Richard Wilbur

A Grasshopper

But for brief
Moment, a poised minute,
He paused on the chicory-leaf;
Yet within it

The sprung perch
Had time to absorb the shock,
Narrow its pitch and lurch,
Cease to rock.

A quiet spread
Over the neighbor ground;
No flower swayed its head
For yards around;

The wind shrank
Away with a swallowing hiss;
Caught in a widening, blank

Cry upon cry
Faltered and faded out;
Everything seemed to die.
Oh, without doubt,

Peace like a plague
Had gone to world’s verge,
But that an aimless, vague

Leapt him aloft,
Giving the leaf a kick,
Starting the grasses’ soft
Chafe and tick,

So that the sleeping
Crickets resumed their chimes,
And all things wakened, keeping
Their several times.

In gay release
The whole field did what it did,
Peaceful now that its peace
Lay busily hid.