SONNET. TO FIFTEEN GNATS SEEN DANCING IN THE SUN-BEAMS ON JAN. 3
Welcome, ye little fools, to cheer us now,
With recollections of a summer’s eve;
And, though my heart, can not the cheat believe,
Still merrily dance about your leafless bough.
—I love you from my soul; and though I know5
Ye can but die—to think how soon, I grieve;—
Perhaps to-night the blast of death may blow;
Frost beat hard—who grants you no reprieve.
—Your company’s too small, I ween, that you
Thus raise the shrill note of your summer’s song;10
Yet dance away—’tis thus that children do,—
And wiser men to life’s end dance along.
Die, little gnats, as winds or frosts ordain:—
Death is our frost too—but we fly again.