The Butterfly and the Bee

- By William Lisle Bowles
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William Lisle Bowles (24 September 1762 – 7 April 1850) was an English priest, poet and critic.[1] Bowles was born at King's Sutton, Northamptonshire, where his father was vicar. At the age of 14 he entered Winchester College, where the headmaster at the time was Dr Joseph Warton. In 1781 Bowles left as captain of the school, and went on to Trinity College, Oxford, where he had won a scholarship. Two years later he won the Chancellor's prize for Latin verse.[2]

The Butterfly and the Bee

1. I thought I heard a butterfly
2. Say to a laboring bee:
3. “You have no colors of the sky
4. On painted wings like me.”
5. “Poor child of vanity1! Those dyes
6. And colors bright and rare,”
7. With mild scolding, the bee replies,
8. “Are all beneath my care.
9. Content I work from morn to eve,
10. And hating idleness2
11. To tribes of showy sloth3 I leave
12. The vanity of dress.”
2 idleness: doing nothing

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Word Lists:

Laziness : the quality of being unwilling to work or use energy; idleness

Sloth : reluctance to work or make an effort; laziness

Vanity : excessive pride in or admiration of one's own appearance or achievements

Scold : remonstrate with or rebuke (someone) angrily

Idle : (of a person) avoiding work; lazy

Pride : a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired

Labor : work, especially hard physical work

Rare : (of an event, situation, or condition) not occurring very often

Thought : an idea or opinion produced by thinking, or occurring suddenly in the mind


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Rating: A

Words: 83

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