=The Bee, Clover, and Thistle=
A bee from the hive one morning flew,
A tune to the daylight humming;
And away she went o’er the sparkling dew,
Where the grass was green, the violet blue,
And the gold of the sun was coming.
And what first tempted the roving Bee,
Was a head of the crimson clover.
“I’ve found a treasure betimes!” said she,
“And perhaps a greater I might not see,
If I travelled the field all over.
“My beautiful Clover, so round and red,
There is not a thing in twenty,
That lifts this morning so sweet a head
Above its leaves, and its earthy bed,
With so many horns of plenty!”
The flow’rets were thick which the Clover crowned,
As the plumes in the helm of Hector;
And each had a cell that was deep and round,
Yet it would not impart, as the Bee soon found,
One drop of its precious nectar.
She cast in her eye where the honey lay,
And her pipe she began to measure;
But she saw at once it was clear as day,
That it would not go down one half the way
To the place of the envied treasure.
Said she, in a pet, “One thing I know,”
As she rose, and in haste departed,
“It is not those of the greatest show,
To whom for a favor ’tis best to go,
Or that prove most generous-hearted!”
A fleecy flock came into the field;
When one of its members followed
The scent of the clover, till between
Her nibbling teeth its head was seen,
And then in a moment swallowed.
“Ha, ha!” said the Bee, as the Clover
“Her fortune’s smile was fickle!
And now I can get my wants supplied
By a homely flower, with a rough outside.
And even with scale and prickle!”
Then she flew to one, that, by man and beast
Was shunned for its stinging bristle;
But it injured not the Bee in the least;
And she filled her pocket, and had a feast,
From the bloom of the purple Thistle.
The generous Thistle’s life was spared
In the home where the Bee first found her,
Till she grew so old she was hoary-haired,
And her snow-white locks with the silk compared,
As they shone where the sun beamed round her.
[Footnote 1: The clover-floret is so small and deep in its tube, that the bee cannot reach the honey at the bottom.]
=Poor Old Paul=
Poor old Paul! he has lost a foot;
And see him go hobbling along,
With the stump laced up in that clumsy boot,
Before the gathering throng!
And now, as he has to pass so many,
And suffer the gaze of all,
If each would only bestow a penny,
’Twere something for poor old Paul.
His cheek is wan, and his garb is thin;
His eye is sunken and dim;
He looks as if the winter had been
Making sad work with him.