Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
The Grasshopper
By Richard Lovelace (1618–1658)
 
To My Noble Friend, Mr. Charles Cotton
Ode

O THOU that swing’st upon the waving ear
  Of some well-filled oaten beard,
Drunk every night with a delicious tear
  Dropt thee from heaven, where now thou art 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 welcom’st 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 cropt;
  Ceres and Bacchus bid good-night;
Sharp frosty fingers all your flowers have topt,        15
  And what scythes spared winds shave off quite.
 
Poor verdant fool! and now green ice, thy joys
  Large and as lasting as thy perch of grass
Bid us lay in ’gainst winter rain, and poise
  Their floods with an o’erflowing glass.        20
 
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 to our rest.
 
Our sacred hearths shall burn eternally        25
  As vestal flames; the North-wind, he
Shall strike his frost-stretched wings, dissolve, and fly
  This Ætna in epitome.
 
Dropping December shall come weeping in,
  Bewail th’ usurping of his reign;        30
But when in showers of old Greek 1 we begin,
  Shall cry, he hath his crown again!
 
Night as clear Hesper shall our tapers whip
  From the light casements where we play,
And the dark hag from her black mantle strip,        35
  And stick there everlasting day.
 
Thus richer than untempted kings are we,
  That asking nothing, nothing need;
Though lord of all what seas embrace, yet he
  That wants himself is poor indeed.        40
 
Note 1. Greek wine. [back]
 
 
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