Verse > Anthologies > Elizabethan Sonnets > Amoretti and Epithalamion
Seccombe and Arber, comps.  Elizabethan Sonnets.  1904.
Amoretti and Epithalamion
Sonnet XIX. The merry cuckoo, messenger of spring
Edmund Spenser (1552?–1599)
THE MERRY cuckoo, messenger of spring,
His trumpet shrill hath thrice already sounded,
That warns all lovers wait upon their king,
Who now is coming forth with garland crowned.
With noise whereof the choir of birds resounded,        5
Their anthems sweet, devised of love’s praise,
That all the woods their echoes back rebounded,
As if they knew the meaning of their lays.
But ’mongst them all, which did love’s honour raise,
No word was heard of her that most it ought;        10
But she his precept proudly disobeys,
And doth his idle message set at naught.
  Therefore, O love, unless she turn to thee
  Ere cuckoo end, let her a rebel be!

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