The Butterfly's Funeral | William Roscoe

The Butterfly's Funeral is a sequel to the Butterfly's Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast and was published under the pseudonym J.L.B. commonly attributed to William Roscoe.


Oh, ye, who so lately were blythesome and gay,
At the Butterfly’s Banquet, carousing away;
Your feasts and your revels of pleasure are fled,
For the soul of the Banquet, the Butterfly’s dead.



No longer the Flies and the Emmets advance,
To join with their friends in the Grasshopper’s dance;
For see, his thin form o’er the favourite bend,
And the Grasshopper mourns for the loss of his friend.



And hark, to the funeral dirge of the Bee,
And the Beetle who follows as solemn as he;
And see, where so mournful the green rushes wave,
The Mole is preparing the Butterfly’s grave.



The Dormouse attended, but cold and forlorn;
And the Gnat slowly winded his shrill little horn;
And the Moth, who was griev’d for the loss of a sister,
Bent over the body, and silently kist her.



The corse was embalm’d, at the set of the sun,
And enclos’d in a case, which the Silk-worm had spun;
By the help of the Hornet, the coffin was laid,
On a bier, out of myrtle and jessamine made.



In weepers and scarfs, came the Butterflies all,
And six of their numbers supported the pall:
And the Spider came there, in his mourning so black:
But the fire of the Glow-worm soon frighten’d him back.



The Grub left his nut-shell, to join the sad throng,
And slowly led with him the Book-worm along,
Who wept his poor neighbour’s unfortunate doom,
And wrote these few lines, to be plac’d on his tomb:—




At this solemn spot, where the green rushes wave,
Here sadly we bent o’er the Butterfly’s grave;
’Twas here we to beauty our obsequies paid,
And hallow’d the mound which her ashes have made.

And here shall the daisy and violet blow,
And the lily discover her bosom of snow;
While under the leaf, in the evenings of spring,
Still mourning her friend, shall the Grasshopper sing.