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Poems of Goethe

THE SPRING ORACLE.

OH prophetic bird so bright,
Blossom-songster, cuckoo bight!
In the fairest time of year,
Dearest bird, oh! deign to hear
What a youthful pair would pray,
Do thou call, if hope they may:
Thy cuck-oo, thy cuck-oo.
Ever more cuck-oo, cuck-oo!

Hearest thou? A loving pair
Fain would to the altar fare;
Yes! a pair in happy youth,
Full of virtue, full of truth.
Is the hour not fix'd by fate?
Say, how long must they still wait?
Hark! cuck-oo! hark! cuck-oo!
Silent yet! for shame, cuck-oo!

'Tis not our fault, certainly!
Only two years patient be!
But if we ourselves please here,
Will pa-pa-papas appear?
Know that thou'lt more kindness do us,
More thou'lt prophesy unto us.
One! cuck-oo! Two! cuck-oo!
Ever, ever, cuck-oo, cuck-oo, coo!

If we've calculated clearly,
We have half a dozen nearly.
If good promises we'll give,
Wilt thou say how long we'II live?
Truly, we'll confess to thee,
We'd prolong it willingly.
Coo cuck-oo, coo cuck-oo,
Coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo!

Life is one continued feast--
(If we keep no score, at least).
If now we together dwell,
Will true love remain as well?
For if that should e'er decay,
Happiness would pass away.
Coo cuck-oo, coo cuck-oo,
Coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo, coo!

                                1803.*
(Gracefully in infinitum.)