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Poem by Anne Hunter

To the Nightingale

WHY from these shades, sweet bird of eve,
Art thou to other regions wildly fled?
Thy pensive song would oft my cares relieve,
Thy melancholy softness oft would shed
Peace on my weary soul: return again,
Return, and, sadly sweet, in melting notes complain.
At the still hour I'll come alone,
And listen to thy love-lorn plaintive lay;
Or when the moon beams o'er yon mossy stone,
I'll watch thy restless wing from spray to spray,
And when the swelling cadence slow shall rise,
I'll join the harmony with low and murm'ring sighs.

Oh, simple bird! where art thou flown?
What distant woodland now receives thy nest?
What distant echo answers to thy moan,
What distant thorn supports thy aching breast?
Whoe'er can feel thy misery like me,
Or pay thee for thy song with such sad sympathy?

Anne Hunter

Anne Hunter's other poems:
  1. Song 6. IN airy dreams fond fancy flies
  2. Song 5. FAR, far from me my love is fled
  3. Lelia, or, The Maniac's Song
  4. To James Barry, Esq.
  5. Song 10. O Tuneful voice, I still deplore

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • John Milton To the Nightingale ("O Nightingale! that on yon bloomy spray")
  • Samuel Coleridge To the Nightingale ("Sister of love-lorn Poets, Philomel!")
  • James Thomson To the Nightingale ("O nightingale, best poet of the grove")
  • Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea To the Nightingale ("Exert thy voice, sweet harbinger of spring!")

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