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'Tis meet for thee the winter long,
When snows fall fast, and winds blow strong,
To waste the night amid the throng,

Their vinous poisons pouring.
The very beast that crops the flower
Hath welcome for the dawning hour :

Aurora smiles ; her beckonings claim thee.
Listen! look round! the chirp, the hum,
Song, low, and bleat-there's nothing dumb-
All love, all life! Come slumberer, come!

The meanest thing shall shame thee.
We come-we come-our wanderings take
Through dewy field, by misty lake,

And rugged paths, and woods pervaded
By branches o’er, by flowers beneath,
Making earth odorous with their breath ;
Or through the shadeless gold-gorze heath,

Or ’neath the poplars shaded.
Were we of feather, or of fin,
How blest to dash the river in,

Thread the rock-stream, as it advances-
Or, better, like the birds above,
Rise to the greenest of the grove,
And sing the matin song of love,

Amid the highest branches !
O thus to revel, thus to range,
I'll yield the counter, bank, or 'Change-

The busier crowds all peace destroying :
The toil with snow that roofs our brains,
The seeds of care which harvests pains;
The wealth for more which strains and strains,

Still less and less enjoying!
0, bappy who the city's noise,
Can quit for nature's quiet joys-

Quit worldly sin and worldly sorrow;
No more ʼmidst prison walls abide,
But in God's temple, vast and wide,
Pour praises every eventide,

Ask mercies every morrow!
No seraph’s flaming sword hath driven
That man from Eden or from Heaven-

From earth's sweet smiles and winning features ;

For him by toils and troubles toss'd,
By wealth and wearying cares engross'd,
For him a Paradise is lost,

But not for happy creatures!

Come-though a glance it may be-come-
Enjoy, improve; then hurry home,

For life strong urgencies must bind us!
Yet mourn not; morn shall wake anew,
And we shall wake to bless it new.
Homewards! the herds that shake the dew,
We'll leave in peace behind us!

Anonymous Translation.

H. TOLLENS, 177.

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The voices of these

two noblest of the singing-birds of the Old World may be heard, in echoing accompaniment, throughout the prolonged choir of European poets, from the earliest dawn of civilization to the present hour. There are few poems of any length, in either of the languages of Europe, in which some allusion to one or the other has not a place. The noblest poets of the earth were born companions to these birds ; beneath skies saluted by the lark, among groves haunted by the nightingale. These little creatures sung with Homer and Sappho among the isles of Greece—for Virgil and Horace on the plains of Italy; they cheered Dante in his lifelong wandering exile, and Petrarch in his solitary hermitage. Conceive also the joy with which Chaucer, and Shakspeare, and Spenser listened, each in his day, among the daisied fields of England, to music untaught, instinctive like their own! What pure delight, indeed, have these birds not given




to the heart of genius during thousands of springs and su mers! How many generations have they not charmed with their undying melodies! They would almost seem by their sweetness to have soothed the inexorable powers of Time and Death. Were old Greek or an ancient Roman to rise from the dust this summer's day—were he to awaken, after ages of sleep, to walk his native soil again, scarce an object on which his eye fell would wear a familiar aspect ; scarce a sound which struck bis ear but would vibrate there most strangely ; yet with the dawn, rising from the plain of Marathon, or the Latin Hills, he would hear the same noble lark which sung in his boyhood ; and with the moon, among the olives and ilexes shading the fallen temple, would come the same sweet nightingale which entranced his youth.



DEAR GREY-In defense of my opinion about the nightingales, I find Chaucer—who of all poets seems to have been the fondest of the singing of birds-calls it a merry note; and though Theocritus mentions nightingales six or seven times, he never mentions their note as plaintive or melancholy. It is true he does not call it anywhere merry, as Chaucer does, but by mentioning it with the song of the blackbird, and as answering it, he seems to imply that it was a cheerful note. Sophocles is against us; but he says, lamenting Itys," and the comparison of her to Electra is rather as to perseverance, day and night, than as to sor

At all events, a tragic poet is not half so good authority in this question as Theocritus and Chaucer. I can not light upon the passage in the“ Odyssey," where Penelope's restlessness is compared to the nightingale, but I am sure it is only as to restlessness that he makes the comparison. If you will read the last twelve books of the “ Odyssey" you will certainly find it, and I am sure you will be paid for your hunt, whether you find it or not. The passage in Chaucer is in the “ Flower and Leaf.” The one I particularly allude to in Theocritus is in his “ Epigrams,” I think in the fourth. Dryden has transferred the word merry to the goldfinch, in the “ Flower and the Leaf”-in deference, may be, to the vulgar error. But pray read his description of the nightingale there ; it is quite delightful. I am afraid that I like these researches as much better than those that relate to Shaftesbury and Sunderland, as I do those better than attending the House of Commons. Yours affectionately,


C. J. Fox

The nightingale with so merry a note
Answered him, that all the wood rong
So sodainly, that as it were a sote,

I stood astonied, so was I with the song
Thorow ravished, that till late and long
I ne wist in what place I was, ne where;

And ayen, me thought, she song ever by mine ear.

CHAUCER'S "Flower and Leaf"

A goldfinch there I saw, with gaudy pride
Of painted plumes, that hopp'd from side to side,
Still perching as she pass'd; and still she drew
The sweets from every flower, and sucked the dew:
Suffic'd at length, she warbled in her throat,
And tun'd her voice to many a merry note,
But indistinct, and neither sweet nor clear.
Her short performance was no sooner tried,
When she I sought, the nightingale, replied:
So sweet, so shrill, so variously she sung,
That the grove echoed, and the valleys rung;
And I so ravish'd with her heavenly note,
I stood entranc'd, and had no room for thought;
But all o'erpower'd with an ecstasy of bliss,
Was in a pleasing dream of Paradise.

DRYDEN'S "Flower and Leaf."

As when the months are clad in flowery green,
Sad Philomel, in bowery shades unseen,
To vernal airs attunes her varied strains,
And Itylus sound warbling o'er the plains.
Young Itylus! his parent's darling joy,
Whom chance misled the mother to destroy,
Now doom'd a wakeful bird to wail the beauteous boy.

So in nocturnal solitude forlorn,

A sad variety of woes I mourn.

Odyssey, Book XIX.


O, nightingale, that on yon bloomy spray,
Warblest at eve, when all the woods are still;
Thou with fresh hope the lover's heart dost fill,
While the jolly hours lead on propitious May.
Thy liquid notes, that close the eye of day,

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