A Father's Tale - Poem by Douglas Scotney
I had a recent re-encounter with 'The Nightingale'.
Coleridge considered calling it 'A Father's Tale'.
It was one of those still, dark, quiet, balmy nights.
Three thoughtful friends sat on a mossy bridge near Nether Stowy,
A nightingale began to sing.
Sam thought of melancholy,
Of sorrow not suited to this song,
Of poets diluted by books and balls,
Of Nature's eternality,
Of how a poem should add to all of Nature's loveliness,
And be loved, like Nature itself is loved.
He crafted such a poem.
With delicious notes
He describes wild grove
And delicious music of birds.
He fancies nightly votive tribute by a lady
(Actually living hard by as gentle maid) .
Out of this perfection
Arose a promising insight:
'I'll expose my son to birdsong,
Make him a lover of the night.
He should not then
Have dreams like dad's
That wake him up in fright.'
(Coleridge had horrible nightmares from which he had to be woken and
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