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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

Poem Theme: Nightingale

James Thomson's other poems:
  1. On the Death of His Mother
  2. Care of Birds for Their Young
  3. A Nuptial Song
  4. On a Country Life
  5. Lines on Marle Field


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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