Far out at sea,--the sun was high,
While veer'd the wind and flapped the sail,
We saw a snow-white butterfly
Dancing before the fitful gale,
Far out at sea.
I'd be a butterfly, born in a bower,
Where roses and lilies and violets meet.
Much converse do I find in thee,
Historian of my infancy!
Float near me; do not yet depart!
Dead times revive in thee:
Thou bring'st, gay creature as thou art!
A solemn image to my heart.
With the rose the butterfly's deep in love,
A thousand times hovering round;
But round himself, all tender like gold,
The sun's sweet ray is hovering found.
And many an ante-natal tomb
When butterflies dream of the life to come.
The gold-barr'd butterflies to and from
And over the waterside wander'd and wove
As heedless and idle as clouds that rove
And drift by the peaks of perpetual snow.
- Joaquin Miller (pseudonym of Cincinnatus Hiner Miller),
Gray sail against the sky,
Have you a dream for going.
Or are you the blind wind's blowing?
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