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Through primrose tufts, in that sweet bower,
The periwinkle trail'd its wreathes;
And 'tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopp'd and play'd:
Their thoughts I cannot measure,
But the least motion which they made,
It seem'd a thrill of pleasure..

The budding twigs spread' out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If I these thoughts may not prevent,.
If such be of my creed the plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man 5-

Tbe NIGHTINGALE.

Written in April, 1798.

No cloud, no relique of the sunken day
Distinguishes the West, no Jong thin slip
Of sullen Light, no obscure trembling hues.
Come, we will rest on this old mossy Bridge!
You see the glimmer of the stream beneath,
But hear no murmuring: it flows silently
O'er its soft bed of verdure. All is still,
A balmy night! and tho' the stars be dim,
Yet let us think upon the vernal showers
That gladden the green earth, and we shall find
A pleasure in the dimness of the stars.

And hark! the Nightingale begins its song,

"Most musical, most melancholy"* Bird!

A melancholy Bird? O idle thought!

In nature there is nothing melancholy.

—But somenight-wanderitig Man,whoseheart was pierc'd

With the remembrance of a grievous wrong,

Or slow distemper or neglected love,

(And so, poor Wretch! fill'd all things with himself

And made all gentle sounds tell back the tale

Of his own sorrows) 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

* " Mott musical, must melancholy.'' This passage in Milton possesses an excellence far superior to that of mere description: it is spoken in the character of the melancholy Man, and has therefore a dramatic propriety. The Author makes this remark, to rescue himself from the charge of having alluded with levity to a line in Milton: a charge than which none could be more painful to him, except perhaps that of having ridiculed his Bible.

When, he had better far have stretch'd his limbi

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

Be lov'd, like nature!—But 'twilkiot be so;

And youths and maidens most poetical

Who lose the deep'ning twilights of the spring

In ball-rooms and hot theatres, they still

Full of meek sympathy must heave their sighs

O'er Philomela's pity-pleading strains.

My Friend, and my Friend's Sister! we have learnt

A 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 full 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 songs—
With skirmish and capricious passagings,
And murmurs musical and swift jug jug
And one low piping sound more sweet than all-
Stirring the air with such an harmony,
o

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