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

Richard Barnfield (1574–1627)

The Nightingale

AS it fell upon a day

In the merry month of May,

Sitting in a pleasant shade

Which a grove of myrtles made,

Beasts did leap and birds did sing,

Trees did grow and plants did spring;

Everything did banish moan

Save the Nightingale alone.

She, poor bird, as all forlorn,

Leaned her breast up till a thorn,

And there sung the doleful’st ditty,

That to hear it was great pity.

Fie, fie, fie, now would she cry;

Teru, teru, by-and-by:

That to hear her so complain

Scarce I could from tears refrain;

For her griefs so lively shown

Made me think upon mine own.—

Ah, thought I, thou mourn’st in vain;

None takes pity on thy pain:

Senseless trees, they cannot hear thee,

Ruthless beasts, they will not cheer thee;

King Pandion, he is dead,

All thy friends are lapped in lead;

All thy fellow-birds do sing

Careless of thy sorrowing:

Even so, poor bird, like thee

None alive will pity me.