Sorry Isaac, I had a stray thought and now you must pay

HOW doth the little anarchist
Improve each shining hour,
And gather intel all the day
With all her might and power.

How skilfully she builds her cell; 5
How neat she pubs her works,
And labours hard to feed it well
and shelter it from jerks.

In works of labour or of skill,
I would be busy too; 10
For fascists find some mischief still
For idle hands to do.

In books, or work, or armed revolt,
Let my first years be passed;
That I may give for every day 15
Some good account at last.

So, you may ask, where in the entire body of Christ did this come from, and my abashed answer is that I was writing a hymn, which just came to me sudden-like.

Shall I improve
this shining hour
with some new good
oh my lord
I will take shelter
in your song
Though days be hard
and nights be long

And then of course I stopped, because I knew that ‘improve the shining hour’ was a quote, and apart from being certain it wasn’t shakespear I was kinda stuck.

So I looked it up, and it was Isaac Watts, “How doth the little busy bee” and I immediately took in the poem and decided within about five seconds to rewrite it as an anarchist children’s poem. So here it is. I leapt from one song to another in the space of a heartbeat, and that really does sum me up don’t it.

Published by


Born when atmospheric carbon was 316 PPM. Settled on MST country since 1997. Parent, grandparent.

Leave a Reply