834. Nightingales

Robert Bridges. b. 1844

  BEAUTIFUL must be the mountains whence ye come,
  And bright in the fruitful valleys the streams, wherefrom
            Ye learn your song:
Where are those starry woods? O might I wander there,
  Among the flowers, which in that heavenly air
            Bloom the year long!

  Nay, barren are those mountains and spent the streams:
  Our song is the voice of desire, that haunts our dreams,
            A throe of the heart,
Whose pining visions dim, forbidden hopes profound,
  No dying cadence nor long sigh can sound,
            For all our art.

  Alone, aloud in the raptured ear of men
  We pour our dark nocturnal secret; and then,
            As night is withdrawn
From these sweet-springing meads and bursting boughs of May,
  Dream, while the innumerable choir of day
            Welcome the dawn.

The Oxford Book of English Verse, HTML edition