Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Solstice

The first full day of summer seems to be the appropriate place for this:
Sumer 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;
Loudly sing, cuckoo!
Groweth seed and bloweth meadow
And the wood springeth anew,
Sing, cuckoo!
Ewe bleateth after lamb;
Cow loweth after calf.
The bullock starts, the buck farts,*
Merrily sing, cuckoo!
Cuckoo, cuckoo, sing well cuckoo;
Nor never now stop.
Sing cuckoo now. Sing cuckoo.
Sing cuckoo. Sing cuckoo now!

*There is disagreement on the meaning of "uerteth"; is it for "verteth" meaning "turns" (the buck is looking around for a doe?) or does the "v" sound indicate the fricative "f" for "ferteth" meaning "farts" (Middle English ferten = "to fart"; indicating...the richer diet of spring means life is being generated?). I have chosen "farts" simply because it rhymes with "starts" and gives me a chance to include this footnote. Happy Summer!

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