The Cuckoo sings in the poplar tree (George Alexander Macfarren)
- Editor: David Anderson (submitted 2023-11-13). Score information: Letter, 8 pages, 383 kB Copyright: Personal
- Edition notes:
First published: 1872 Novello, Ewer, and Co.
Description: From the opera She Stoops to Conquer (1864)
Original text and translations
The cuckoo sings in the poplar tree,
But his carol is not gay;
For he knows that spring, like himself’s on the wing,
By the ricking of the hay.
Little we heed his pensive note,
High on the poplar spray;
While in the new-mown meadows sweet,
In sunshine we make hay.
Ha! Ha! poor cuckoo! cuckoo!
Old women, tell us, in mournful tone,
That our merry days will pass;
And that death will soon come and mow us down,
Like flowers in the grass.
But if so swift the moments fly,
Let us drive care away;
Better it is to laugh than cry,
In sunshine, then, make hay.
Ha! ha! poor cuckoo! cuckoo!