You better not fool with a Bumblebee! —
Ef you don’t think they can sting — you’ll see!
They’re lazy to look at, an’ kind o’ go
Buzzin’ an’ bummin’ aroun’ so slow,
An’ ac’ so slouchy an’ all fagged out,
Danglin’ their legs as they drone about
The hollyhawks ‘at they can’t climb in
‘Ithout ist a-tumble-un out ag’in!
Wunst I watched one climb clean ‘way
In a jimson-blossom, I did, one day, —
An’ I ist grabbed it — an’ nen let go —
An’ “Ooh-ooh! Honey! I told ye so!”
Says The Raggedy Man; an’ he ist run
An’ pullt out the stinger, an’ don’t laugh none,
An’ says: “They has be’n folks, I guess,
‘At thought I wuz predjudust, more er less, —
Yit I still muntain ‘at a Bumblebee
Wears out his welcome too quick fer me!”

Analysis, meaning and summary of James Whitcomb Riley's poem The Bumblebee


  1. Kathy Eichenberger says:

    This poem has been set to music by Peter J. Durow for 2 treble voices. My 4/5 grade choir is learning this wonderful poem set to a very fun song and I wanted to learn more about JW Riley and this poem if possible.

  2. Cody says:

    I think it teaches you not to mess with bumblebes

  3. Brittany says:

    This poem teaches you not to play with bumblebees.

  4. Taylor says:

    it was a really good poem. I liked it a lot. I can really relate to it. bumblebees are pretty fierce.

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