Against Idleness and Mischief

1How doth the little busy Bee
2    Improve each shining Hour,
3And gather Honey all the day
4    From every opening Flower!
5How skilfully she builds her Cell!
6    How neat she spreads the Wax!
7And labours hard to store it well
8    With the sweet Food she makes.
9In Works of Labour or of Skill
10    I would be busy too:
11For Satan finds some Mischief still
12    For idle Hands to do.
13In Books, or Work, or healthful Play
14    Let my first Years be past,
15That I may give for every Day
16    Some good Account at last.
Original Text: 
I. Watts, Divine Songs Attempted in Easy Language for the Use of CHILDREN (London: M. Lawrence, 1715), p. 29. See facsimile reproduction, with introduction by J. H. P. Pafford (London: Oxford University Press, 1971), p.177. PR 3763 W37 A65 1971 Robarts Library.
Publication Start Year: 
1715
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.
Rhyme: