Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 3

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The martyrs


Western Australia, Martyrs, The life of the bee, Maurice Maeterlinck, Poetry

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Little city abounding in faith and mystery and hope, why do your myriad virgins consent to a task that no human slave has ever accepted? Another Spring would be theirs, another Summer, were they only a little less wasteful of strength, a little less forgetful of self, in their ardour for toil; but at the magnificent moment when the flowers all cry to them, they seem to be stricken with the fatal ecstasy of work, and in less than five weeks they almost all perish, their wings broken, their bodies shrivelled and covered with wounds." —"The Life of the Bee," by Maurice Maeterlinck.

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