University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The Literature Collection

Page View

Mulany, John V. (ed.) / The Wisconsin literary magazine
Vol. V, No. 3 (December 1907)

Rubin, Joseph Maccabee
The butterfly's confessor,   pp. 128-129

Page 128

                           A Fable
                    After the German Model
                    Joseph Maccabee Rubin
 (CON one of my usual morning walks among the flower beds
 W     of the park in the center of which our villa stood, I saw
 a butterfly on a rose leaf, and, as I perceived by looking more
 closely at the beautiful insect, approaching its end in violent
 convulsions. At its right side sat a black cockchafer, appa-
 rently its confessor.
   I was very eager to know how the ghostly father of a
butterfly would express itself, and being endowed with a
knowledge of the language of insects, I approached the two.
   "Gay-colored favorite of nature," I heard the bettle say in
its deep voice, "thy death has as many charms as thy life.
Thou hast accomplished thy work in this world by giving
thyself up entirely and constantly to the enjoyment of
pleasures of all kinds. Thy only mission here upon earth
was to flutter from flower to flower without injuring them, to
taste their juices without suffering intoxication, to beautify
each one of thy moments; and all this thou hast done admir-
ably well.
   "If by thy deserting a flower thou hast made it shed tears
and, as it pretended, broken its heart, be not conscience-
stricken now, thou hast rather benefited it by awakening in
it a yearning and a longing, and thus calling into life natural
passions and desires which otherwise would have remained
asleep in its bosom.
  "If thou hast been accused of being unfaithful to a flower
which had the arrogance to claim thee entirely for itself,
let not this trouble thee now at thy death hour;-thy heart
was by far too wide for one; it had, like the silver waters of a

Go up to Top of Page