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O Reader 1 had you in your mind
One summer-day I chanced to see
“You're overtasked, good Simon Lee,
The tears into his eyes were brought,
Has oftner left me mourning.
The NIGHTING ALE.
Written in April, 1798.
No cloud, no relique of the sunken day
A pleasure in the dimness of the stars.
And hark the Nightingale begins its song,
Poet, who hath been building up the rhyme
* “Most musical, most 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 thisremark, 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 stretched his limbs Beside a brook in mossy forest-dell By sun or moon-light, 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 Belov'd, like nature —But 'twill not 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