July 04, 2008

After the Owl: Poetry Friday

I have owed you all this, since you put up with my very grouchy winter mood and drippy winter poetry.

We whinge a lot about the weather in Scotland, about the freak June hailstorms, the incessant rain, and driving wind and the fact that it seems like the body wants to stay in hibernation mode and hang on to warm insulating fat, but the truth is that it's really lovely here, and I'm enjoying the temperate and modestly warm summer weather. I feel a little guilty almost for not being in California with the breath-stealing wildfires this season; it seems like it's almost cheating that we've had one day that's been over eighty, and the rest of the time has been days where it has rained every afternoon and the high has been a balmy sixty-eight. It feels like one long springtime, which is why today's poem is kind of a chuckle. Summer has come in -- but we won't really notice until winter comes back.

Oh well.

Sumer Is Icumen In

Svmer is icumen in
Lhude sing cuccu!
Groweþ sed and bloweþ med
and springþ þe wde nu.
Sing cuccu!

Awe bleteþ after lomb,
lhouþ after calue cu,
Bulluc sterteþ, bucke uerteþ.
Murie sing cuccu!
Cuccu, cuccu,
Wel singes þu cuccu.
ne swik þu nauer nu!

Sing cuccu nu, Sing cuccu!
Sing cuccu, Sing cuccu nu!

Summer Has Come In!

Summer has come in!
Loud sing cuckoo!
Grows seed and blooms mead,
And springs the woods anew.
Sing, cuckoo!
Ewe bleats after lamb,
Lows after calf the cow.
Bull starts, buck farts,
Merrily sing, cuckoo!
Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
Will sing you, cuckoo.
Nor stop you ever now.

Sing cuckoo now! Sing cuckoo!
Sing cuckoo now! Sing cuckoo!

This is not, in fact, terribly patriotic, but I am, of course, in Scotland, which didn't manage to get away from England, but has the usual lovely summer light and their gorgeous countryside to celebrate today instead. Poetry Friday's host today, complete with cucumber sandwiches, is In Search of Giants. Happy 4th! Enjoy a summer holiday.


Karen Edmisten said...

I love this, and one long springtime sounds like my kind of weather. I think I was born in the wrong place.

Anonymous said...

I've also seen it translated as "billy goat farts", which I think funnier still.

I sing this one quite often, and incorporated a bit of it into a Jane poem. It's the oldest written song in English (at least as far as anyone's discovered).

Sarah Stevenson said...

Great one! I love it. I didn't know there was an escape code for the letter thorn...

Andromeda Jazmon said...

That really sounds like my kind of summer! Your photo is quite lovely.
Sing cuckoo now! Sing cuckoo!