To the Cuckoo
William Wordsworth, Poems in Two Volumes (1807). See The Manuscript of William Wordsworth's Poems, in Two Volumes (1807): A Facsimile (London: British Library, 1984). bib MASS (Massey College Library, Toronto).
2I hear thee and rejoice.
3O Cuckoo! shall I call thee Bird,
4Or but a wandering Voice?
5While I am lying on the grass
6Thy twofold shout I hear;
7From hill to hill it seems to pass,
8At once far off, and near.
9Though babbling only to the Vale
10Of sunshine and of flowers,
11Thou bringest unto me a tale
12Of visionary hours.
13Thrice welcome, darling of the Spring!
14Even yet thou art to me
15No bird, but an invisible thing,
16A voice, a mystery;
17The same whom in my school-boy days
18I listened to; that Cry
19Which made me look a thousand ways
20In bush, and tree, and sky.
21To seek thee did I often rove
22Through woods and on the green;
23And thou wert still a hope, a love;
24Still longed for, never seen.
25And I can listen to thee yet;
26Can lie upon the plain
27And listen, till I do beget
28That golden time again.
29O blessèd Bird! the earth we pace
30Again appears to be
31An unsubstantial, faery place;
32That is fit home for Thee!
1] Dorothy Wordsworth notes in her journal for spring 1802 that she heard the first cuckoo on May 1. Back to Line
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RPO poem Editors:
J. R. MacGillivray