My Nature Lesson

A flask-shaped grey cocoon Hung near, its mystic wonder I would see! For snug within lay an Emperor Moth, Through the narrow neck its release must be… But its body is large, the opening small, Escape is to flight and airy bliss; With great labor its strives and struggles within, But haste clips the chrysalis.

I thought myself wiser, more compassionate Than its Maker, and lent a hand: With scissors I snipped the confining threads, With ease removing its bands. I watched the swollen body and shriveled wings, Its normal development must follow soon— I traced its exquisite spots silently And longed for perfect beauty, a boon.

But false tenderness proved a ruin indeed, I was not a friend in need; Those rainbow wings never flew joyously, It was maimed and stunted, crawling painfully. Thus labor and struggle provision brings To stimulate fluids for large and graceful wings. O make us patient beneath thy chastening rod, Though grievous, yet needful, from thy hand, dear God.