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Poem by James Thomson


To the Nightingale


O nightingale, best poet of the grove,
That plaintive strain can ne'er belong to thee,
Blessed in the full possession of thy love:
O lend that strain, sweet Nighingale, to me!

'Tis mine, alas! to mourn a wretched fate:
I love a maid who all my bosom charms,
Yet lose my days without this lovely mate;
Inhuman fortune keeps her from my arms.

You happy birds! by nature's simple laws
Lead your soft lives, sustained by nature's fare;
You dwell wherever roving fancy draws,
And love and song is all your pleasing care:

But we, vain slaves of interest and of pride,
Dare not be blessed, lest envious tongues should blame;
And hence, in vain I languish for my bride!
O mourn with me, sweet bird, my hapless flame. 



James Thomson


James Thomson's other poems:
  1. Happiness of a Country Life
  2. To Myra
  3. On the Death of His Mother
  4. Care of Birds for Their Young
  5. The Morning Lark


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!")
  • Anne Hunter To the Nightingale ("WHY from these shades, sweet bird of eve")
  • Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea To the Nightingale ("Exert thy voice, sweet harbinger of spring!")

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