William Cowper

(26 November 1731 – 25 April 1800 / Hertfordshire)

To The Nightingale, Which The Author Heard Sing On New Year's Day - Poem by William Cowper

Whence it is, that amazed I hear
From yonder withered spray,
This foremost morn of all the year,
The melody of May?

And why, since thousands would be proud
Of such a favour shown,
Am I selected from the crowd
To witness it alone?

Sing'st thou, sweet Philomel, to me,
For that I also long
Have practised in the groves like thee,
Though not like thee in song?

Or sing'st thou rather under force
Of some divine command,
Commissioned to presage a course
Of happier days at hand?

Thrice welcome then! for many a long
And joyless year have I,
As thou to-day, put forth my song
Beneath a wintry sky.

But Thee no wintry skies can harm,
Who only need'st to sing,
To make even January charm,
And every season Spring.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010



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