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Grasshopper Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Grasshoppers by John Clare
  2. The Grasshopper by Madison Cawein
  3. The Grasshopper After Anacreon by Abraham Cowley
  4. On the Grasshopper and Cricket by John Keats
  5. To the Grasshopper and Cricket by Leigh Hunt
  6. The Grasshopper and the Ant by Hannah Flagg Gould
  7. The Grasshopper and the Ant by Aesop

  1. Grasshoppers

    by John Clare

    Grasshoppers go in many a thumming spring
    And now to stalks of tasseled sow-grass cling,
    That shakes and swees awhile, but still keeps straight;
    While arching oxeye doubles with his weight.
    Next on the cat-tail-grass with farther bound
    He springs, that bends until they touch the ground.

  2. The Grasshopper

    by Madison Cawein

    What joy you take in making hotness hotter,
    In emphasising dulness with your buzz,
    Making monotony more monotonous!
    When Summer comes, and drouth hath dried the water
    In all the creeks, we hear your ragged rasp
    Filling the stillness. Or,—as urchins beat
    A stagnant pond whereon the bubbles gasp,—
    Your switch-like music whips the midday heat.
    O bur of sound caught in the Summer's hair,
    We hear you everywhere!

    We hear you in the vines and berry-brambles,
    Along the unkempt lanes, among the weeds,
    Amid the shadeless meadows, gray with seeds,
    And by the wood 'round which the rail-fence rambles,
    Sawing the sunlight with your sultry saw.
    Or,—like to tomboy truants, at their play
    With noisy mirth among the barn's deep straw,—
    You sing away the careless summer-day.
    O brier-like voice that clings in idleness
    To Summer's drowsy dress!

    You tramp of insects, vagrant and unheeding,
    Improvident, who of the summer make
    One long green mealtime, and for winter take
    No care, aye singing or just merely feeding!
    Happy-go-lucky vagabond,—'though frost
    Shall pierce, ere long, your green coat or your brown,
    And pinch your body,—let no song be lost,
    But as you lived into your grave go down—
    Like some small poet with his little rhyme,
    Forgotten of all time.

  3. The Grasshopper After Anacreon

    by William Francis Barnard

    Happy insect, what can be
    In happiness compared to thee?
    Fed with nourishment divine,
    The dewy morning's gentle wine!
    Nature waits upon thee still,
    And thy verdant cup does fill;

    'Tis filled wherever thou dost tread,
    Nature's self's thy Ganymede.
    Thou dost drink, and dance, and sing,
    Happier than the happiest king!
    All the fields which thou dost see,
    All the plants belong to thee;
    All the summer hours produce,
    Fertile made with early juice.
    Man for thee does sow and plow,
    Farmer he, and landlord thou!
    Thou dost innocently enjoy;
    Nor does thy luxury destroy.
    The shepherd gladly heareth thee,
    More harmonious than he.
    Thee country hinds with gladness hear,
    Prophet of the ripened year!
    Thee Phoebus loves, and does inspire
    Phoebus is himself thy sire.
    To thee, of all things upon earth,
    Life is no longer than thy mirth.
    Happy insect! happy thou,
    Dost neither age nor winter know;
    But when thou'st drunk, and danced, and sung
    Thy fill, the flowery leaves among,
    (Voluptuous and wise withal,
    Epicurean animal!)
    Sated with thy summer feast,
    Thou retir'st to endless rest.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The Grasshoper and the Ant

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    'Ant, look at me!' a young Grasshopper said,
    As nimbly he sprang from his green, summer bed,
    'See how I'm going to skip over your head,
    And could o'er a thousand like you!
    Ant, by your motion alone, I should judge
    That Nature ordained you a slave and a drudge,
    For ever and ever to keep on the trudge,
    And always find something to do.

    'Oh! there is nothing like having our day,
    Taking our pleasure and ease while we may,
    Bathing ourselves in the bright, mellow ray
    That comes from the warm, golden sun!
    While I am up in the light and the air,
    You, a sad picture of labor and care!
    Still have some hard, heavy burden to bear,
    And work that you never get done.

    'I have an exercise healthful, and good,
    For timing the nerves and digesting the food—
    Graceful gymnastics for stirring the blood
    Without the gross purpose of use.
    Ant, let me tell you 't is not a la mode,
    To plod like a pilgrim and carry a load,
    Perverting the limbs that for grace were bestowed,
    By such a plebeian abuse.

    'While the whole world with provisions is filled,
    Who would keep toiling and toiling to build
    And lay in a store for himself, till he 's killed
    With work that another might do?
    Come! drop your budget and just give a spring.
    Jump on a grass-blade and balance and swing.
    Soon you'll be light as a gnat on the wing,
    Gay as a grasshopper, too!'

    Ant trudged along while the grasshopper sung,
    Minding her business and holding her tongue,
    Until she got home her own people among;
    But these were her thoughts on the road.
    'What will become of that poor, idle one
    When the light sports of the summer are done?
    And, where is the covert to which he may run
    To find a safe winter abode?

    'Oh! if I only could tell him how sweet
    Toil makes my rest and the morsel I eat,
    While hope gives a spur to my little black feet,
    He'd never pity my lot!
    He'd never ask me my burden to drop
    To join in his folly—to spring, and to hop;
    And thus make the ant and her labor to stop,
    When time, I am certain, would not.

    'When the cold frost all the herbage has nipped,
    When the bare branches with ice-drops are tipped,
    Where will the grasshopper then be, that skipped,
    So careless and lightly to-day?
    Frozen to-death! 'a sad picture' indeed,
    Of reckless indulgence and what must succeed,
    That all his gymnastics ca 'nt shelter or feed,
    Or quicken his pulse into play.

    'I must prepare for a winter to come.
    I shall be glad of a home and a crumb,
    When my frail form out of doors would be numb,
    And I in the snow-storm should die.
    Summer is lovely, but soon will be past.
    Summer has plenty not always to last.
    Summer's the time for the ant to make fast
    Her stores for a future supply!'

  7. The Grasshopper and the Ant

    by Aesop

    A grasshopper having sung
    The summer long,
    When the wintry wind blew
    Found her comforts few—
    No house from the snow and sleet
    To guard her
    Not a single bit to eat
    In her larder.
    Neither worm-chop nor fly-leg;
    The dainty dame must starve or beg.
    Hungry, she goes to her neighbor ant
    With her sad tale of want:
    “Pray lend me from your store,
    Till the winter is o’er:
    On my faith, I will pay
    Round interest, besides the loan.”

    The ant—bad lender, I must own—
    Doubting much of the pay day,
    Asks of the borrowing lady,
    “What did you do last summer?”

    “Night and day to every comer
    I sang, if you please.”

    “Sang!—do you say?
    Then finish out your play—
    Dance now at your ease.

    There’s a time for work and a time for play.