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Firefly Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Firefly by Elizabeth Madox Roberts
  2. Fireflies by Bliss Carman
  3. Fireflies by Edgar Fawcett
  4. The Fire-Fly by John B. Tabb
  5. The Earliest Fire-Fly by Thomas Hill
  6. The Fire-Flies in the Wheat by Harriet Prescott Spofford

  1. Firefly

    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

    A little light is going by,
    Is going up to see the sky,
    A little light with wings.

    I never could have thought of it,
    To have a little bug all lit
    And made to go on wings.

  2. Fireflies

    by Bliss Carman

    The fireflies across the dusk
    Are flashing signals through the gloom—
    Courageous messengers of light
    That dare immensities of doom.

    About the seeding meadow-grass,
    Like busy watchmen in the street,
    They come and go, they turn and pass,
    Lighting the way for Beauty's feet.

    Or up they float on viewless wings
    To twinkle high among the trees,
    And rival with soft glimmerings
    The shining of the Pleiades.

    The stars that wheel above the hill
    Are not more wonderful to see,
    Nor the great tasks that they fulfill
    More needed in eternity.

  3. Fireflies

    by Edgar Fawcett

    I saw, one sultry night above a swamp,
    The darkness throbbing with their golden pomp!
    And long my dazzled sight did they entrance
    With the weird chaos of their dizzy dance!
    Quicker than yellow leaves, when gales despoil,

    Quivered the brilliance of their mute turmoil,
    Within whose light was intricately blent
    Perpetual rise, perpetual descent.
    As though their scintillant flickerings had met
    In the vague meshes of some airy net!
    And now mysteriously I seemed to guess,
    While watching their tumultuous loveliness,
    What fervor of deep passion strangely thrives
    In the warm richness of these tropic lives,
    Whose wings can never tremble but they show
    These hearts of living fire that beat below!

  4. The Fire-Fly

    by John B. Tabb

    "Are you flying through the night
    Looking where to find me?"
    "Nay; I travel with a light
    For the folks behind me."

  5. The Earliest Fire-Fly

    by Thomas Hill

    Fearless little pioneer,
    Leader of thy race this year!
    Tiny spark of wondrous light,
    Wandering through the darksome night,
    Strangely pleasant is the sight
    Of thy vague, erratic flight.

    Soon thy light will be but lost,
    Mid thy fellows brilliant host,
    When the meadow lands shall be
    Gay with mimic galaxy.

    Finches prophesy the spring,
    Bobolinks its blossoms bring;
    But thy race, with bolder cheer,
    Say that summer now is here.
    Now the wild grape fills the air
    With a wealth of perfume rare;
    Roses bloom beside the way,
    Joy and fragrance fill the day;
    Now the sunlight's lengthened hours
    Ring with song and glow with flowers.
    Leader of the glittering band,
    Soon to follow thy command,
    Welcome, then, thou tiny spark,
    Seen against the woodland dark.

    Who had taught thee, underground,
    Ere thy wings thou yet hadst found;
    Who had taught thee thus to soar,
    Thus to flit the meadows o'er,
    Ere as yet thy cheering flame
    From its hiding places came?

    Never yet another's light
    Having met thy new-born sight,
    How wilt thou the difference know
    Twixt a mate s and rival s glow?
    How distinguish, in the dark,
    Either from a glow-worm's spark?
    Wonderful the mystery—
    What shall safely pilot thee,
    With unerring thread of fate
    To thine only rightful mate?

    Wanderer! thus, unto my sight,
    With more than stellar lustre bright I
    Ah! how gladly would I share
    Courage which can boldly dare
    Thus to mount on untried wing;
    Boldly thus thyself to fling,
    Whither heart within thee leads,
    Toward higher life and nobler deeds.

    Thus thou op'nest to mine eye
    Scenes above this star-paved sky.
    He who guides thy feeble race,
    Pours on man a richer grace.
    Outward eye hath never seen
    Canaan's fields of living green;
    Outward senses hear no song
    Sung the eternal choirs among;
    But the Son of God inspires
    In his saints, those warm desires,
    And that strong, unconquered will
    Which the heart with rapture fill.
    When He calls, they soar away,
    Freed from all this mortal clay,
    Finding true the joyous word:
    "Still together with the Lord."

  6. The Fire-Flies in the Wheat

    by Harriet Prescott Spofford

    Ah, never of a summer night
    Will life again be half as sweet
    As in that country of delight
    Where straying, staying, with happy feet,
    We watched the fire-flies in the wheat.

    Full dark and deep the starless night,
    Still throbbing with the summer heat;
    There was no ray of any light,
    But dancing, glancing, far and fleet,
    Only the fire-flies in the wheat.

    In that great country of delight,
    Where youth and love the borders meet,
    We paused and lingered for the sight,
    While sparkling, darkling, flashed the sheet
    Of splendid fire-flies in the wheat.

    That night the earth seemed but a height
    Whereon to rest our happy feet,
    Watching one moment that wide flight
    Where lightening, brightening, mount and meet
    Those burning fire-flies in the wheat.

    What whispered words whose memory might
    Make an old heart with madness beat,
    Whose sense no music can recite,
    That chasing, racing, rhythmic beat
    Sings out with fire-flies in the wheat.

    O never of such blest despite
    Dreamed I, whom fate was wont to cheat—
    And like a star your face, and white—
    While mingling, tingling, wild as sleet,
    Stormed all those fire-flies through the wheat.

    Though of that country of delight
    The farther bounds we shall not greet,
    Still, sweet of all, that summer night,
    That maddest, gladdest night most sweet,
    Watching the fire-flies in the wheat!