Master Bee, as you wanton among the sweet flowers,
On your busy, gay loaferage speeding,
Is there any bee-critic to poison your hours
With advice as to regular feeding?
Master Thrush, now a-sulk with a sniff for a song,
Now a-tilt in a frenzy ecstatic,
Is there any thrush Solon to tell you how wrong
Is singing thus wild and erratic?
Master Butterfly, lying along the smooth breeze,
Or tumbling on meadow waves surging,
Do butterfly wiseacres trouble your ease,
Some regular exercise urging?
Merry masters, pray tell: what reply shall I make
To their dull and redoubtable pleading
Who bid me such frolics as yours to forsake
For a course of regular reading?
Can I hope to explain how a nibble of Lamb
Makes Bacon the easier eating?
How a wee sip of Burns, Just the tiniest dram,
Clears the mind for a Miltonic meeting?
Can I make them perceive, with my Shakespeare and Grote,
How the first gains strength from the other,
As that mystic old giant more mightily
Each time that he touched his Earth mother?
Do you think they will see how we verily know,
In defiance of regular order,
All the nooks of the woods, all the flowers where they grow,
While they have but crept through the border?