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The Bee and the Butterfly

Written by: Mary Darby Robinson | Biography
 UPON a garden's perfum'd bed 
With various gaudy colours spread, 
Beneath the shelter of a ROSE 
A BUTTERFLY had sought repose; 
Faint, with the sultry beams of day, 
Supine the beauteous insect lay.
A BEE, impatient to devour The nectar sweets of ev'ry flow'r, Returning to her golden store, A weight of fragrant treasure bore; With envious eye, she mark'd the shade, Where the poor BUTTERFLY was laid, And resting on the bending spray, Thus murmur'd forth her drony lay:­ "Thou empty thing, whose merit lies In the vain boast of orient dies; Whose glittering form the slightest breath Robs of its gloss, and fades to death; Who idly rov'st the summer day, Flutt'ring a transient life away, Unmindful of the chilling hour, The nipping frost, the drenching show'r; Who heedless of "to-morrow's fare," Mak'st present bliss thy only care; Is it for THEE, the damask ROSE With such transcendent lustre glows? Is it for such a giddy thing Nature unveils the blushing spring? Hence, from thy lurking place, and know, 'Tis not for THEE her beauties glow.
" The BUTTERFLY, with decent pride, In gentle accents, thus reply'd: "'Tis true, I flutter life away In pastime, innocent and gay; The SUN that decks the blushing spring Gives lustre to my painted wing; 'Tis NATURE bids each colour vie, With rainbow tints of varying die; I boast no skill, no subtle pow'r To steal the balm from ev'ry flow'r; The ROSE, that only shelter'd ME, Has pour'd a load of sweets on THEE; Of merit we have both our share, Heav'n gave thee ART, and made me FAIR; And tho' thy cunning can despise The humble worth of harmless flies; Remember, envious, busy thing, Thy honey'd form conceals a sting; Enjoy thy garden, while I rove The sunny hill, the woodbine grove, And far remov'd from care and THEE, Embrace my humble destiny; While in some lone sequester'd bow'r, I'll live content beyond thy pow'r; For where ILL-NATURE holds her reign TASTE, WORTH, and BEAUTY, plead in vain; E'en GENIUS must to PRIDE submit When ENVY wings the shaft of WIT.



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