To A Butterfly by Eliza Lee Cabot Follen

[Those who are acquainted with this little poem, translated
from Herder, will perceive that a slight liberty has been
taken with the last two lines.]

Airy, lovely, heavenly thing!
Butterfly with quivering wing!
Hovering in thy transient hour
Over every bush and flower,
Feasting upon flowers and dew,
Thyself a brilliant blossom, too!

Who, with skilful fingers fine,
Purpled o’er those wings of thine?
Was it some sylph whose tender care
Spangled thy robes so fine and fair,
And wove them of the morning air?
I feel thy little throbbing heart;
Thou fear’st e’en now death’s bitter smart.

Fly, little spirit, fly away!
Be free and joyful thy short day!
Image thou dost seem to me
Of that which I may one day be,
When I shall drop this robe of earth,
And wake into a spirit’s birth.

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