Adventures of a Grasshopper (excerpt)

A grasshopper idle the whole summer long
Played about the tall grass with unthinking delight
& spent the whole day with his hopping & song
& sipp'd of the dew for his supper at night
Thus night brought him food & the red rising sun
Awoke him fresh fed to his singing agen
& thus he went on with his frolic & fun
Till winter winds whistled & where was he then

The plain wore no longer the hue of his wing
All withered & brown as a desert could be
In vain he looked round for the shelter of spring
While the longest green sprig scarcely reached to his knee
The rime feathered night fell as white as a sheet
& dewdrops were frozen before they could fall
The shy creeping sun too denied him his heat
Thus the poor silly soul was deserted of all

The ant had forewarned him of what he would be
When he laughed at his toil on the parched summer plain
He now saw the folly he then could not see
But advice taen too late is but labour in vain
If he wished to work now there was nothing to find
The winter told plain twas too late in the day
In vain he looked round in the snow & the wind
Unable to toil & too saddened for 

He looked back & sighed on his singing & racket
& employed the last hope he had left him to beg
So he sought in the woods withered leaves for a jacket
Of a rushe he made crutches & limped of a leg
The winds whistled round him while seeking for pity
Oer the white crimping snows he went limping along
Sighing sad at each cottage his sorrowful ditty
But a song out of season is povertys song  

John Clare, The Rural Muse (1835)

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