Methought I heard a butterfly
Say to a labouring bee:
'Thou hast no colours of the sky
On painted wings like me.'

'Poor child of vanity! those dyes,
And colours bright and rare,'
With mild reproof, the bee replies,
'Are all beneath my care.

'Content I toil from morn to eve,
And scorning idleness,
To tribes of gaudy sloth I leave
The vanity of dress.'

More verses by William Lisle Bowles

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