The Butterfly and the Bee
Methought I heard a butterfly
Say to the laboring bee,
“Thou hast no colors of the sky
On painted wings like me.”
“Poor child of vanity! those dyes,
And colors bright and rare,”
With mild reproof, the bee replies,
“Are all beneath my care.
“Content I toil from morn till eve,
And, scorning idleness,
To tribes of gaudy sloth I leave
The vanity of dress.”
William Lisle Bowles
So why is it that we don’t read poetry like this to our children these days? Methinks we might have better vocabularies if we did!
This was published originally in 1915 in the book The Home Book of Verse for Young Folks, my copy dates from 1956. The best part is that the illustrations were done by Willy Pogany (I’m not talking about the butterflies above, they are my latest works, done over the last 2 days. Acrylic on canvas). Mr. Pogany was a wonderful pen and ink artist whose work appears in Rendering in Pen and Ink. I have studied the pages of this book for years, envied the talents of the renderers, and tried my best to emulate their style.
So I went looking for a link to Mr. Pogany and the first site showed not his pen and ink work, but some wonderful color illustrations. Check out his diverse abilities here. http://www.americanartarchives.com/pogany,w.htm