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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE SECRET OF THE BEES, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: How have you managed it? Bright busy bee!
Last Line: And we got our good habits through sheer common-sense.
Alternate Author Name(s): Leigh, Arbor; Guggenberger, Mrs. Ignatz; Bevington, L. S.
Subject(s): Bees; Insects; Beekeeping; Bugs

How have you managed it? bright busy bee!
You are all of you useful, yet each of you free.

What man only talks of, the busy bee does;
Shares food, and keeps order, with no waste of buzz.

No cell that's too narrow, no squandering of wax,
No damage to pay, and no rent, and no tax.

No drones kept in honey to look on and prate,
No property tyrants, no big-wigs of State.

Free access to flowers, free use of all wings;
And when bee-life is threatened, then free use of stings.

No fighting for glory, no fighting for pelf;
Each thrust at the risk of each soldier himself.

Comes over much plenty one summer, you'll see
A lull and a leisure for each busy bee.

No over-work, under-work, glut of the spoil;
No hunger for any, no purposeless toil.

Economy, Liberty, Order, and Wealth! --
Say, busy bee, how you reached Social Health?


Say rather, why not? It is easier so;
We have all the world open to come and to go.

We haven't got masters, we haven't got money,
We've nothing to hinder the gathering of honey.

The sun and the air and the sweet summer flowers
Attract to spontaneous use of our powers.

Our work is all natural -- nothing but play,
For wings and proboscis can go their own way.

We find it convenient to live in one nest,
None hindering other from doing her best.

We haven't a Press, so we haven't got lies,
And it's worth no one's while to throw dust in our eyes.

We haven't among us a single pretence,
And we got our good habits through sheer Common-Sense.

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