It’s July, and that means a proliferation of bugs – including the deer ticks we dread in Maine for their ability to carry Lyme disease. The mosquitoes in Maine are pretty legendary, too. I dislike bugs, except perhaps fireflies and butterflies. They are the price we pay for our short, glorious summer. Here is a poem by William Oldys (1687-1761) – not very sanitary, but an interesting meditation on the fleeting nature of existence. Oldys lived to be 74, which in the 1700s was a long life.
On A Fly Drinking Out Of His Cup
Busy, curious, thirsty fly!
Drink with me and drink as I:
Freely welcome to my cup,
Couldst thou sip and sip it up:
Make the most of life you may,
Life is short and wears away.
Both alike are mine and thine
Hastening quick to their decline:
Thine’s a summer, mine’s no more,
Though repeated to threescore.
Threescore summers, when they’re gone,
Will appear as short as one!