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English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Michael Bruce

339. To the Cuckoo

HAIL! beauteous Stranger of the wood!

Attendant on the Spring!

Now heav’n repairs thy rural seat,

And woods thy welcome sing.

Soon as the daisy decks the green,

Thy certain voice we hear:

Hast thou a star to guide thy path,

Or mark the rolling year?

Delightful visitant! with thee

I hail the time of flow’rs,

When heav’n is fill’d with music sweet

Of birds among the bow’rs.

The schoolboy wand’ring in the wood

To pull the flow’rs so gay,

Starts, thy curious voice to hear,

And imitates thy lay.

Soon as the pea puts on the bloom,

Thou fly’st thy vocal vale,

An annual guest, in other lands,

Another Spring to hail.

Sweet bird! thy bow’r is ever green,

Thy sky is ever clear;

Thou hast no sorrow in thy song,

No winter in thy year!

Alas! sweet bird! not so my fate,

Dark scowling skies I see

Fast gathering round, and fraught with woe

And wintry years to me.

O could I fly, I’d fly with thee:

We’d make, with social wing,

Our annual visit o’er the globe,

Companions of the Spring.