HAVE you heard the story, children, 

Of the wisest earthly king, 

To whom the queen of Sheba, 

Her offerings did bring? 

How she ordered brought before him 

Two vases rich and rare, 

Filled with flowers of such rich beauty, 

Than which none were known more fair? 

One had come in all its freshness, 

From the Master Artist's hand; 

The others, though strangely like them, 

By a mortal man were planned. 

"Now tell us, O king, with thy wisdom,"—

Commanded fair Sheba's queen, 

"Which of these is man's, which his Maker's, 

When their beauty you have seen." 

It was useless —the task she set him. 

No eye could the difference see; 

But he gently opened the window, 

And admitted a little bee. 

The bee flew around the vases, 

While humming a drowsy song; 

By one he passed in a moment, 

At the other he tarried long. 

Then the king could answer the question— 

I do not know 'tis true, 

But I thought it a pleasant story, 

And so I give it you.. 

Man may draw the lightning from the sky, 

And the rod bloom by his power; 

But with all his skill can never make 

The tiniest natural flower.