Poems on Various Subjects (Coleridge)/Effusion 23, to the Nightingale

For works with similar titles, see To the Nightingale.



SISTER of love-lorn Poets, Philomel!
How many Bards in city garret pent,
While at their window they with downward eye
Mark the faint Lamp-beam on the kennell'd mud,
And listen to the drowsy cry of Watchmen,
(Those hoarse unfeather'd Nightingales of Time!)
How many wretched Bards address thy name.
And Her's, the full-orb'd Queen, that shines above.
But I do hear thee, and the high bough mark,
Within whose mild moon-mellow'd foliage hid
Thou warblest sad thy pity-pleading strains,
O! have I listen'd, till my working soul,
Wak'd by those strains to thousand phantasies,
Absorb'd hath ceas'd to listen! Therefore oft,

I hymn thy name: and with a proud delight
Oft will I tell thee, Minstrel of the Moon!
"Most musical, most melancholy" Bird!
That all thy soft diversities of tone,
Tho' sweeter far than the delicious airs
That vibrate from a white-arm'd Lady's harp,
What time the languishment of lonely love
Melts in her eye, and heaves her breast of snow,
Are not so sweet, as is the voice of her,
My Sara—best belov'd of human Kind!
When breathing the pure soul of Tenderness
She thrills me with the Husband's promis'd name!