A Celebration of Women Writers

"The Butterfly." by Adelaide O'Keefe (1776-1855)
Publication: Taylor, Jane & Taylor, Ann. Little Ann and Other Poems. London, New York: George Routledge & Sons, 1883. p. 27.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom


THE Butterfly, an idle thing,
Nor honey makes, nor yet can sing,
  As do the bee and bird;
Nor does it, like the prudent ant,
Lay up the grain for times of want,
  A wise and cautious hoard.

My youth is but a summer's day:
Then like the bee and ant I'll lay
  A store of learning by;
And though from flower to flower I rove,
My stock of wisdom I'll improve
  Nor be a butterfly.


Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom