Bees hum soon and late.


No wind, no bird. The river flames like brass.
On either side, smitten as with a spell
Of silence, brood the fields. In the deep grass,
Edging the dusty roads, lie as they fell
Handfuls of shriveled leaves from tree and bush.
But ’long the orchard fence and at the gate,
Thrusting their saffron torches through the hush,
Wild lilies blaze, and bees hum soon and late.
Rust-colored the tall straggling briar, not one
Rose left. The spider sets its loom up there
Close to the roots, and spins out in the sun
A silken web from twig to twig. The air
Is full of hot rank scents. Upon the hill
Drifts the noon’s single cloud, white, glaring, still.

–Lizette Woodworth Reese


6 thoughts on “Bees hum soon and late.

    1. Some varieties don’t bloom much. From :
      “Stachys byzantina ‘Helen von Stein’, also known as ‘Big Ears’ has attractive and fragrant foliage and rarely sends up flower spikes.
      “Stachys byzantina ‘Silver Carpet’is most known for its strikingly attractive silvery-green leaves, but rarely blooms.”


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