Against Idleness and Mischief

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Against Idleness and Mischief  (1715) 
by Isaac Watts

Reprinted in Watts, Isaac. Divine and Moral Songs for Children. New York: Hurd & Houghton, 1866. Song XX, pages 65–66.


How doth the little busy bee
   Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
   From every opening flower!

How skilfully she builds her cell!
   How neat she spreads the wax!
And labours hard to store it well
   With the sweet food she makes.

In works of labour or of skill
   I would be busy too:
For Satan finds some mischief still
   For idle hands to do.

In books, or work, or healthful play
   Let my first years be past,
That I may give for every day
   Some good account at last.