All Quiet along the Potomac and other poems/Incorrigible

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

INCORRIGIBLE.


A GREAT honey-bee bustled over the lea,
 Then stopped in a field of white clover
To load up his thigh, till he scarcely could fly
 The wide sloping meadow-land over.

He sneered, as he flew, at the dragon-fly blue,
 At the swallow so airily winging.
The clear, lazy brook, droning tunes in a nook,
 The bobolink, joyfully singing.

As she went on her way, Cloverhead heard him say,
 Like a Pharisee noisily praying,
 "How well it would be, if the creatures like me
 Worked always, and never were playing !

 "Yon stream, with a will should be turning a mill;
 That dragon-fly, learn to make honey;
That pert bobolink, I do really think,
 If he sings, should be singing for money."

So Busy Bee sped, till he bumped his wise head
 On a cherry bough whitely in flower;
Fresh, dainty, and fair, sat a butterfly there,
 Like a queen in a summer-laid bower.

 "O Butterfly gay, have you aught laid away?
 Don't you know you're a terrible sinner
To idle your time while yet in your prime,
 Having nothing laid up for your dinner?"


Fair Butterfly laughed, as a dewdrop she quaffed
 From a cherry-bloom softly unfolding:
 "Good-bye, Busy Bee; don't be worrying me
 With your lectures and wearisome scolding.

 "I fancy He knows that the fair ruddy rose
 For a wheat-ear was never intended;
The jewel that burns, as the humming-bird turns,
 His hand from the rainbow has blended.

 "You work all the day—'tis a honey-bee's way;
 The Lord made you homely and busy;
What use would it be for a creature like me
 To be grumbling, and work myself dizzy?

 "And then, don't you see, you insensible bee,
 How our world, made of fibre and feather,
Would say I was queer, stepping out of my sphere,
 Strong-minded and wrong altogether?

 "I wish you no ill. You work with a will;
 But I ll swing, if I like, on a thistle,
Fan faint little flowers in odorous bowers,
 And wait for the quail's warning whistle.

 "I'll sit in the sun till the summer is done;
 But long ere the cold sobbing weather
I'll pack up my clothes in the heart of a rose,
 And we ll perish like vagrants together."


All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu-81.png