Do, my dearest brother John,
Let that Butterfly alone.
What harm now do I do?
You’re always making such a noise—
O fie, John; none but naughty boys
Say such rude words as you.
Because you’re always speaking sharp:
On the same thing you always harp.
A bird one may not catch,
Nor find a nest, nor angle neither,
Nor from the peacock pluck a feather,
But you are on the watch
To moralise and lecture still.
And ever lecture, John, I will,
When such sad things I hear.
But talk not now of what is past;
The moments fly away too fast,
Though endlessly they seem to last
To that poor soul in fear.
Well, soon (I say) I’ll let it loose;
But, sister, you talk like a goose,
There’s no soul in a fly.
It has a form and fibres fine,
Were temper’d by the hand divine
Who dwells beyond the sky.
Look, brother, you have hurt its wing—
And plainly by its fluttering
You see it’s in distress,
Gay painted Coxcomb, spangled Beau,
A Butterfly is call’d you know,
That’s always in full dress:
The finest gentleman of all
Insects he is—he gave a Ball,
You know the Poet wrote.
Let’s fancy this the very same,
And then you’ll own you’ve been to blame
To spoil his silken coat.
Your dancing, spangled, powder’d Beau,
Look, through the air I’ve let him go:
And now we’re friends again.
As sure as he is in the air,
From this time, Ann, I will take care,
And try to be humane.
Mamma gave us a single Peach,
She shar’d it among seven;
Now you may think that unto each
But a small piece was given.
Yet though each share was very small,
We own’d when it was eaten,
Being so little for us all
Did its fine flavour heighten.
The tear was in our parent’s eye,
It seem’d quite out of season;
When we ask’d wherefore she did cry,
She thus explain’d the reason.
“The cause, my children, I may say,
Was joy, and not dejection;
The Peach, which made you all so gay,
Gave rise to this reflection:
“It’s many a mother’s
lot to share,
Seven hungry children viewing,
A morsel of the coarsest fare,
As I this Peach was doing.”