Treasure Island

Rudyard Kipling

(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936 / Bombay)

Cuckoo Song


(Spring begins in southern England on the 14th April, on which date the Old Woman lets the Cuckoo out of her basket at Heathfield Fair -- locally known as Heffle Cuckoo Fair.)


Tell it to the locked-up trees,
Cuckoo, bring your song here!
Warrant, Act and Summons, please,
For Spring to pass along here!
Tell old Winder, if he doubt,
Tell him squat and square -- a!
Old Woman!
Old Woman!
Old Woman's let the Cuckoo out
At Heffle Cuckoo Fair -- a!

March has searched and April tried --
'Tisn't long to Mary now.
Not so far to Whitsuntide
And Cuckoo's come to stay now!
Hear the valiant fellow shout
Down the orchard bare -- a!
Old Woman!
Old Woman!
Old Woman's let the Cuckoo out
At Heffle Cuckoo Fair -- a!

When your heart is young and gay
And the season rules it --
Work your works and play your play
'Fore the Autumn cools it!
Kiss you turn and turn-about,
But my lad, beware -- a!
Old Woman!
Old Woman!
Old Woman's let the Cuckoo out
At Heffle Cuckoo Fair -- a!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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