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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 Cricket

By William Cowper (1731–1800)

LITTLE inmate, full of mirth,

Chirping on my kitchen hearth,

Wheresoe’er be thine abode,

Always harbinger of good,

Pay me for thy warm retreat

With a song more soft and sweet;

In return thou shalt receive

Such a strain as I can give.

Thus thy praise shall be expressed,

Inoffensive, welcome guest!

While the rat is on the scout,

And the mouse with curious snout,

With what vermin else infest

Every dish, and spoil the best;

Frisking thus before the fire,

Thou hast all thine heart’s desire.

Though in voice and shape they be

Formed as if akin to thee,

Thou surpassest, happier far,

Happiest grasshoppers that are;

Theirs is but a summer song—

Thine endures the winter long,

Unimpaired and shrill and clear,

Melody throughout the year.