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To the Cuckoo by William Wordsworth


"To the Cuckoo" is a poem written by William Wordsworth. This poem is about the cuckoo bird and how Wordsworth would hear them sing and imagine where they are and try to find them. However, actually, this poem is somewhat "childish" in that Wordsworth seems like a child wondering and looking everywhere. It also has some suggestions that the poem is actually about time and not the actual bird. Cuckoos were used as clocks known as "cuckoo clocks" at one time. He states, "thy twofold shout I hear" in one stanza and "thrice welcome" in another, as if the cuckoo was telling us the time. He also gives the hint with this line, "That golden time again."

"To the Cuckoo" is an eight stanza poem with four lines in each. The stanzas are rhymed as ABAB. The poem is written in iambic-tetrameter and iambic-triameter. The odd lines are iambic-tetrameter while the even lines are iambic-triameter.


To the Cuckoo

O blithe newcomer! I have heard,
I hear thee and rejoice:
O Cuckoo! shall I call thee bird,
Or but a wandering Voice?

While I am lying on the grass
Thy twofold shout I hear;
From hill to hill it seems to pass,
At once far off and near.

Though babbling only to the vale
Of sunshine and of flowers,
Thou bringest unto me a tale
Of visionary hours.

Thrice welcome, darling of the Spring!
Even yet thou art to me
No bird, but an invisible thing,
A voice, a mystery;

The same whom in my schoolboy days
I listened to; that Cry
Which made me look a thousand ways
In bush, and tree, and sky.

To seek thee did I often rove
Through woods and on the green;
And thou wert still a hope, a love;
Still longed for, never seen!

And I can listen to thee yet;
Can lie upon the plain
And listen, till I do beget
That golden time again.

O blessed birth! the earth we pace
Again appears to be
An unsubstantial, fairy place,
That is fit home for Thee!

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