A First Series of Hymns and Songs/Descriptive Songs/The Butterfly's Ball
11. The Butterfly's Ball.
Come, take up your hats, and away let us haste
To the Butterfly's ball and the Grasshopper's feast:
The trumpeter Gad-fly has summoned the crew,
And the revels are now only waiting for you.
On the smooth-shaven grass by the side of a wood
Beneath a broad oak which for ages has stood,
See the children of earth and the tenants of air
For an evening's amusement together repair.
And there came the Beetle so blind and so black,
Who carried the Emmet his friend on his back;
And there came the Gnat and the Dragonfly too,
And all their relations, green, orange, and blue.
And there came the Moth in his plumage of down,
And the Hornet in jacket of yellow and brown,
Who with him the Wasp his companion did bring;
But they promis'd that ev'ning to lay by their sting.
And the sly little Dormouse crept out of his hole,
And led to the feast his blind brother the Mole;
And the Snail, with his horns peeping out from his shell,
Came from a great distance—the length of an ell.
A mushroom their table, and on it was laid
A water-dock leaf, which a tablecloth made;
The viands were various, to each of their taste,
And the Bee brought his honey to crown the repast.
There close on his haunches, so solemn and wise,
The Frog from a corner look'd up to the skies;
And the Squirrel, well pleas'd such diversion to see,
Sat cracking his nuts overhead in a tree.
Then out came a Spider, with fingers so fine,
To shew his dexterity on the tight-line;
From one branch to another his cobweb he slung,
Then as quick as an arrow he darted along.
But just in the middle,—oh, shocking to tell!—
From his rope in an instant poor harlequin fell;
Yet he touch'd not the ground, but with talons outspread,
Hung suspended in air at the end of a thread.
Then the Grasshopper came, with a jerk and a spring,
Very long was his leg, though but short was his wing
He took but three leaps, and was soon out of sight,
Then chirp'd his own praises the rest of the night
With steps quite majestic the Snail did advance,
And promis'd the gazers a minuet to dance;
But they all laugh'd so loud that he pulled in his head,
And went in his own little chamber to bed.
Then as ev'ning gave way to the shadows of night,
Their watchman, the Glow-worm, came out with his light;
Then home let us hasten while yet we can see,
For no watchman is waiting for you and for me.