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Cricket Poems

Table of Contents

  1. The Cricket by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  2. The Cricket's Story by Emma Huntington Nason
  3. The Little Boy to the Cricket by Hannah Flagg Gould
  4. The Cricket by William Cowper
  5. To a Cricket by William Cox Bennett
  6. The Pleiads by John B. Tabb
  7. My Cricket by Emily Dickinson
  8. 'T was later when the summer went by Emily Dickinson
  9. The Ant and the Cricket by Unknown
  10. On the Grasshopper and Cricket by John Keats
  11. To the Grasshopper and Cricket by Leigh Hunt
  12. The Last Cricket by Christopher Morley
  13. An August Cricket by Arthur Goodenough

  1. The Cricket

    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    Oh, to be a cricket,
    That's the thing!
    To scurry in the grass
    And to have one's fling!
    And it's oh, to be a cricket
    In the warm thistle-thicket,
    Where the sun-winds pass,
    Winds a-wing,
    And the bumble-bees hang humming,
    Hum and swing,
    And the honey-drops are coming!

    It's to be a summer rover,
    That can see a sweet, and pick it
    With the sting!
    Never mind the sting!

    And it's oh, to be a cricket
    In the clover!
    A gay summer rover
    In the warm thistle-thicket,
    Where the honey-drops are coming,
    Where the bumble-bees hang humming—
    That's the thing!

  2. The Cricket's Story

    by Emma Huntington Nason

    The high and mighty lord of Glendare,
    The owner of acres both broad and fair,
    Searched, once on a time, his vast domains,
    His deep, green forest, and yellow plains,
    For some rare singer, to make complete
    The studied charms of his country-seat;
    But found, for all his pains and labors,
    No sweeter songster than had his neighbors.

    Ah, what shall my lord of the manor do?
    He pondered the day and the whole night through.
    He called on the gentry of hill-top and dale;
    And at last on Madame the Nightingale,—
    Inviting, in his majestical way,
    Her pupils to sing at his grand soiree,
    That perchance among them my lord might find
    Some singer to whom his heart inclined.
    What wonder, then, when the evening came,
    And the castle gardens were all aflame
    With the many curious lights that hung
    O'er the ivied porches, and flared among
    The grand old trees and the banners proud,
    That many a heart beat high and loud,
    While the famous choir of Glendare Bog,
    Established and led by the Brothers Frog,
    Sat thrumming as hoarsely as they were able,
    In front of the manager's mushroom table!

    The overture closed with a crash—then, hark!
    Across the stage comes the sweet-voiced Lark.
    She daintily sways, with an airy grace,
    And flutters a bit of gossamer lace,
    While the leafy alcove echoes and thrills
    With her liquid runs and lingering trills.
    Miss Goldfinch came next, in her satin gown,
    And shaking her feathery flounces down,
    With much expression and feeling sung
    Some "Oh's" and "Ah's" in a foreign tongue;
    While to give the affair a classic tone,
    Miss Katydid rendered a song of her own,
    In which each line closed as it had begun,
    With some wonderful deed which she had done.
    Then the Misses Sparrow, so prim and set,
    Twittered and chirped through a long duet;
    And poor little Wren, who tried with a will,
    But who couldn't tell "Heber" from "Ortonville,"
    Unconscious of sarcasm, piped away
    And courtesied low o'er a huge bouquet
    Of crimson clover-heads, culled by the dozen,
    By some brown-coated, plebeian cousin.

    But you should have heard the red Robin sing
    His English ballad, "Come, beautiful Spring!"
    And Master Owlet's melodious tune,
    "O, meet me under the silvery moon!"
    Then, as flighty Miss Humming-bird didn't care
    To sing for the high and mighty Glendare,
    The close of the evening's performance fell
    To the fair young Nightingale, Mademoiselle.
    Ah! the wealth of each wonderful note
    That came from the depths of her tiny throat!
    She carolled, she trilled, and she held her breath,
    Till she seemed to hang at the point of death:
    She ran the chromatics through every key,
    And ended triumphant on upper C;
    Airing the graces her mother had taught her
    In a manner quite worthy of Madame's daughter.

    But his lordship glared down the leafy aisle
    With never so much as a nod or smile,
    Till, out in the shade of a blackberry thicket,
    He all of a sudden spied little Miss Cricket;
    And, roused from his gloom, like an angry bat,
    He sternly demanded, "Who is that?"
    "Miss Cricket, my lord, may it please you so,
    A charity scholar—ahem!—you know—
    Quite worthy, of course, but we couldn't bring"—
    Thundered His Mightiness, "Let her sing!"
    The Nightingale opened her little eyes
    Extremely wide in her blank surprise;
    But catching a glimpse of his lordship's rage,
    Led little Miss Cricket upon the stage,
    Where she modestly sang, in her simple measures,
    Of "Home, sweet Home," and its humble pleasures.
    And the lord of Glendare cried out in his glee,
    "This little Miss Cricket shall sing for me!"

    Of course, of comment there was no need;
    But the world said, "Really!" and "Ah, indeed!"
    Yet, notwithstanding, we find it true
    As his lordship does will the neighbors do;
    So this is the way, as the legends tell,
    In the very beginning it befell
    That the Crickets came, in the evening's gloom,
    To sing at our hearths of "Home, sweet Home."

  3. The Little Boy to the Cricket

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    I have thee now! my brisk new-comer,
    Sounding thy lay to departing Summer;
    And I'll take thee up from thy bed of grass,
    And carry thee home to a house of glass;
    Where thy slender limbs and the faded green
    Of thy close-made coat can all be seen.
    For I long to know if the cricket sings,
    Or plays the tune with his gauzy wings;
    To bring that shrill-toned pipe to light,
    Which kept me awake so long, last night,
    That I told the hours by the lazy clock,
    Till I heard the crow of the noisy cock;
    When, tossing and turning, at length I fell
    To a sleep so strange, that the dream I'll tell.

    Methought, on a flowery bank I lay,
    By a beautiful stream; and watched the play
    Of the sparkling waters, that fled so fast,
    I could not count the waves that passed.
    But I marked the things they were carrying by;
    And a neat little skiff first caught my eye.
    'T was woven of reeds, and its sides were bound
    By a tender vine, that had clasped it round;
    And spreading within, had made it seem
    A basket of leaves, borne down by the stream:
    And the skiff had neither sail nor oar;
    But a bright little boy stood up, and bore,

    On his out-stretched hands, a wreath so gay,
    It looked like a crown for the queen of May.
    And while he was going, I heard him sing,
    "Seize the garland of passing Spring!"
    But I dared not reach—for the bank was steep;
    And he bore it away to the far-off deep!

    Then came a lady—her eye was bright—
    She was young and fair; and her bark was light.
    Its mast was a living tree, that spread
    Its boughs for a sail, o'er the lady's head;
    And some of the fruits had just begun
    To flush, on the side that was next the sun;
    And some with the crimson streak were stained,
    While others their size had not yet gained.
    She said, as she passed—"Oh! who can insure
    The fruits of Summer to get mature?
    For, fast as the waters beneath me, flowing,
    Beyond recall, I'm going! I'm going!"

    I turned my eye, and beheld another,
    That seemed as she might be Summer's mother.
    She looked more grave; and her cheek was tinged
    With a deeper brown; her bark was fringed
    With the tasseled heads of the wheaten sheaves
    Along its sides—and the yellow leaves,
    That covered the deck, concealed a throng
    Of crickets,—I knew by their choral song.
    At Autumn's feet lay the golden corn,
    And her hands were raised to invert a horn,

    That was filled with a sweet and mellow store,
    And the purple clusters were hanging o'er.
    She bade me seize on the fruit, that should last,
    When the harvest was gone, and Autumn had past!
    But, when I had paused to make the choice,
    I saw no bark! and I heard no voice!

    Then, I looked on a sight that chilled my blood;
    'T was a mass of ice, where an old man stood
    On his frozen raft; while his shriveled hand
    Had clinched, as a staff by which to stand,
    A whitened branch that the blast had broke
    From the lifeless trunk of an aged oak.
    The icicles hung from the naked limb,
    And the old man's eye was sunk and dim.
    But his scattering locks were silver bright,
    And his beard with the gathering frost was white.
    The tears congealed on his furrowed cheek,
    His garb was thin, and the winds were bleak.
    He faintly uttered, while drawing near,
    "Winter, the death of the short-lived year,
    Can yield thee nought, as I downward tend
    To the boundless sea, where the seasons end.
    But I trust from others, who've gone before,
    Thou 'st clothed thy form, and supplied thy store;
    And now, what tidings am I to bear
    Of thee,—for I shall be questioned there?"

    I asked my mother, who o'er me bent,
    What all this show of the seasons meant?
    She said 't was a picture of life, I saw;
    And the useful moral myself must draw!

    I awoke—and found that thy song was stilled,
    And the sun with his beams my room had filled!
    But I think, my cricket, I long shall keep
    In mind the dream of my morning sleep!

  4. The Cricket

    by William Cowper

    Little inmate, full of mirth,
    Chirping on my kitchen hearth,
    Wheresoe'er be thine abode
    Always harbinger of good,
    Pay me for thy warm retreat
    With a song more soft and sweet;
    In return thou shalt receive
    Such a strain as I can give.

    Thus thy praise shall be expressed,
    Inoffensive, welcome guest!
    While the rat is on the scout,
    And the mouse with curious snout,
    With what vermin else infest
    Every dish, and spoil the best;
    Frisking thus before the fire,
    Thou hast all thy heart's desire.

    Though in voice and shape they be
    Formed as if akin to thee,
    Thou surpassest, happier far,
    Happiest grasshoppers that are;
    Theirs is but a summer's song,
    Thine endures the winter long,
    Unimpaired, and shrill, and clear,
    Melody throughout the year.

    Neither night nor dawn of day
    Puts a period to thy play:
    Sing then—and extend thy span
    Far beyond the date of man;
    Wretched man, whose years are spent
    In repining discontent,
    Lives not, aged though he be,
    Half a span, compared with thee.

  5. To a Cricket

    by William Cox Bennett

    Voice of summer, keen and shrill,
    Chirping round my winter fire,
    Of thy song I never tire,
    Weary others as they will,
    For thy song with summer's filled—
    Filled with sunshine, filled with June;
    Firelight echo of that noon
    Heard in fields when all is stilled
    In the golden light of May,
    Bringing scents of new-mown hay,
    Bees, and birds, and flowers away,
    Prithee, haunt my fireside still,
    Voice of summer, keen and shrill.

  6. The Pleiads

    by John B. Tabb

    "Who are ye with clustered light,
    Little Sisters seven?"
    "Crickets, chirping all the night
    On the hearth of heaven."

  7. My Cricket

    by Emily Dickinson

    Farther in summer than the birds,
    Pathetic from the grass,
    A minor nation celebrates
    Its unobtrusive mass.

    No ordinance is seen,
    So gradual the grace,
    A pensive custom it becomes,
    Enlarging loneliness.

    Antiquest felt at noon
    When August, burning low,
    Calls forth this spectral canticle,
    Repose to typify.

    Remit as yet no grace,
    No furrow on the glow,
    Yet a druidic difference
    Enhances nature now.

  8. 'T was later when the summer went

    by Emily Dickinson

    'T was later when the summer went
    Than when the cricket came,
    And yet we knew that gentle clock
    Meant nought but going home.

    'T was sooner when the cricket went
    Than when the winter came,
    Yet that pathetic pendulum
    Keeps esoteric time.

  9. The Ant and the Cricket

    by Unknown

    A silly young cricket, accustomed to sing
    Through the warm, sunny months of gay summer and spring,
    Began to complain, when he found that at home
    His cupboard was empty and winter was come.
    Not a crumb to be found
    On the snow-covered ground;
    Not a flower could he see,
    Not a leaf on a tree:
    "Oh, what will become," says the cricket, "of me?"

    At last by starvation and famine made bold,
    All dripping with wet and all trembling with cold,
    Away he set off to a miserly ant,
    To see if, to keep him alive, he would grant
    Him shelter from rain:
    A mouthful of grain
    He wished only to borrow,
    He'd repay it to-morrow:
    If not, he must die of starvation and sorrow.

    Says the ant to the cricket, "I'm your servant and friend,
    But we ants never borrow, we ants never lend;
    But tell me, dear sir, did you lay nothing by
    When the weather was warm?" Said the cricket, "Not I.
    My heart was so light
    That I sang day and night,
    For all nature looked gay."
    "You sang, sir, you say?
    Go then," said the ant, "and dance winter away."
    Thus ending, he hastily lifted the wicket
    And out of the door turned the poor little cricket.
    Though this is a fable, the moral is good:
    If you live without work, you must live without food.

  10. On the Grasshopper and Cricket

    by John Keats

    The poetry of earth is never dead:
    When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
    And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
    From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead:
    That is the Grasshopper's—he takes the lead
    In summer luxury,—he has never done
    With his delights, for when tired out with fun,
    He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
    The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
    On a lone winter evening, when the frost
    Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
    The Cricket's song, in warmth increasing ever,
    And seems to one in drowsiness half-lost,
    The Grasshopper's among the grassy hills.

  11. To the Grasshopper and Cricket

    by Leigh Hunt

    Green little vaulter in the sunny grass,
    Catching your heart up at the feel of June;
    Sole voice that's heard amidst the lazy noon,
    When even the bees lag at the summoning brass;
    And you, warm little housekeeper, who class
    With those who think the candles come too soon,
    Loving the fire, and with your tricksome tune
    Nick the glad silent moments as they pass;
    O sweet and tiny cousins, that belong
    One to the fields, the other to the hearth,
    Both have your sunshine; both, though small, are strong
    At your clear hearts; and both seem given to earth
    To sing in thoughtful ears their natural song—
    In-doors and out, summer and winter, Mirth.

  12. The Last Cricket

    by Christopher Morley

    When the bulb of the moon with white fire fills
    And dead leaves crackle under the feet,
    When men roll kegs to the cider mills
    And chestnuts roast on every street;

    When the night sky glows like a hollow shell
    Of lustered emerald and pearl,
    The kilted cricket knows too well
    His doom. His tiny bagpipes skirl.

    Quavering under the polished stars
    In stubble, thicket, and frosty copse
    The cricket blows a few choked bars,
    And puts away his pipe—and stops.

  13. An August Cricket

    by Arthur Goodenough

    When August days are hot and long,
    And the August hills are hazy,
    And clouds are slow and winds also,
    And brooks are low and lazy.

    When beats the fierce midsummer sun,
    Upon the drying grasses;
    A modest minstrel sings his song
    To any soul that passes.

    A modest, yet insistent bard
    Who while the landscape slumbers;
    And Nature seems, herself asleep,
    Pours out his soul in numbers.

    His song is in a tongue unknown,
    Yet those, methink, who hear it
    Drink in it's healing melody
    Renewed in frame and spirit.

    His life is brief as is the leaf
    To summer branches clinging!
    But yet no thought of death or grief,
    He mentions in his singing.

    No epic strain is his to sing;—
    No tale of loss or glory;—
    He has no borrowed heroines;
    His heroes are not gory.

    He is no scholar; all he knows
    Was taught by his condition,
    He never studied synthesis,
    Nor simple composition.

    His lays are all of rustic themes;
    Of summer's joys and treasure
    Yet scarce could Homer's masterpiece,
    Afford us keener pleasure.

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