The Butterfly's Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast
by William Roscoe (1807)

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.

So said little Robert,
and pacing along,
his merry companions came forth in a throng.

And on the smooth grass,
by the side of a wood,
beneath a broad oak
that for ages had stood,

Saw 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 was the Gnat and the Dragon-fly too,
with all their relations, Green, Orange, and Blue.

And there came the Moth, with his plumage of down,
and the Hornet in Jacket of Yellow and Brown;
who with him the Wasp, his companion, did bring,
but they promised, that evening, to lay by their sting.

And the sly little Doormouse crept out of his hole,
and brought to the Feast his blind Brother, the Mole.

And the Snail,
with his horns peeping out of 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 table-cloth made.

The Viands(fancy foods) were various,
to each of their taste,
and the Bee brought her Honey to crown the repast.

Then close on his haunches, so solemn and wise,
the Frog from a corner,
looked up to the skies.

And the Squirrel well pleased such diversions to see,
mounted high over Head,
and looked down from a tree.

Then out came the Spider,
with finger so fine,
to shew his dexterity on the tight line.

From one branch to another,
his cobwebs he slung,
then 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 touched 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 chirped his own praises the rest of the night.

With step so majestic the snail did advance,
and promised the gazers a minuet to dance.

But they all laughed so loud that he pulled in his head,
and went in his own little chamber to bed.

Then, as evening gave way to the shadows of night,
their watchman,
the Glow-worm,
came out with a light.

Then home let us hasten,
while yet we can see,
for no watchman is waiting for you and for me.

So said little Robert,
and pacing along,
his merry companions returned in a throng.

The end



Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes