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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Death of the Nightingale

By Ludwig Heinrich Christoph Hölty (1748–1776)

Translation of Charles Timothy Brooks

SHE is no more, who bade the May month hail;

Alas! no more!

The songstress who enlivened all the vale,—

Her songs are o’er;

She whose sweet tones, in golden evening hours,

Rang through my breast,

When, by the brook that murmured ’mong the flowers,

I lay at rest.

How richly gurgled from her deep full throat

The silvery lay,

Till in her caves sweet Echo caught the note,

Far, far away!

Then was the hour when village pipe and song

Sent up their sound,

And dancing maidens lightly tripped along

The moonlit ground.

A youth lay listening on the green hillside,

Far down the grove,

While on his rapt face hung a youthful bride

In speechless love.

Their hands were locked oft as thy silvery strain

Rang through the vale;

They heeded not the merry dancing train,

Sweet nightingale!

They listened thee till village bells from far

Chimed on the ear,

And like a golden fleece, the evening star

Beamed bright and clear.

Then, in the cool and fanning breeze of May,

Homeward they stole,

Full of sweet thoughts, breathed by thy tender lay

Through the deep soul.