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 had stood,

See the children of earth, and the tenants of air,

To 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 Dragon-fly too,

With all their relations, green, orange, and blue.

And there came the Moth, with her plumage of down,

And the Hornet with jacket of yellow and brown;

And with him the Wasp, his companion, did bring;

But they promised that evening to lay by their sting.

Then the sly little Dormouse peeped out of his hole,

And led to the feast his blind cousin the Mole;

And the Snail, with her horns peeping out of her shell,

Came, fatigued with the distance, the length of an ell.

A mushroom the table, and on it was spread

A water-dock leaf, which their table-cloth made.

The viands were various, to each of their taste,

And the Bee brought the honey to sweeten the feast.

With steps most majestic the Snail did advance,

And he promised the gazers a minuet to dance;

But they all laughed so loud that he drew 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, come out with his light.

So home let us hasten, while yet we can see,

For no watchman is waiting for you or for me.


Poem for Kids written by William Roscoe

Illustration by Pixabay, with thanks.



1. Would you like to go to the Butterfly’s Ball? What do you imagine you might see there?