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

The Ousel-Cock, So Black of Hue

William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

From “A Midsummer-Night’s Dream,” Act III. Scene 1

THE OUSEL-COCK, so black of hue,

With orange-tawny bill,

The throstle with his note so true,

The wren with little quill;

The finch, the sparrow, and the lark,

The plain-song cuckoo gray,

Whose note full many a man doth mark,

And dares not answer nay.