Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
 
To the Nightingale
By John Milton (1608–1674)
 
O NIGHTINGALE, that on yon bloomy Spray
  Warbl’st at eeve, when all the Woods are still,
  Thou with fresh hope the Lovers heart dost fill,
While the jolly 1 hours lead on proptious May,
Thy liquid notes that close the eye of Day,        5
  First heard before the shallow Cuccoo’s bill
  Portend success in love; O if Jove’s will
Have linkt that amorous power to thy soft lay,
Now timely sing, ere the rude Bird of Hate
  Foretell my hopeles doom in som Grove ny:        10
As thou from yeer to yeer hast sung too late
  For my relief; yet hadst no reason why,
Whether the Muse, or Love call thee his mate,
  Both them I serve, and of their train am I.
 
Note 1. Jolly: used in the sense of, and from, the French joli, meaning gay, blithe, pleasing. [back]
 
 
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