To The Nightingale, Which The Author Heard Sing On New Year's Day

Whence it is, that amazed I hear
From yonder withered spray,
This foremost morn of all the year,
The melody of May?

And why, since thousands would be proud
Of such a favour shown,
Am I selected from the crowd
To witness it alone?

Sing'st thou, sweet Philomel, to me,
For that I also long
Have practised in the groves like thee,
Though not like thee in song?

Or sing'st thou rather under force
Of some divine command,
Commissioned to presage a course
Of happier days at hand?

Thrice welcome then! for many a long
And joyless year have I,
As thou to-day, put forth my song
Beneath a wintry sky.

But Thee no wintry skies can harm,
Who only need'st to sing,
To make even January charm,
And every season Spring.

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William Cowper

William Macquarie Cowper was an Australian Anglican archdeacon and Dean of Sydney. more…

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"To The Nightingale, Which The Author Heard Sing On New Year's Day" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 30 Mar. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/40229/to-the-nightingale,-which-the-author-heard-sing-on-new-year's-day>.

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