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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

To a Nightingale

William Drummond of Hawthornden (1585–1649)

SWEET bird, that sing’st away the early hours,

Of winters past or coming void of care,

Well pleasèd with delights which present are,

Fair seasons, budding sprays, sweet-smelling flowers;

To rocks, to springs, to rills, from leafy bowers

Thou thy Creator’s goodness dost declare,

And what dear gifts on thee He did not spare,

A stain to human sense in sin that lowers,

What soul can be so sick which by thy songs,

Attired in sweetness, sweetly is not driven

Quite to forget earth’s turmoils, spites, and wrongs,

And lift a reverent eye and thought to heaven!

Sweet artless songster, thou my mind dost raise

To airs of spheres, yes, and to angels’ lays.