First on the Violet of her Veins,
Whose tincture could it be more pure,
His ravenous kisse had made it bluer:
Here did he sit, and essence quaff,
Till her coy pulse had beat him off:
That pulse which he that feeles may know
Whether the Worlds long-liv'd or no.
The next he prayes on is her Palm,
That Alm'ner of transpiring Balm;
So soft, 'tis air but once remov'd,
Tender as 'twere a Jelly glov'd.
Here while his canting drone pipe scan'd
The Mystick figures of her hand,
He tipples Palmestry, and dives
   Oh all her fortune-telling lives.
He bathes in blisse, and finds no ods
Betwixt the Nectar and the Gods,
He pearches now upon her wrist,
A proper hawk for such a fist,
Making that flesh his bill of fare,
Which hungry Canibals would spare.
Where Lillies in a lovely brown
Inoculate Carnation:
He Argent skin with Or so stream'd,
As if the milky way were cream'd.
From hence he to the wood-bine bends
That quivers at her fingers ends,
That runs division on the tree,
Like a thick branching pedigree.
So 'tis not her the Bee devours,
It is a pretty maze of flowers,
It is the rose that bleeds when he
Nibbles his nice Phlebotomy.
About her finger he doth cling
I'th'fashion of a wedding ring,
And bids his Comrades of the swarm
Crawl on a bracelet 'bout her arm,
Thus when the hovering Publican
Had suck'd the toll of all her span,
Tuning his draughts with drowsie hums,
As Danes carowse by kettle-drums,
It was decreed that posie glean'd
The small familiar should be wean'd.
At this the Errants courage quails,
Yet aided by his native sails,
The bold Columbus still designes
To finde her undiscovered mines:
To th'Indies of her arm he flies
Fraught both with East and Western prize,
Which when he had in vain assaid,
Arm'd like a dapper Lance-presade,
With Spanish pike he broacht a pore,
And so both made and heal'd the sore:
For as in Gummy trees ther's found,
A salve to issue at the wound,
Of this her breach the like was true,
Hence trickled out a balsome too:
But oh! what Wasp was't that could rove
Rutilias to my Queen of Love?
The King of Bees now' jealous grown,
Lest her beame should melt his throne;
And finding that his tribute slacks,
His Burgesses, and state of VVax
Turn'd to an Hospitall, the combs
Build rank and file like Beads-men rooms,
And what they bleed but tart and sowre,
Matcht with my Danaes golden showre,
Live-Hony all, the envious elfe
Stung her, cause sweeter than himselfe.

Sweetnesse and she are so ally'd.
The Bee committed parricide.



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