Scratching the 17-Year Poetic Itch
(Greece, circa 5th century A.D.)
We know that you are royally blest Cicada when, among the tree-tops,
You sip some dew and sing your song;
For every single thing is yours
That you survey among the fields
And all the things the woods produce.
The farmers' constant company,
You damage nothing that is theirs;
Esteemed you are by every human
As the summer's sweet-voiced prophet.
The Muses love you, and Apollo too,
Who's gifted you with high pitched song.
Old age does nothing that can wear you,
© 2004 The Washington Post Company