Keats wrote this sonnet on December 30, 1816 after a challenge by Leigh Hunt. Hunt printed both sonnets in The Examiner. Keats’s sonnet appeared in his Poems (1817). The last six lines anticipate and echo Keats’ sublime To Autumn.
On the Grasshopper and the Cricket
“The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a vice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper’s – he takes the lead
In summer luxury, – he has never done
With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
On a lone winter’s evening, when the frost
Has a wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever,
And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
The Grasshopper’s among some grassy hills.”