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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 Anacreon (582–485 B.C.)

Translation of Abraham Cowley

HAPPY Insect! what can be

In happiness compared to thee?

Fed with nourishment divine,

The dewy Morning’s gentle wine!

Nature waits upon thee still,

And thy verdant cup does fill;

’Tis filled wherever thou dost tread,

Nature’s self’s thy Ganymede.

Thou dost drink, and dance, and sing;

Happier than the happiest king!

All the fields which thou dost see,

All the plants, belong to thee;

All that summer hours produce,

Fertile made with early juice.

Man for thee does sow and plow;

Farmer he, and landlord thou!

Thou dost innocently joy;

Nor does thy luxury destroy;

The shepherd gladly heareth thee,

More harmonious than he.

Thee country hinds with gladness hear,

Prophet of the ripened year!

Thee Phœbus loves, and does inspire;

Phœbus is himself thy sire.

To thee, of all things upon Earth,

Life’s no longer than thy mirth.

Happy insect, happy thou!

Dost neither age nor winter know;

But, when thou’st drunk, and danced, and sung

Thy fill, the flowery leaves among,

(Voluptuous, and wise withal,

Epicurean animal!)

Sated with thy summer feast,

Thou retir’st to endless rest.