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Best Famous Cuckoo Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Cuckoo poems. This is a select list of the best famous Cuckoo poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Cuckoo poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of cuckoo poems.

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Written by Ezra Pound | Create an image from this poem

The Seafarer

 (From the early Anglo-Saxon text) 

May I for my own self song's truth reckon,
Journey's jargon, how I in harsh days
Hardship endured oft.
Bitter breast-cares have I abided, Known on my keel many a care's hold, And dire sea-surge, and there I oft spent Narrow nightwatch nigh the ship's head While she tossed close to cliffs.
Coldly afflicted, My feet were by frost benumbed.
Chill its chains are; chafing sighs Hew my heart round and hunger begot Mere-weary mood.
Lest man know not That he on dry land loveliest liveth, List how I, care-wretched, on ice-cold sea, Weathered the winter, wretched outcast Deprived of my kinsmen; Hung with hard ice-flakes, where hail-scur flew, There I heard naught save the harsh sea And ice-cold wave, at whiles the swan cries, Did for my games the gannet's clamour, Sea-fowls, loudness was for me laughter, The mews' singing all my mead-drink.
Storms, on the stone-cliffs beaten, fell on the stern In icy feathers; full oft the eagle screamed With spray on his pinion.
Not any protector May make merry man faring needy.
This he little believes, who aye in winsome life Abides 'mid burghers some heavy business, Wealthy and wine-flushed, how I weary oft Must bide above brine.
Neareth nightshade, snoweth from north, Frost froze the land, hail fell on earth then Corn of the coldest.
Nathless there knocketh now The heart's thought that I on high streams The salt-wavy tumult traverse alone.
Moaneth alway my mind's lust That I fare forth, that I afar hence Seek out a foreign fastness.
For this there's no mood-lofty man over earth's midst, Not though he be given his good, but will have in his youth greed; Nor his deed to the daring, nor his king to the faithful But shall have his sorrow for sea-fare Whatever his lord will.
He hath not heart for harping, nor in ring-having Nor winsomeness to wife, nor world's delight Nor any whit else save the wave's slash, Yet longing comes upon him to fare forth on the water.
Bosque taketh blossom, cometh beauty of berries, Fields to fairness, land fares brisker, All this admonisheth man eager of mood, The heart turns to travel so that he then thinks On flood-ways to be far departing.
Cuckoo calleth with gloomy crying, He singeth summerward, bodeth sorrow, The bitter heart's blood.
Burgher knows not -- He the prosperous man -- what some perform Where wandering them widest draweth.
So that but now my heart burst from my breast-lock, My mood 'mid the mere-flood, Over the whale's acre, would wander wide.
On earth's shelter cometh oft to me, Eager and ready, the crying lone-flyer, Whets for the whale-path the heart irresistibly, O'er tracks of ocean; seeing that anyhow My lord deems to me this dead life On loan and on land, I believe not That any earth-weal eternal standeth Save there be somewhat calamitous That, ere a man's tide go, turn it to twain.
Disease or oldness or sword-hate Beats out the breath from doom-gripped body.
And for this, every earl whatever, for those speaking after -- Laud of the living, boasteth some last word, That he will work ere he pass onward, Frame on the fair earth 'gainst foes his malice, Daring ado, .
So that all men shall honour him after And his laud beyond them remain 'mid the English, Aye, for ever, a lasting life's-blast, Delight mid the doughty.
Days little durable, And all arrogance of earthen riches, There come now no kings nor Cæsars Nor gold-giving lords like those gone.
Howe'er in mirth most magnified, Whoe'er lived in life most lordliest, Drear all this excellence, delights undurable! Waneth the watch, but the world holdeth.
Tomb hideth trouble.
The blade is layed low.
Earthly glory ageth and seareth.
No man at all going the earth's gait, But age fares against him, his face paleth, Grey-haired he groaneth, knows gone companions, Lordly men are to earth o'ergiven, Nor may he then the flesh-cover, whose life ceaseth, Nor eat the sweet nor feel the sorry, Nor stir hand nor think in mid heart, And though he strew the grave with gold, His born brothers, their buried bodies Be an unlikely treasure hoard.

Written by Kobayashi Issa | Create an image from this poem

A cuckoo sings

 A cuckoo sings
to me, to the mountain,
 to me, to the mountain.
Written by Robert Burns | Create an image from this poem

112. A Dream

 GUID-MORNIN’ to our Majesty!
 May Heaven augment your blisses
On ev’ry new birth-day ye see,
 A humble poet wishes.
My bardship here, at your Levee On sic a day as this is, Is sure an uncouth sight to see, Amang thae birth-day dresses Sae fine this day.
I see ye’re complimented thrang, By mony a lord an’ lady; “God save the King” ’s a cuckoo sang That’s unco easy said aye: The poets, too, a venal gang, Wi’ rhymes weel-turn’d an’ ready, Wad gar you trow ye ne’er do wrang, But aye unerring steady, On sic a day.
For me! before a monarch’s face Ev’n there I winna flatter; For neither pension, post, nor place, Am I your humble debtor: So, nae reflection on your Grace, Your Kingship to bespatter; There’s mony waur been o’ the race, And aiblins ane been better Than you this day.
’Tis very true, my sovereign King, My skill may weel be doubted; But facts are chiels that winna ding, An’ downa be disputed: Your royal nest, beneath your wing, Is e’en right reft and clouted, And now the third part o’ the string, An’ less, will gang aboot it Than did ae day.
1 Far be’t frae me that I aspire To blame your legislation, Or say, ye wisdom want, or fire, To rule this mighty nation: But faith! I muckle doubt, my sire, Ye’ve trusted ministration To chaps wha in barn or byre Wad better fill’d their station Than courts yon day.
And now ye’ve gien auld Britain peace, Her broken shins to plaister, Your sair taxation does her fleece, Till she has scarce a tester: For me, thank God, my life’s a lease, Nae bargain wearin’ faster, Or, faith! I fear, that, wi’ the geese, I shortly boost to pasture I’ the craft some day.
I’m no mistrusting Willie Pitt, When taxes he enlarges, (An’ Will’s a true guid fallow’s get, A name not envy spairges), That he intends to pay your debt, An’ lessen a’ your charges; But, God-sake! let nae saving fit Abridge your bonie barges An’boats this day.
Adieu, my Liege; may freedom geck Beneath your high protection; An’ may ye rax Corruption’s neck, And gie her for dissection! But since I’m here, I’ll no neglect, In loyal, true affection, To pay your Queen, wi’ due respect, May fealty an’ subjection This great birth-day.
Hail, Majesty most Excellent! While nobles strive to please ye, Will ye accept a compliment, A simple poet gies ye? Thae bonie bairntime, Heav’n has lent, Still higher may they heeze ye In bliss, till fate some day is sent For ever to release ye Frae care that day.
For you, young Potentate o’Wales, I tell your highness fairly, Down Pleasure’s stream, wi’ swelling sails, I’m tauld ye’re driving rarely; But some day ye may gnaw your nails, An’ curse your folly sairly, That e’er ye brak Diana’s pales, Or rattl’d dice wi’ Charlie By night or day.
Yet aft a ragged cowt’s been known, To mak a noble aiver; So, ye may doucely fill the throne, For a’their clish-ma-claver: There, him 2 at Agincourt wha shone, Few better were or braver: And yet, wi’ funny, ***** Sir John, 3 He was an unco shaver For mony a day.
For you, right rev’rend Osnaburg, Nane sets the lawn-sleeve sweeter, Altho’ a ribbon at your lug Wad been a dress completer: As ye disown yon paughty dog, That bears the keys of Peter, Then swith! an’ get a wife to hug, Or trowth, ye’ll stain the mitre Some luckless day! Young, royal Tarry-breeks, I learn, Ye’ve lately come athwart her— A glorious galley, 4 stem and stern, Weel rigg’d for Venus’ barter; But first hang out, that she’ll discern, Your hymeneal charter; Then heave aboard your grapple airn, An’ large upon her quarter, Come full that day.
Ye, lastly, bonie blossoms a’, Ye royal lasses dainty, Heav’n mak you guid as well as braw, An’ gie you lads a-plenty! But sneer na British boys awa! For kings are unco scant aye, An’ German gentles are but sma’, They’re better just than want aye On ony day.
Gad bless you a’! consider now, Ye’re unco muckle dautit; But ere the course o’ life be through, It may be bitter sautit: An’ I hae seen their coggie fou, That yet hae tarrow’t at it.
But or the day was done, I trow, The laggen they hae clautit Fu’ clean that day.
Note 1.
The American colonies had recently been lost.
[back] Note 2.
King Henry V.
[back] Note 3.
Sir John Falstaff, vid.
[back] Note 4.
Alluding to the newspaper account of a certain Royal sailor’s amour.
This was Prince William Henry, third son of George III, afterward King William IV.
Written by Gerard Manley Hopkins | Create an image from this poem

Repeat That Repeat

 Repeat that, repeat,
Cuckoo, bird, and open ear wells, heart-springs, delightfully sweet,
With a ballad, with a ballad, a rebound 
Off trundled timber and scoops of the hillside ground, hollow hollow hollow ground:
The whole landscape flushes on a sudden at a sound.
Written by Robert Browning | Create an image from this poem

A Lovers Quarrel

Oh, what a dawn of day! How the March sun feels like May! All is blue again After last night's rain, And the South dries the hawthorn-spray.
Only, my Love's away! I'd as lief that the blue were grey, II.
Runnels, which rillets swell, Must be dancing down the dell, With a foaming head On the beryl bed Paven smooth as a hermit's cell; Each with a tale to tell, Could my Love but attend as well.
Dearest, three months ago! When we lived blocked-up with snow,--- When the wind would edge In and in his wedge, In, as far as the point could go--- Not to our ingle, though, Where we loved each the other so! IV.
Laughs with so little cause! We devised games out of straws.
We would try and trace One another's face In the ash, as an artist draws; Free on each other's flaws, How we chattered like two church daws! V.
What's in the `Times''?---a scold At the Emperor deep and cold; He has taken a bride To his gruesome side, That's as fair as himself is bold: There they sit ermine-stoled, And she powders her hair with gold.
Fancy the Pampas' sheen! Miles and miles of gold and green Where the sunflowers blow In a solid glow, And---to break now and then the screen--- Black neck and eyeballs keen, Up a wild horse leaps between! VII.
Try, will our table turn? Lay your hands there light, and yearn Till the yearning slips Thro' the finger-tips In a fire which a few discern, And a very few feel burn, And the rest, they may live and learn! VIII.
Then we would up and pace, For a change, about the place, Each with arm o'er neck: 'Tis our quarter-deck, We are seamen in woeful case.
Help in the ocean-space! Or, if no help, we'll embrace.
See, how she looks now, dressed In a sledging-cap and vest! 'Tis a huge fur cloak--- Like a reindeer's yoke Falls the lappet along the breast: Sleeves for her arms to rest, Or to hang, as my Love likes best.
Teach me to flirt a fan As the Spanish ladies can, Or I tint your lip With a burnt stick's tip And you turn into such a man! Just the two spots that span Half the bill of the young male swan.
Dearest, three months ago When the mesmerizer Snow With his hand's first sweep Put the earth to sleep: 'Twas a time when the heart could show All---how was earth to know, 'Neath the mute hand's to-and-fro? XII.
Dearest, three months ago When we loved each other so, Lived and loved the same Till an evening came When a shaft from the devil's bow Pierced to our ingle-glow, And the friends were friend and foe! XIII.
Not from the heart beneath--- 'Twas a bubble born of breath, Neither sneer nor vaunt, Nor reproach nor taunt.
See a word, how it severeth! Oh, power of life and death In the tongue, as the Preacher saith! XIV.
Woman, and will you cast For a word, quite off at last Me, your own, your You,--- Since, as truth is true, I was You all the happy past--- Me do you leave aghast With the memories We amassed? XV.
Love, if you knew the light That your soul casts in my sight, How I look to you For the pure and true And the beauteous and the right,--- Bear with a moment's spite When a mere mote threats the white! XVI.
What of a hasty word? Is the fleshly heart not stirred By a worm's pin-prick Where its roots are quick? See the eye, by a fly's foot blurred--- Ear, when a straw is heard Scratch the brain's coat of curd! XVII.
Foul be the world or fair More or less, how can I care? 'Tis the world the same For my praise or blame, And endurance is easy there.
Wrong in the one thing rare--- Oh, it is hard to bear! XVIII.
Here's the spring back or close, When the almond-blossom blows: We shall have the word In a minor third There is none but the cuckoo knows: Heaps of the guelder-rose! I must bear with it, I suppose.
Could but November come, Were the noisy birds struck dumb At the warning slash Of his driver's-lash--- I would laugh like the valiant Thumb Facing the castle glum And the giant's fee-faw-fum! XX.
Then, were the world well stripped Of the gear wherein equipped We can stand apart, Heart dispense with heart In the sun, with the flowers unnipped,--- Oh, the world's hangings ripped, We were both in a bare-walled crypt! XXI.
Each in the crypt would cry ``But one freezes here! and why? ``When a heart, as chill, ``At my own would thrill ``Back to life, and its fires out-fly? ``Heart, shall we live or die? ``The rest.
settle by-and-by!'' XXII.
So, she'd efface the score, And forgive me as before.
It is twelve o'clock: I shall hear her knock In the worst of a storm's uproar, I shall pull her through the door, I shall have her for evermore!

Written by John Clare | Create an image from this poem

The Nightingales Nest

 Up this green woodland-ride let's softly rove,
And list the nightingale— she dwells just here.
Hush ! let the wood-gate softly clap, for fear The noise might drive her from her home of love ; For here I've heard her many a merry year— At morn, at eve, nay, all the live-long day, As though she lived on song.
This very spot, Just where that old-man's-beard all wildly trails Rude arbours o'er the road, and stops the way— And where that child its blue-bell flowers hath got, Laughing and creeping through the mossy rails— There have I hunted like a very boy, Creeping on hands and knees through matted thorn To find her nest, and see her feed her young.
And vainly did I many hours employ : All seemed as hidden as a thought unborn.
And where those crimping fern-leaves ramp among The hazel's under boughs, I've nestled down, And watched her while she sung ; and her renown Hath made me marvel that so famed a bird Should have no better dress than russet brown.
Her wings would tremble in her ecstasy, And feathers stand on end, as 'twere with joy, And mouth wide open to release her heart Of its out-sobbing songs.
The happiest part Of summer's fame she shared, for so to me Did happy fancies shapen her employ ; But if I touched a bush, or scarcely stirred, All in a moment stopt.
I watched in vain : The timid bird had left the hazel bush, And at a distance hid to sing again.
Lost in a wilderness of listening leaves, Rich Ecstasy would pour its luscious strain, Till envy spurred the emulating thrush To start less wild and scarce inferior songs ; For while of half the year Care him bereaves, To damp the ardour of his speckled breast ; The nightingale to summer's life belongs, And naked trees, and winter's nipping wrongs, Are strangers to her music and her rest.
Her joys are evergreen, her world is wide— Hark! there she is as usual— let's be hush— For in this black-thorn clump, if rightly guest, Her curious house is hidden.
Part aside These hazel branches in a gentle way, And stoop right cautious 'neath the rustling boughs, For we will have another search to day, And hunt this fern-strewn thorn-clump round and round ; And where this reeded wood-grass idly bows, We'll wade right through, it is a likely nook : In such like spots, and often on the ground, They'll build, where rude boys never think to look— Aye, as I live ! her secret nest is here, Upon this white-thorn stump ! I've searched about For hours in vain.
There! put that bramble by— Nay, trample on its branches and get near.
How subtle is the bird ! she started out, And raised a plaintive note of danger nigh, Ere we were past the brambles ; and now, near Her nest, she sudden stops— as choking fear, That might betray her home.
So even now We'll leave it as we found it : safety's guard Of pathless solitudes shall keep it still.
See there! she's sitting on the old oak bough, Mute in her fears ; our presence doth retard Her joys, and doubt turns every rapture chill.
Sing on, sweet bird! may no worse hap befall Thy visions, than the fear that now deceives.
We will not plunder music of its dower, Nor turn this spot of happiness to thrall ; For melody seems hid in every flower, That blossoms near thy home.
These harebells all Seem bowing with the beautiful in song ; And gaping cuckoo-flower, with spotted leaves, Seems blushing of the singing it has heard.
How curious is the nest ; no other bird Uses such loose materials, or weaves Its dwelling in such spots : dead oaken leaves Are placed without, and velvet moss within, And little scraps of grass, and, scant and spare, What scarcely seem materials, down and hair ; For from men's haunts she nothing seems to win.
Yet Nature is the builder, and contrives Homes for her children's comfort, even here ; Where Solitude's disciples spend their lives Unseen, save when a wanderer passes near That loves such pleasant places.
Deep adown, The nest is made a hermit's mossy cell.
Snug lie her curious eggs in number five, Of deadened green, or rather olive brown ; And the old prickly thorn-bush guards them well.
So here we'll leave them, still unknown to wrong, As the old woodland's legacy of song.
Written by David Herbert Lawrence | Create an image from this poem

Worm Either Way

 If you live along with all the other people 
and are just like them, and conform, and are nice 
you're just a worm -- 

and if you live with all the other people 
and you don't like them and won't be like them and won't conform 
then you're just the worm that has turned, 
in either case, a worm.
The conforming worm stays just inside the skin respectably unseen, and cheerfully gnaws away at the heart of life, making it all rotten inside.
The unconforming worm -- that is, the worm that has turned -- gnaws just the same, gnawing the substance out of life, but he insists on gnawing a little hole in the social epidermis and poking his head out and waving himself and saying: Look at me, I am not respectable, I do all the things the bourgeois daren't do, I booze and fornicate and use foul language and despise your honest man.
-- But why should the worm that has turned protest so much? The bonnie bonnie bourgeois goes a-whoring up back streets just the same.
The busy busy bourgeois imbibes his little share just the same if not more.
The pretty pretty bourgeois pinks his language just as pink if not pinker, and in private boasts his exploits even louder, if you ask me, than the other.
While as to honesty, Oh look where the money lies! So I can't see where the worm that has turned puts anything over the worm that is too cunning to turn.
On the contrary, he merely gives himself away.
The turned worm shouts.
I bravely booze! the other says.
Have one with me! The turned worm boasts: I copulate! the unturned says: You look it.
You're a d----- b----- b----- p----- bb-----, says the worm that's turned.
Quite! says the other.
Written by Li Po | Create an image from this poem

She Spins Silk

 Far up river in Szechuan,
waters rise as spring winds roar.
How can I dare to meet her now, to brave the dangerous gorge? The grass grows green in the valley below where silk worms silently spin.
Her hands work threads that never end, dawn to dusk when the cuckoo sings.
Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson | Create an image from this poem

The Progress of Spring

 THE groundflame of the crocus breaks the mould, 
Fair Spring slides hither o'er the Southern sea, 
Wavers on her thin stem the snowdrop cold 
That trembles not to kisses of the bee: 
Come Spring, for now from all the dripping eaves 
The spear of ice has wept itself away, 
And hour by hour unfolding woodbine leaves 
O'er his uncertain shadow droops the day.
She comes! The loosen'd rivulets run; The frost-bead melts upon her golden hair; Her mantle, slowly greening in the Sun, Now wraps her close, now arching leaves her bar To breaths of balmier air; Up leaps the lark, gone wild to welcome her, About her glance the ****, and shriek the jays, Before her skims the jubilant woodpecker, The linnet's bosom blushes at her gaze, While round her brows a woodland culver flits, Watching her large light eyes and gracious looks, And in her open palm a halcyon sits Patient--the secret splendour of the brooks.
Come Spring! She comes on waste and wood, On farm and field: but enter also here, Diffuse thyself at will thro' all my blood, And, tho' thy violet sicken into sere, Lodge with me all the year! Once more a downy drift against the brakes, Self-darken'd in the sky, descending slow! But gladly see I thro' the wavering flakes Yon blanching apricot like snow in snow.
These will thine eyes not brook in forest-paths, On their perpetual pine, nor round the beech; They fuse themselves to little spicy baths, Solved in the tender blushes of the peach; They lose themselves and die On that new life that gems the hawthorn line; Thy gay lent-lilies wave and put them by, And out once more in varnish'd glory shine Thy stars of celandine.
She floats across the hamlet.
Heaven lours, But in the tearful splendour of her smiles I see the slowl-thickening chestnut towers Fill out the spaces by the barren tiles.
Now past her feet the swallow circling flies, A clamorous cuckoo stoops to meet her hand; Her light makes rainbows in my closing eyes, I hear a charm of song thro' all the land.
Come, Spring! She comes, and Earth is glad To roll her North below thy deepening dome, But ere thy maiden birk be wholly clad, And these low bushes dip their twigs in foam, Make all true hearths thy home.
Across my garden! and the thicket stirs, The fountain pulses high in sunnier jets, The blackcap warbles, and the turtle purrs, The starling claps his tiny castanets.
Still round her forehead wheels the woodland dove, And scatters on her throat the sparks of dew, The kingcup fills her footprint, and above Broaden the glowing isles of vernal blue.
Hail ample presence of a Queen, Bountiful, beautiful, apparell'd gay, Whose mantle, every shade of glancing green, Flies back in fragrant breezes to display A tunic white as May! She whispers, 'From the South I bring you balm, For on a tropic mountain was I born, While some dark dweller by the coco-palm Watch'd my far meadow zoned with airy morn; From under rose a muffled moan of floods; I sat beneath a solitude of snow; There no one came, the turf was fresh, the woods Plunged gulf on gulf thro' all their vales below I saw beyond their silent tops The steaming marshes of the scarlet cranes, The slant seas leaning oll the mangrove copse, And summer basking in the sultry plains About a land of canes; 'Then from my vapour-girdle soaring forth I scaled the buoyant highway of the birds, And drank the dews and drizzle of the North, That I might mix with men, and hear their words On pathway'd plains; for--while my hand exults Within the bloodless heart of lowly flowers To work old laws of Love to fresh results, Thro' manifold effect of simple powers-- I too would teach the man Beyond the darker hour to see the bright, That his fresh life may close as it began, The still-fulfilling promise of a light Narrowing the bounds of night.
' So wed thee with my soul, that I may mark The coming year's great good and varied ills, And new developments, whatever spark Be struck from out the clash of warring wills; Or whether, since our nature cannot rest, The smoke of war's volcano burst again From hoary deeps that belt the changeful West, Old Empires, dwellings of the kings of men; Or should those fail, that hold the helm, While the long day of knowledge grows and warms, And in the heart of this most ancient realm A hateful voice be utter'd, and alarms Sounding 'To arms! to arms!' A simpler, saner lesson might he learn Who reads thy gradual process, Holy Spring.
Thy leaves possess the season in their turn, And in their time thy warblers rise on wing.
How surely glidest thou from March to May, And changest, breathing it, the sullen wind, Thy scope of operation, day by day, Larger and fuller, like the human mind ' Thy warmths from bud to bud Accomplish that blind model in the seed, And men have hopes, which race the restless blood That after many changes may succeed Life, which is Life indeed.
Written by Thomas Carew | Create an image from this poem

The Spring

 Now that the winter's gone, the earth hath lost 
Her snow-white robes, and now no more the frost 
Candies the grass, or casts an icy cream 
Upon the silver lake or crystal stream; 
But the warm sun thaws the benumbed earth, 
And makes it tender; gives a sacred birth 
To the dead swallow; wakes in hollow tree 
The drowsy cuckoo and the humble-bee.
Now do a choir of chirping minstrels bring In triumph to the world the youthful spring.
The valleys, hills, and woods in rich array Welcome the coming of the long'd-for May.
Now all things smile; only my love doth lour; Nor hath the scalding noonday sun the power To melt that marble ice, which still doth hold Her heart congeal'd, and makes her pity cold.
The ox, which lately did for shelter fly Into the stall, doth now securely lie In open fields; and love no more is made By the fireside, but in the cooler shade Amyntas now doth with his Chloris sleep Under a sycamore, and all things keep Time with the season; only she doth carry June in her eyes, in her heart January.