Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
Richard Barnefield. 1574–1627
203. Philomel
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,         5
Trees did grow and plants did spring; 
Everything did banish moan 
Save the Nightingale alone: 
She, poor bird, as all forlorn 
Lean'd her breast up-till a thorn,  10
And there sung the dolefull'st ditty, 
That to hear it was great pity. 
Fie, fie, fie! now would she cry; 
Tereu, Tereu! by and by; 
That to hear her so complain  15
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:  20
Senseless trees they cannot hear thee, 
Ruthless beasts they will not cheer thee: 
King Pandion he is dead, 
All thy friends are lapp'd in lead; 
All thy fellow birds do sing  25
Careless of thy sorrowing: 
Even so, poor bird, like thee, 
None alive will pity me. 
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