Into All Nectared Things – The Butterfly
By John Charles Earle
The shell is broken—’tis the chrysalid’s grave,
The cradle of the butterfly, whose wings
Are soon unfolded and alert to brave
The breeze and dart into all nectared things.
How beautiful with countless tiny scales,
That look like down upon the wings outspread,
She ranges o’er the meads, and trips and sails
To every saccharine cup of blue and red !
How gorgeous are those dyes : no Eastern king
Ablaze with jewels can be half as bright.
A life of sunshine ; an unwearied wing ;
An everlasting banquet of delight!
O butterfly, sweet symbol of the soul—
A Christian emblem due to Grecian art—
Thy meaning is not yet known as a whole,
For purblind men have learnt it but in part.
Fair Psyche of the scented clover croft,
Thou art the spirit-body’s loveliest type;
A chrysalid yesterday, to-day aloft
Thou soarest for refined enjoyment ripe.
A lower grade of life was late thine own ;
And all the grace of thine enamelled wings
In embryo lay grovelling and unblown
Within the caterpillar’s creeping rings.