Knaves Turn'd Honest

Excerpt from 'The Grumbling Hive: or, Knaves Turn'd Honest'

A Spacious Hive well stock'd with Bees,

That lived in Luxury and Ease;

And yet as fam'd for Laws and Arms,

As yielding large and early Swarms;

Was counted the great Nursery
Of Sciences and Industry.

No Bees had better Government,

More Fickleness, or less Content.

They were not Slaves to Tyranny,

Nor ruled by wild Democracy;
But Kings, that could not wrong, because

Their Power was circumscrib'd by Laws.

But Jove, with Indignation moved,

At last in Anger swore, he'd rid
The bawling Hive of Fraud, and did.

The very Moment it departs,

And Honsty fills all their Hearts;

For many Thousand Bees were lost.

Hard'ned with Toils, and Exercise

They counted Ease it self a Vice;

Which so improv'd their Temperance,
That to avoid Extravagance,

They flew into a hollow tree,

Blest with content and Honesty.

Bare Virtue can't make Nations live
In Splendor; they, that would revive
A Golden Age, must be as free,
For Acorns, as for Honesty.