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Handout 1: A Nature-Lover Passes

Daniel Henderson (1880-1955)

In certain parts of Great Britain, where families commonly kept beehives, people believed the first thing you should do when a relative dies is to tell the bees.

BEES, go tell the things he treasured —

Oak and grass and violet —

That although his life was measured

He is with them yet!

Tell the wild rose and the clover

That the earth has made him over!

Tell the lilting, loitering stream

He is sharer of its dream!

Whisper to the April wood

Of his blending in its mood!

Tell the wind his spirit flows

In whatever path it blows!

Tell the thrush it draws its art

From the rapture of his heart!

Bees, to his green shelter bring

All of earth's bright gossiping:

Tales of feather, flower, or fur;

Sap upmounting; wings astir!

Now we may no more attend him,

Bid his loved wild things befriend him!

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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