THE CAPTIVE BEE; OR, THE LITTLE FILCHER
by Robert Herrick
As Julia once a-slumb'ring lay,
It chanced a bee did fly that way,
After a dew, or dew-like shower,
To tipple freely in a flower;
For some rich flower, he took the lip
Of Julia, and began to sip;
But when he felt he suck'd from thence
Honey, and in the quintessence,
He drank so much he scarce could stir;
So Julia took the pilferer.
And thus surprised, as filchers use,
He thus began himself t'excuse:
'Sweet lady-flower, I never brought
Hither the least one thieving thought;
But taking those rare lips of yours
For some fresh, fragrant, luscious flowers,
I thought I might there take a taste,
Where so much sirup ran at waste.
Besides, know this, I never sting
The flower that gives me nourishing;
But with a kiss, or thanks, do pay
For honey that I bear away.'
--This said, he laid his little scrip
Of honey 'fore her ladyship,
And told her, as some tears did fall,
That, that he took, and that was all.
At which she smiled, and bade him go
And take his bag; but thus much know,
When next he came a-pilfering so,
He should from her full lips derive
Honey enough to fill his hive.