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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I6v f57v]




Ruricolas agreste genus plerique Cucullos
Cur vocitent, quaenam prodita causa fuit?[1]
Vere novo cantat coccyx quo tempore vites
Qui non absolvit, iure notatur[2] iners.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [I7r f58r]Fert ova in nidos alienos, qualiter ille
Cui thalamum prodit uxor adulterio.

Whatever explanation has been given for the custom of calling country-dwellers, that rustic race, ‘cuckoos’? - When spring is new, the cuckoo calls, and anyone who has not pruned his vines by this time is rightly blamed for being idle. The cuckoo desposits its eggs in other birds’ nests, like the man on whose account a wife betrays her marriage bed in adultery.



Sag mir was ist die ursach gschwind
Das man in dörffern das grob gsind
Gemeinglich jeder nennen thut gauch
Und was da sey die bdeutnuß auch?
Im Frühling hebt zuschreyen an
Der Gutzgauch, so thut man dann gan
In dWeingart welcher dann nit werckt
Für schendtlich faul er wirt gemerckt
In ein frembd Nest legt er seyn Eyr
Dem ist gleich der eim andern Meyr
Sein Weib beschlafft und mit ir bricht
Die Ehe heimlich das niemand sicht.


1.  See Pliny, Natural History, 18.66.249, and Horace, Satires, 1.7.31, for the use of the word ‘cuckoo’ as term of mockery for the idle man who has failed to finish pruning his vines before the cuckoo is heard calling.

2.  In other editions: ‘vocatur’.

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