The Works of J. W. von Goethe/Volume 9/To the Grasshopper



[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,
Phœbus' 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 suffering,
To the gods e'en almost equal.