The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Cricket On The Hearth

William Hone, The Every Day Book, 2 Vols. London: William Tegg, 1825, 1827.

Volume 1 - January 12

The chirp of the crickets from the kitchen chimney breaks the silence of still evenings in the winter. They come from the crevices, when the house is quiet, to the warm hearth, and utter their shrill monotonous notes, to the discomfiture of the nervous, and the pleasure of those who have sound minds in sound bodies. This insect and the grasshopper are agreeably coupled in a pleasing sonnet. The “summoning brass” it speaks of, our country readers well know, as an allusion to the sounds usually produced from some kitchen utensil of metal to assist in swarming the bees:--

        The Grasshopper and the Cricket.

Green little vaulter in the sunny grass,
Catching your heart up at the feel of June,
Sole voice that’s heard amidst the lazy noon,
When ev’n the bees lag at the summoning brass;
And you, warm little housekeeper, who class
With those who think the candles come too soon,
Loving the fire, and with your tricksome tune
Nick the glad silent moments as they pass;
Oh, sweet and tiny cousins, that belong,
One to the fields, the other to the hearth,
Both have your sunshine; both, though small, are strong
At your clear hearts; and both were sent on earth
To sing in thoughtful ears this natural song,—
In doors and out, summer and winter, Mirth. L. Hunt.

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