To a Bunch of Grapes


Cluster of pregnant berries, pressed
     In luscious warmth together,
Like golden eggs in glassy nest,
Hatched by the zephyr’s dewy breast
     In sultry weather;
Or amber tears of those sad girls
     Who mourn their hapless brother;
Strung closely on the glossy curls
Of yon fair shrub, whose zigzag twirls
     Clip one another;
Or silent swarm of golden bees
     Your velvet bosoms brushing,
Dropped odorous from the gummy breeze,
Lingering in sleep upon the trees,
     Whilst summer’s blushing;
Or liquid sunbeams, swathed in net
     Spun by some vagrant fairy,
Like mimic lamps fresh trimmed and set
In thick festoons, with ripeness wet,
     Moonlight to carry;
Or drops of honey, lately stolen
     From the hive’s treasury,
Bubbles of light, with sweetness swollen,
Balls of bright juice, by breezes rollen,
     And bandied high.
I watch with wondrous care each day
     Your little spotted blushes,
Dyed by the sun’s rude staring ray;
And soon I hope you’ll ooze away
     In sunny gushes.
Then shall ye, veiled in misty fume,
     In polished urn be flowing;
With blood of nectar, soul perfume,
Breathe on our cheeks a downy bloom
     With pleasure glowing.

[Gosse, 1890]