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!