Oh, could I fly, I'd fly with thee!
We'd make, with joyful wing,
Our annual visit o'er the globe,
Companions of the spring.
While I deduce,
From the first note the hollow cuckoo sings,
The symphony of spring.
The Attic warbler pours her throat
Responsive to the cuckoo's note.
O blithe New-comer! I have heard,
I hear thee and rejoice;
O Cuckoo! shall I call thee Bird,
Or but a wandering Voice?
And, being fed by us, you used us so
As that ungentle gull, the cuckoo's bird,
Useth the sparrow--did oppress our nest; . . .
Sweet bird! thy bower is ever green,
Thy sky is ever clear;
Thou hast no sorrow in thy song,
No winter in thy year.
The merry cuckow, messenger of Spring,
His trumpet shrill hath thrice already sounded.
List--'twas the cuckoo--O, with what delight
Heard I that voice! and catch it now, though faint,
Far off and faint, and melting into air,
Yet not to be mistaken. Hark again!
Those louder cries give notice that the bird,
Although invisible as Echo's self,
Is wheeling hitherward.
When daisies pied and violets blue
And lady-smocks all silver-white
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue
Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men: for thus sings he, Cuckoo;
Cuckoo, cuckoo: O, word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!
At land indeed
Thou dost o'ercount me of my father's house:
But since the cuckoo builds not for himself,
Remain in't as thou mayst.
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