The Cuckoo's Tale

Hail, bird of sweet melody, heav'n is thy home;

With the tidings of summer thy bright pinions roam--

The summer that thickens with foliage the glade,

And lures to the woodland the poet and maid.

Sweet as "sack," gentle bird, is thy beautiful voice,

In thy accents the lover must ever rejoice:

Oh! tell me at once, in thy musical lay,

Where tarries the girl whose behest I obey.

bard," said the cuckoo, "what anguish and pain

Hast thou stored for thyself, all thy cares are in vain,

All hopes of the maid thou awaitest resign,

She has wedded another, and ne'er can be thine."

"For the tale thou hast told"--to the cuckoo I cried,

"For thus singing to me of my beautiful bride

These strains of thy malice--may winter appear

And dim the sun's light--stay the summer's career;

With frost all the leaves of the forest boughs fill,

And wither the woods with his desolate chill,

And with cold in the midst of thy own forest spray,

Take thy life and thy song, foolish cuckoo, away!"