Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
 
The Grasshopper
By Richard Lovelace (1618–1658)
 
[Ode: to Mr. Charles Cotton]

OH! thou that swingst upon the waving ear
    Of some well-fillëd oaten beard,
Drunk every night with a delicious tear,
    Dropt thee from heaven, where thou wert reared;
 
The joys of earth and air are thine entire,        5
    That with thy feet and wings dost hop and fly,
And, when thy poppy works, thou dost retire
    To thy carved acorn-bed to lie.
 
Up with the day, the Sun thou welcomest then,
    Sport’st in the gilt plaits of his beams,        10
And all these merry days mak’st merry men,
    Thyself, and melancholy streams.
 
But ah! the sickle! Golden ears are cropped;
    Ceres and Bacchus bid good night;
Sharp frosty fingers all your flowers have topped,        15
    And what scythes spared, winds shave off quite.
 
Thou best of men and friends! we will create
    A genuine summer in each other’s breast,
And spite of this cold time and frozen fate,
    Thaw us a warm seat for our rest.        20
 
Our sacred hearths shall burn eternally,
    As vestal flames; the North Wind, he
Shall strike his frost-stretched wings, dissolve and fly
    This Ætna in epitome.
 
Night, as clear Hesper, shall our tapers whip        25
    From the light casements where we play,
And the dark hag from her black mantle strip,
    And stick there everlasting day.
 
Thus richer than untempted kings are we,
    That asking nothing, nothing need;        30
Though lord of all that seas embrace, yet he
    That wants himself is poor indeed.
 
 
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