My forehead wears the ridge of the world's helmet;
white locusts perch upon my shoulder, and whisper.
I will not hear what the white locusts tell me:
some village plot, Jemima with Sir Jasper,
the drinking and the lecherous hail-fellows,
the poet Alexander and the strumpet,
the virtuous bumpkin, ruddy and triumphant.
And back of all, the gallows.

My newer cap is kinder to the skin.
I doff it humbly, and they let me in
to overheated rooms, the record grinding,
tin-whistle wits contending.
The locusts crowd and scurry upon the panes;
they cannot understand us: we are clever.

The plot is altered, the audience remains.
They sigh a little, and give us up for ever.