Close Close Previous Poem Next Poem Follow Us on Twitter! Poem of the Day Award Follow Us on Facebook! Follow Us on Twitter! Follow Us on Pinterest! Follow Our Youtube Channel! Follow Our RSS Feed! envelope star quill


by Helen Hunt Jackson

O, patient creature with a peasant face,
Burnt by the summer sun, begrimed with stains,
And standing humbly in the dusty lanes!
There seems a mystery in thy work and place,
Which crowns thee with significance and grace;
Whose is the milk that fills thy faithful veins?
What royal nursling comes at night and drains
Unscorned the food of the plebeian race?
By day I mark no living thing which rests
On thee save butterflies of gold and brown,
Who turn from flowers that are more fair, more sweet,
And crowding eagerly sink fluttering down
And hang, like jewels flashing in the heat,
Upon thy splendid rounded purple breasts.

Did You Know?

The leaves of the milkweed plant serve as the exclusive food of monarch caterpillars.

Monarch butterflies will only lay their eggs on milkweed. Once the monarch butterfly eggs hatch, the emerging caterpillars eat the leaves of the milkweed, which contain cardiac glycosides. This compound affects heart function and is toxic to most mammals and birds, thus providing the caterpillars that consume it a natural defense from predators.

Monarch butterflies migrate to warmer climates in the fall similar to the way many birds do. They are effective pollinators. Planting milkweed helps to support these useful and beautiful butterflies.

 Continue Reading

Follow Us On: