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Poems of Goethe

TO THE GRASSHOPPER.

AFTER ANACREON.

[The strong resemblance of this fine poem to Cowley's Ode bearing the same name, and beginning "Happy insect! what can be," will be at once seen.]

HAPPY art thou, darling insect,
Who, upon the trees' tall branches,
By a modest draught inspired,
Singing, like a monarch livest!
Thou possessest as thy portion
All that on the plains thou seest,
All that by the hours is brought thee
'Mongst the husbandmen thou livest,
As a friend, uninjured by them,
Thou whom mortals love to honour,
Herald sweet of sweet Spring's advent!
Yes, thou'rt loved by all the Muses,

Phoebus' self, too, needs must love thee;
They their silver voices gave thee,
Age can never steal upon thee.
Wise and gentle friend of poets,
Born a creature fleshless, bloodless,
Though Earth's daughter, free from suff'ring,
To the gods e'en almost equal.

                                1781.