The Bee, Clover, And Thistle

By Hannah Flagg Gould

A Bee from her hive one morning flew,
A tune to the day-light humming;
And away she went, o’er the clear, bright 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 in haste and departed,
‘It is not those of the greatest show,
To whom for a favor ‘t is best to go,
Or that prove most generous-hearted!’
A fleecy flock came into the field,
And 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 died,
‘Her fortune’s smile was fickle!
And now I can get my wants supplied
By a humble flower with a rough outside,
And even a scale and prickle.’
Then she flew to one that by man and beast
Was shunned for its pointed 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.

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