The Round

I watched, upon a vase's rim,
An earwig — strayed from honeyed cell —
Circling a track once strange to him,
But now known far too well.

With vexed antennae, searching space,
And giddy grope to left and right,
On — and still on — he pressed apace,
Out of, and into, sight.

In circumambulation drear,
He neither wavered, paused nor stayed;
But now kind Providence drew near —
A slip of wood I laid

Across his track. He scaled its edge:
And soon was safely restored to where
A sappy, dew-bright, flowering hedge
Of dahlias greened the air.

Ay, and as apt may be my fate! ...
Smiling, I turned to work again:
But shivered, where in shade I sate,
And idle did remain.
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