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The Drones And The Bee

from Literary Fables Of Yriarte





By a sense of their bad reputation molested,
The Drones in grave council assembled one day;
And various measures each idler suggested,
To wash of their sloth the sad stigma away.

No other expedient well could they see,
In the eyes of all animals better to stand--
Though lazy and stupid as well they could be--
Than to try, at the making of honey, their hand.

But the labor proved very distasteful, indeed;
The workmen, a rude, inexperienced crew;
They began to be doubtful if they should succeed
Very well in attaining the object in view.

To get rid of their trouble they fain would contrive,
By interring in state an old Bee that had died--
A notable Bee of a neighboring hive,
Of all her companions the model and pride.

With pomp and with honor they lauded her name,
In funeral obsequies, brilliant and grand;
Panegyrics immortal they buzzed to her fame,
For the whitest of wax and honey so bland.

This done, with much self-satisfaction they stop.
But a Bee said in scorn, "Is this all you can do?
Of the honey I make, not one single drop
Would I give for the fuss of your beggarly crew."

* * * * *

How many there are, who their emptiness mask,
By quoting wise words from the lips of the dead!
But with all their pretence, did they ever, I ask,
Produce any such from their own shallow head?





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