"How doth the Little Bee" is one Isaac Watts's didactic poems for children that Lewis Carroll parodies in Alice in Wonderland:

How doth the little busy Bee
     Improve each shining Hour,
And gather Honey all the day
     From every opening Flower!

How skilfully she builds her Cell!
     How neat she spreads the Wax!
And labours hard to store it well
     With the sweet Food she makes.

In Works of Labour or of Skill
     I would be busy too:
For Satan finds some Mischief still
     For idle Hands to do.

In Books, or Work, or healthful Play
     Let my first Years be past,
That I may give for every Day
     Some good Account at last. [1715]

[Return to the biography of W. B. Rands]

Last modified 15 October 2005