The Grasshopper, by Richard Lovelace (1649)A biography of Lovelace is here.
To my Noble Friend, Mr. Charles Cotton
O thou that swing'st upon the waving hair
Of some well-filled oaten beard,
Drunk every night with a delicious tear
Dropped thee from heaven, where now th' art reared.
The joys of earth and air are thine entire,
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-plats of his beams,
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;
Sharpe frosty fingers all your flowers have topped,
And what scythes spared, winds shave off quite.
Poore 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.
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
As vestal flames, the North-wind, he
Shall strike his frost-stretched wings, dissolve and fly
This Etna in Epitome.
Dropping December shall come weeping in,
Bewail th' usurping of his reign;
But when in showers of old Greek 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,
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.
Friday, May 04, 2007
Here is another poem from Parnassus, the anthology compiled by Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1874 (pdf).