The Cicada

Original Text: 
Ethelwyn Wetherald, Tree-top Mornings (Boston: Cornhill, 1921): 32. Internet Archive.
1When the sun is hot and growing hotter,
2And the pond is dry as the ink on a blotter,
3When dust on the lilac leaves is showing.
4And the grass is hay before the mowing,
5Then up where the orchard leaves are brittle,
6Comes the scrape of a violin sharp and little,
7        Zeek, Zeek,
8        Creak, creak,
9Sweet is the heat of the midsummer's cheek.
10When everything glares excepting the pine-trees.
11And mercury stands tip-toe in the nineties
12When even the grasshoppers, tree-toads and crickets
13Are gasping for breath in the meadows and thickets,
14Then he tucks his fiddle beneath his green chin.
15And screek, screek, goes the shrill violin.
16        Zeek, Zeek,
17        Creak, creak,
18Sweet is the heat of the weather I seek.
19Dear little fiddler, oh, how I wonder
20What you creep into or what you crawl under
21When the cold rain comes. Small summer-lover.
22Where is your refuge and what is your cover?
23Play once again now the chill days begin.
24Weak, weak, goes the shrill violin.
25        Zeek, Zeek,
26        Creak, creak,
27Music is weak as the days grow bleak.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2011
Rhyme: