Joe Raposo’s 1971 copyright of the lyrics (along with those for other immortal works such as “Has Anybody Seen my Dog”) is of uncertain significance given that the filing does not record which version he regarded as authoritative.
I knew in a moment that Mr de la Mare had not written rustling, and in another moment I had found the true word. But if the book of poems had perished and the verse survived only in the review, who would have believed me rather than the compositor? The bulk of the reading public would have been perfectly content with rustling, nay they would sincerely have preferred it to the epithet which the poet chose. If I had been so ill-advised as to publish my emendation, I should have been told that rustling was exquisitely apt and poetical, because hedgerows do rustle, especially in autumn, when the leaves are dry, and when straws and ears from the passing harvest-wain (to which 'harvest' is so plain an allusion that only a pedant like me could miss it) are hanging caught in the twigs; and I should have been recommended to quit my dusty (or musty) books and make a belated acquaintance with the sights and sounds of the English countryside. And the only possible answer would have been ugh!
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