Ode to the Cuckoo
by Michael Bruce (1746-1767)
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
From 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.