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Studious to husband
And make the most of every flow'r.
Nimble from stalk to ftalk she fies,
And loads with yellow wax her thighs ;
With which the artist builds her comb,
And keeps all tight and warm at home:
Or from the cowslip's golden bells
Sucks honey to enrich her cells :
Or every tempting role pursues,
Or fips the lilly's fragrant dews ;
Yet never robs the shining bloom,
Or of its beauty or perfume.
Thus she discharg'd in every way
The various duties of the day.
It chanc'd a frugal Ant was near,
Whose brow was wrinkled o'er by care:
A great economist was she,
Nor less laborious than the Bee ;
By pensive parents often taught
What ills arise from want of thought ;
That poverty on floth depends,
On poverty the loss of friends.
Hence every day the Ant is found
With anxious steps to tread the ground;
With curious search to trace the grain,
And drag the heavy load with pain.
The active Bee with pleasure faw
The Ant fulfil her parents' law.
Ah! fifter-labourer, says she,
How very fortunate are we!
Who taught in infancy to know
The comforts, which from labour flow,
Are independent of the great,
Nor know the wants of pride and state.
Why is our food so very sweet ?
Because we earn, before we eat.
Why are our wants so
Because we nature's calls pursue.
Whence our complacency of mind?
Because we act our parts assign'd.
Have we inceffant tasks to do?
Is not all nature busy too !
Doth not the sun with constant pace
Perfift to run his annual race ?
Do not the stars, which shine so bright,
Renew their courses every night?
Doth not the ox obedient bow
His patient neck, and draw the plough?
Or when did e'er the generous steed
Withhold his labour or his speed ?
If you all nature's system scan,
The only idle thing is man!
A wanton Sparrow long'd to hear
Their fage discourse, and strait drew near.
The bird was talkative and loud,
And very pert and very proud ;
As worthless and as vain a thing,
Perhaps as ever wore a wing.
She found, as on a spray she sat,
The little friends were deep in chat;
That virtue was their favourite theme,
And toil and probity their scheme :
Such talk was hateful to her breaft,
She thought them arrant prudes at best.
When to display her naughty mind,
Hunger with cruelty combin'd;
She view'd the Ant with savage eyes,
And hopt and hopt to snatch her prize.
The Bee, who watch'd her opening bill,
And guess’d her fell design to kill;
Ask'd her from what her anger rose,
And why the treated Ants as foes?
The Sparrow her reply began,
And thus the conversation ran.
Whenever I'm disposd to dine,
I think the whole creation mine;
That I'm a bird of high degree,
insect made for me.
Hence oft I search the emmet brood,
For emmets are delicious food :
And oft in wantonness and play,
I slay ten thousand in a day.
For truth it is, without disguise,
That I love mischief as my eyes.
Oh ! fie, the honest Bee reply'd,
I fear you
make base man your guide ;
Of every creature sure the worst,
Tho' in creation's scale the first!
Ungrateful man ! 'tis strange he thrives,
Who burns the Bees, to rob their hives !
I hate his vile administration,
And so do all the emmet nation.
What fatal foes to birds are men
Quite to the Eagle from the Wren!
Oh! do not men's example take,
Who mischief do for mischief's fake;
But spare the Ant-her worth demands
Efteem and friendship at your hands.
A mind with every virtue bleft,
Must raise compassion in your breaft.
Virtue! rejoin'd the fneering bird,
Where did you learn that gothic word ?
Since I was hatch'd, I never heard,
That virtue was at all rever'd.
But say it was the ancients' claim,
Yet moderns disavow the name ;
Unless, my dear, you read romances,
I cannot reconcile
Virtue in fairy tales is seen
To play the goddess or the queen;
But what's a queen without the pow'r,
Or beauty, child, without a dow'r ?
Yet this is all that virtue brags,
At best 'tis only worth in rags.
Such whims my very heart derides,
Trust me Miss Bee-to speak the truth,
I've copyed men from earliest youth ;
The same our taste, the same our school,
Passion and appetite our rule.
And call me bird, or call me finner,
I'll ne'er forego my sport or dinner.
A prowling cat the miscreant spies,
And wide expands her amber eyes:
Near and more near Grimalkin draws,
She wags her tail, protends her paws;
Then springing on her thoughtless prey,
She bore the vicious bird away.
Thus in her cruelty and pride, The wicked wanton Sparrow dy'd.
ITH gallant pomp, and beauteous pride
The floating pile in harbour rode, Proud of her freight, the swelling tide Reluctant left the vessel's fide,
And rais'd it as the flow'd.