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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Grasshopper
By Edith Matilda Thomas (1854–1925)
 
From ‘A New-Year’s Masque, and Other Poems’

SHUTTLE of the sunburnt grass,
Fifer in the dun cuirass,
Fifing shrilly in the morn,
Shrilly still at eve unworn;
Now to rear, now in the van,        5
Gayest of the elfin clan:
Though I watch their rustling flight,
I can never guess aright
Where their lodging-places are:
’Mid some daisy’s golden star,        10
Or beneath a roofing leaf,
Or in fringes of a sheaf,
Tenanted as soon as bound!
Loud thy reveille doth sound.
When the earth is laid asleep,        15
And her dreams are passing deep,
On mid-August afternoons;
And through all the harvest moons,
Nights brimmed up with honeyed peace,—
Thy gainsaying doth not cease.        20
When the frost comes thou art dead:
We along the stubble tread,
On blue, frozen morns, and note
No least murmur is afloat;
Wondrous still our fields are then,        25
Fifer of the elfin men.
 
 
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