Home  »  library  »  Song  »  Nathan Haskell Dole (1852–1935)

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

Nathan Haskell Dole (1852–1935)

Larks and Nightingales

ALONE I sit at eventide:

The twilight glory pales,

And o’er the meadows far and wide

Chant pensive bobolinks,

(One might say nightingales!)

Song-sparrows warble on the tree,

I hear the purling brook,

And from the old “manse o’er the lea”

Flies slow the cawing crow,

(In England ’twere a rook!)

The last faint golden beams of day

Still glow on cottage panes,

And on their lingering homeward way

Walk weary laboring men.

(Oh, would that we had swains!)

From farm-yards, down fair rural glades

Come sounds of tinkling bells,

And songs of merry brown milkmaids,

Sweeter than oriole’s.

(Yes, thank you—Philomel’s!)

I could sit here till morning came,

All through the night hours dark,

Until I saw the sun’s bright flame

And heard the chickadee.

(Alas! we have no lark!)

We have no leas, no larks, no rooks,

No swains, no nightingales,

No singing milkmaids (save in books):

The poet does his best—

It is the rhyme that fails!