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Yet let us think upon the vernal showers
pierced With the remembrance of a grievous wrong, Or slow distemper, or neglected love, (And so, poor wretch! fill'd all things with him
self, And made all gentle sounds tell back the tale Of his own sorrow,) he, and such as he, First named these notes a melancholy strain, And many a poet echoes the conceit; Poet who hath been building up the rhyme, When he had better far have stretch'd his limbs Beside a brook in mossy forest-dell, By sun or moonlight, to the influxes Of shapes and sounds, and shifting elements, Surrendering his whole spirit, of his song And of his fame forgetful! so his fame Should share in Nature's immortality, A venerable thing! and so his song Should make all Nature lovelier, and itself
Beloved like Nature! But 't will not be so;
My friend, and thou, our sister! we have learnt À different lore: we may not thus profane Nature's sweet voices, always full of love And joyance! 'Tis the merry Nightingale, That crowds, and hurries, and precipitates, With fast, thick warble, his delicious notes, As he were fearful that an April night Would be too short for him to utter forth His love-chant, and disburthen his fell soul Of all its music!
And I know a grove Of large extent, hard by a castle huge, Which the great lord inhabits not; and so This grove is wild with tangling underwood, And the trim walks are broken up, and grass, Thin grass and king-cups, grow within the paths. But never elsewhere, in one place, I knew So many Nightingales; and far and near, In wood and thicket, over the wide grove,
They answer, and provoke each other's song,
and full, Glittering, while many a glow-worm in the shade Lights up her love-torch!
A most gentle maid,
Have all burst forth in choral minstrelsy,
And she hath watch'd
Farewell, 0 warbler! till to-morrow eve; And you, my friends, farewell—a short farewell! We have been loitering long and pleasantly, And now for our dear homes. That strain again? Full fain it would delay me! My dear babe, Who, capable of no articulate sound, Mars all things with his imitative lisp, How he would place his hand beside his ear, His little hand, the small fore-finger up, And bid us listen! And I deem it wise To make him Nature's playmate. He knows well The evening star; and once, when he awoke In most distressful mood (some inward pain Had made up that strange thing—an infant's
dream), I hurried with him to our orchard's plot, And he beheld the moon; and, hush'd at once, Suspends his sobs, and laughs most silently, While his fair eyes, that swam with undropp'd tears,
Did glitter in the yellow moonbeam! Well !-
THE BIRD'S NEST.
But most of all it wins my admiration,