Mind not the elder boys’ distress;
Let them run, and let them fly.
Their own neglect and giddiness
They are justly suffering by.
William his little basket fill’d
With his berries ripe and red;
Then, naughty boy, two bees he kill’d,
Under foot he stamp’d them dead.
William had cours’d them o’er
After them his steps did wander;
When he was nearly out of breath,
The last bee his foot was under.
A cruel triumph, which did not
Last but for a moment’s space,
For now he finds that he has got
Out of sight of every face.
What are the berries now to him?
What the bees which he hath slain?
Fear now possesses every limb,
He cannot trace his steps again.
The poor bees William had affrighted
In more terror did not haste,
Than he from bush to bush, benighted
And alone amid the waste.
Late in the night the child was found:
He who these two bees had crush’d
Was lying on the cold damp ground,
Sleep had then his sorrows hush’d.
A fever follow’d from the fright,
And from sleeping in the dew;
He many a day and many a night
Suffer’d ere he better grew.
His aching limbs while sick he lay
Made him learn the crush’d bees’ pain;
Oft would he to his mother say,
“I ne’er will kill a bee again.”
THE JOURNEY FROM SCHOOL AND TO SCHOOL
O what a joyous joyous day
Is that on which we come
At the recess from school away,
Each lad to his own home!
What though the coach is crammed full,
The weather very warm;
Think you a boy of us is dull,
Or feels the slightest harm?
The dust and sun is life and fun;
The hot and sultry weather
A higher zest gives every breast,
Thus jumbled all together.
Sometimes we laugh aloud aloud,
Sometimes huzzah, huzzah.
Who is so buoyant, free, and proud,
As we home-travellers are?
But sad, but sad is every lad
That day on which we come,
That last last day on which away
We all come from our home.
The coach too full is found to be:
Why is it crammed thus?
Now every one can plainly see
There’s not half room for us.
Soon we exclaim, O shame, O shame,
This hot and sultry weather,
Who but our master is to blame,
Who pack’d us thus together!
Now dust and sun does every one
Most terribly annoy;
Complaints begun, soon every one
Elbows his neighbour boy.
Not now the joyous laugh goes round,
We shout not now huzzah;
A sadder group may not be found
Than we returning are.