Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
VI. To the Nightingale
By John Milton (1608–1674)
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,        5
  First heard before the shallow cuckoo’s bill,
  Portend success in love; O, if Jove’s will
  Have linked that amorous power to thy soft lay,
Now timely sing, ere the rude bird of hate
  Foretell my hopeless doom, in some grove nigh;        10
  As thou from year to year, hast sung too late
For my relief, yet had’st no reason why:
  Whether the Muse or Love call thee his mate,
  Both them I serve, and of their train am I.

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