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Charles Lamb (Чарльз Лэм)


Wasps in a Garden


The wall-trees are laden with fruit;
 The grape, and the plum, and the pear,
The peach and the nectarine, to suit
 Every taste, in abundance are there.

Yet all are not welcome to taste
 These kind bounties of Nature; for one
From her open-spread table must haste
 To make room for a more favoured son:

As that wasp will soon sadly perceive,
 Who has feasted awhile on a plum;
And, his thirst thinking now to relieve,
 For a sweet liquid draught he is come.

He peeps in the narrow-mouthed glass,
 Which depends from a branch of the tree;
He ventures to creep down,—alas!
 To be drowned in that delicate sea.

"Ah say," my dear friend, "is it right
 These glass bottles are hung upon trees?
Midst a scene of inviting delight
 Should we find such mementos as these?"

"From such sights," said my friend, "we may draw
 A lesson, for look at that bee;
Compared with the wasp which you saw,
 He will teach us what we ought to be.

"He in safety industriously plies
 His sweet honest work all the day,
Then home with his earnings he flies;
 Nor in thieving his time wastes away."—

"O hush, nor with fables deceive,"
 I replied, "which, though pretty, can ne'er
Make me cease for that insect to grieve,
 Who in agony still does appear.

"If a simile ever you need,
 You are welcome to make a wasp do;
But you ne'er should mix fiction indeed
 With things that are serious and true."



Charles Lamb's other poems:
  1. Incorrect Speaking
  2. Love, Death, and Reputation
  3. Good Temper
  4. Cleanliness
  5. The Two Boys


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