Walter Harte, “A Soliloquy, Occasion’d by the Chirping of a Grasshopper”

WALTER HARTE

“A Soliloquy, Occasion’d by the Chirping of a Grasshopper”

Happy Insect! ever blest
With a more than mortal rest,
Rosy dews the leaves among,
Humble joys, and gentle song!
Wretched Poet! ever curst,                         5
With a life of lives the worst,
Sad despondence, restless fears,
Endless jealousies and tears.

In the burning summer, thou
Warblest on the verdant bough,               10
Meditating chearful play,
Mindless of the piercing ray;
Scorch’d in Cupid’s fervors, I
Ever weep, and ever die.

Proud to gratify thy will,                      15
Ready nature waits thee still:
Balmy wines to thee she pours,
Weeping thro’ the dewy flow’rs:
Rich as those by Hebe giv’n
To the thirsty sons of heav’n.                    20

Yet alas! we both agree,
Miserable thou like me!
Each alike in youth rehearses
Gentle strains, and tender verses;
Ever wand’ring far from home;                 25
Mindless of the days to come,
(Such as aged winter brings
Trembling on his icy wings)
Both alike at last we die;
Thou art starv’d, and so am I!                     30

NOTES:

13 Cupid’s fervors The Roman god of love, here referenced in the context of trying to write romantic love poetry.

19 Hebe Greek goddess of youth; she was cupbearer to the gods on Olympus, serving them ambrosia.

Source: Poems on Several Occasions (London, 1727), pp. 80-2. [ECCO]

Edited by Bill Christmas


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