Alfred Lord Tennyson – The Grasshopper [Poem]

August 6, 2012 — Leave a comment

 

The Grasshoppper
Alfred Lord Tennyson

Alfred Lord TennysonI

Voice of the summerwind,
Joy of the summerplain,
Life of the summerhours,
Carol clearly, bound along.
No Tithon thou as poets feign
(Shame fall ‘em they are deaf and blind)
But an insect lithe and strong,


Bowing the seeded summerflowers.
Prove their falsehood and thy quarrel,
Vaulting on thine airy feet.
Clap thy shielded sides and carol,
Carol clearly, chirrup sweet
Thou art a mailèd warrior in youth and strength complete;
Armed cap-a-pie,
Full fair to see;
Unknowing fear,
Undreading loss,
A gallant cavalier
_Sans peur et sans reproche_,
In sunlight and in shadow,
The Bayard of the meadow.

II

I would dwell with thee,
Merry grasshopper,
Thou art so glad and free,
And as light as air;
Thou hast no sorrow or tears,
Thou hast no compt of years,
No withered immortality,
But a short youth sunny and free.
Carol clearly, bound along,
Soon thy joy is over,
A summer of loud song,
And slumbers in the clover.
What hast thou to do with evil
In thine hour of love and revel,
In thy heat of summerpride,
Pushing the thick roots aside
Of the singing flowerèd grasses,
That brush thee with their silken tresses?
What hast thou to do with evil,
Shooting, singing, ever springing
In and out the emerald glooms,
Ever leaping, ever singing,
Lighting on the golden blooms?

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This poem is found in the free ebook The Suppressed Poems of Alfred Lord Tennyson ,
available in a variety of formats (Kindle, PDF, epub for Nook, etc) from Project Gutenberg.

Alfred Lord Tennyson photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.