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(28 November 1628 – 31 August 1688 / Elstow, Bedfordshire, England.)

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Of the Cuckoo

Thou booby, say'st thou nothing but cuckoo?
The robin and the wren can thee outdo.
They to us play thoróugh their little throats,
Not one, but sundry pretty tuneful notes.

But thou hast fellows, some like thee can do
Little but suck our eggs, and sing cuckoo.

Thy notes do not first welcome in our spring,
Not dost thou its first tokens to us bring.
Birds less than thee by far, like prophets, do
Tell us 'tis coming, though not by cuckoo.

Nor dost thou summer have away with thee,
Though thou a yawling, bawling cuckoo be.
When thou dost cease among us to appear,
Then doth our harvest bravely crown our year.

But thou hast fellows, some like thee can do
Little but suck our eggs, and sing cuckoo.

Since cuckoos forward not our early spring,
Nor help with notes to bring our harvest in:

And since while here she only makes a noise,
So pleasing unto none as girls and boys,
The formalist we may compare her to,
For he doth suck our eggs, and sing cuckoo.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003


Read poems about / on: spring, summer, girl

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