To the Cuckoo.

O blithe new-comer ! I have heard,1
I hear thee, and rejoice.2
O Cuckoo ! shall I call thee bird,3
Or but a wandering voice ?4
While I am lying on the grass5
Thy twofold shout I hear,6
That seems to fill the whole air’s space,7
As loud far off as near.8
Though babbling only to the vale,9
Of sunshine and of flowers,10
Thou bringest unto me a tale11
Of visionary hours.12
Thrice welcome, darling of the spring13
Even yet thou art to me14
No bird : but an invisible thing,15
A voice, a mystery.16
The same whom in my schoolboy days17
I listened to ; that cry18
Which made me look a thousand ways,19
In bush, and tree, and sky.20
To seek thee did I often rove21
Through woods and on the green ;22
And thou wert still a hope, a love ;23
Still longed for, never seen.24
And I can listen to thee yet,25
Can lie upon the plain,26
And listen till I do beget27
That golden time again.28