Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sumer is icumen in

Lovely old Middle English song lyrics. I've always gotten a smile from them...

Sumer is icumen in,
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweth sed and bloweth med
And springeth the wude nu,
Sing cuccu!
Awe bleteth after lomb,
Lhoueth after calve cu;
Bulluc sterteth, bucke verteth,
Murie sing cuccu!

Cuccu, cuccu, wel singes thu, cuccu;
Ne swik thu nauer nu.
Sing cuccu, nu, sing cuccu,
Sing cuccu, sing cuccu, nu!

Beautiful words, and though we don't say them exactly the same today, still ~ a beautiful sentiment. Summer is coming in, spring the woods anew... Sing, cuckoo! Ewe bleateth after lamb, Loweth after the calves, cow... Well, you know the rest, but if you don't, take a new look at the poem; and know that the human spirit has long sought expression; and that, long, long ago, as now, poets and artists found inspiration in the beauty of nature. Loud sings cuckoo!

Some of the older word forms have to be translated, and so several variations exist. Here is a similar, but slightly different version, as well as a more modern translation: Middle English Lyrics: Cuckoo Song

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