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Famous Cuckoo Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Cuckoo poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous cuckoo poems. These examples illustrate what a famous cuckoo poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Burns, Robert
...y 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 Kingshi...Read more of this...

by Issa, Kobayashi
...A cuckoo sings
to me, to the mountain,
 to me, to the mountain....Read more of this...

by Aiken, Conrad
...nd yet, this too might be. ‘The wind was high
north of the White King City, by the fields
of whistling barley under cuckoo sky,'
where, as the silkworm drew her silk, Li Po
spun out his thoughts of us. ‘Endless as silk'
(he said) ‘these poems for lost loves, and us,'
and, ‘for the peachtree, blooming in the ditch.'
Here is the divine loneliness in which
we greet, only to doubt, a voice, a word,
the smoke of a sweetfern after frost, a face
touched, and loved, but s...Read more of this...

by Browning, Robert
...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!


Then, were the world well stripped
Of the gear wherein equipped
We can...Read more of this...

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...once more 
Ulfius, and Brastias, and Bedivere.' 

Then, when they came before him, the King said, 
`I have seen the cuckoo chased by lesser fowl, 
And reason in the chase: but wherefore now 
Do these your lords stir up the heat of war, 
Some calling Arthur born of Gorlos, 
Others of Anton? Tell me, ye yourselves, 
Hold ye this Arthur for King Uther's son?' 

And Ulfius and Brastias answered, `Ay.' 
Then Bedivere, the first of all his knights 
Knighted by Arthur at his...Read more of this...

by Pound, Ezra

Sing goddamm, damm, sing Goddamm. 
Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM. 

A parody of the Anglo-Saxon poem, Cuckoo Song...Read more of this...

by Schwartz, Delmore
...hings to be free, for all impersonations
a doormat and a monument
to all situations possible or actual
The cuckold, the cuckoo, the conqueror, and the coxcomb.

It is to him in the zoo that the zoo cries out and the hyena:
"Hello, take off your hat, king of the beasts, and be seated, 
Mr. Bones."

And hence the poet must seek to be essentially anonymous.
He must die a little death each morning.
He must swallow his toad and study his vomit
as Baudelaire stu...Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar
That did not dread the dawn, and first the thrushes' rapturous

Startled the squirrel from its granary,
And cuckoo flowers fringed the narrow lane,
Through my young leaves a sensuous ecstasy
Crept like new wine, and every mossy vein
Throbbed with the fitful pulse of amorous blood,
And the wild winds of passion shook my slim stem's maidenhood.

The trooping fawns at evening came and laid
Their cool black noses on my lowest boughs,
And on my topmost branch the b...Read more of this...

by Clare, John
...Come queen of months in company
Wi all thy merry minstrelsy
The restless cuckoo absent long
And twittering swallows chimney song
And hedge row crickets notes that run
From every bank that fronts the sun
And swathy bees about the grass
That stops wi every bloom they pass
And every minute every hour
Keep teazing weeds that wear a flower
And toil and childhoods humming joys
For there is music in the noise
The village childern mad fo...Read more of this...

by Hopkins, Gerard Manley
...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....Read more of this...

by Po, Li
...n in the valley below
where silk worms silently spin.

Her hands work threads that never end,
dawn to dusk when the cuckoo sings....Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar
...he heifer breathing in the stall,
And the green bursting figs that hang upon the red-brick wall,

And sweet to hear the cuckoo mock the spring
While the last violet loiters by the well,
And sweet to hear the shepherd Daphnis sing
The song of Linus through a sunny dell
Of warm Arcadia where the corn is gold
And the slight lithe-limbed reapers dance about the wattled fold.

And sweet with young Lycoris to recline
In some Illyrian valley far away,
Where canopied on herbs ama...Read more of this...

by Lowell, Amy
It is quite absurd
To hear them cutting across each other:
Peewits, and thrushes, and larks, all at once,
And a loud cuckoo is trying to smother
A wood-pigeon perched on a birch,
"Roo -- coo -- oo -- oo --"
"Cuckoo! Cuckoo! That's 
one for you!"
A blackbird whistles, how sharp, how shrill!
And the great trees toss
And leaves blow down,
You can almost hear them splash on the ground.
The whistle again:
It is double and loud!
The leaves are splashing,
And water is dashing...Read more of this...

by Chaucer, Geoffrey them therefor as muchel thank as me.
She wot no more of all this *hote fare*, *hot behaviour*
By God, than wot a cuckoo or an hare.
But all must be assayed hot or cold;
A man must be a fool, or young or old;
I wot it by myself *full yore agone*: *long years ago*
For in my time a servant was I one.
And therefore since I know of love's pain,
And wot how sore it can a man distrain*, *distress
As he that oft hath been caught in his last*, *snare 
I you forgive ...Read more of this...

by Clare, John
...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...Read more of this...

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord, 
And shot from crooked lips a haggard smile. 
'The plan was mine. I built the nest' she said 
'To hatch the cuckoo. Rise!' and stooped to updrag 
Melissa: she, half on her mother propt, 
Half-drooping from her, turned her face, and cast 
A liquid look on Ida, full of prayer, 
Which melted Florian's fancy as she hung, 
A Niobëan daughter, one arm out, 
Appealing to the bolts of Heaven; and while 
We gazed upon her came a little stir 
About the doors, and on a s...Read more of this...

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...estnut 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! ...Read more of this...

by Pound, Ezra
...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...Read more of this...

by Carew, Thomas
...s 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 
He...Read more of this...

by Lawrence, D. H.
...ook it. 
You're a d----- b----- b----- p----- bb-----, says the worm that's turned. 
Quite! says the other. Cuckoo!...Read more of this...

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