Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray
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   English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
139. The Nightingale
 
Richard Barnfield (1574–1627)
 
 
AS it fell upon a day
In the merry month of May,
Sitting in a pleasant shade
Which a grove of myrtles made,
Beasts did leap and birds did sing,        5
Trees did grow and plants did spring;
Every thing did banish moan
Save the Nightingale alone.
She, poor bird, as all forlorn,
Lean’d her breast up-till a thorn,        10
And there sung the dolefull’st ditty
That to hear it was great pity.
Fie, fie, fie, now would she cry;
Tereu, tereu, by and by:
That to hear her so complain        15
Scarce I could from tears refrain;
For her griefs so lively shown
Made me think upon mine own.
—Ah, thought I, thou mourn’st in vain,
None takes pity on thy pain:        20
Senseless trees, they cannot hear thee,
Ruthless beasts, they will not cheer thee;
King Pandion, he is dead,
All thy friends are lapp’d in lead:
All thy fellow birds do sing        25
Careless of thy sorrowing:
Even so, poor bird, like thee
None alive will pity me.
 

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