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Famous Nightingale Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Nightingale poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous nightingale poems. These examples illustrate what a famous nightingale poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Wilde, Oscar
...rest
Where olive-trees make tender the blue sky
On the low hills of Paphos, and the Faun
Pipes in the noonday, and the nightingale sings on till dawn.

Nor failed they to obey her hest, and ere
The morning bee had stung the daffodil
With tiny fretful spear, or from its lair
The waking stag had leapt across the rill
And roused the ouzel, or the lizard crept
Athwart the sunny rock, beneath the grass their bodies slept.

And when day brake, within that silver shrine
Fed...Read More



by Milton, John
...unseen
 Within thy airy shell
 By slow Meander's margent green,
And in the violet-embroidered vale
 Where the love-lorn nightingale
Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well:
Canst thou not tell me of a gentle pair
 That likest thy Narcissus are?
 O, if thou have
 Hid them in some flowery cave,
 Tell me but where,
 Sweet Queen of Parley, Daughter of the Sphere!
 So may'st thou be translated to the skies,
And give resounding grace to all Heaven's harmonies!


 COMUS. Can ...Read More

by Keats, John
...this ardent listlessness:
For I have ever thought that it might bless
The world with benefits unknowingly;
As does the nightingale, upperched high,
And cloister'd among cool and bunched leaves--
She sings but to her love, nor e'er conceives
How tiptoe Night holds back her dark-grey hood.
Just so may love, although 'tis understood
The mere commingling of passionate breath,
Produce more than our searching witnesseth:
What I know not: but who, of men, can tell
That flowers ...Read More

by Keats, John
...sea-spry?

 "O Sorrow,
 Why dost borrow
The mellow ditties from a mourning tongue?--
 To give at evening pale
 Unto the nightingale,
That thou mayst listen the cold dews among?

 "O Sorrow,
 Why dost borrow
Heart's lightness from the merriment of May?--
 A lover would not tread
 A cowslip on the head,
Though he should dance from eve till peep of day--
 Nor any drooping flower
 Held sacred for thy bower,
Wherever he may sport himself and play.

 "To Sorrow
 I bade good-mor...Read More

by Keats, John
...d in the morning twilight wandered forth
Beside the osiers of a rivulet,
Full ankle-deep in lilies of the vale.
The nightingale had ceas'd, and a few stars
Were lingering in the heavens, while the thrush
Began calm-throated. Throughout all the isle
There was no covert, no retired cave,
Unhaunted by the murmurous noise of waves,
Though scarcely heard in many a green recess.
He listen'd, and he wept, and his bright tears
Went trickling down the golden bow he held.Read More



by Wilde, Oscar
...g,
And his shadow dances along,
And I know not which I should follow,
Shadow or song!

O Hunter, snare me his shadow!
O Nightingale, catch me his strain!
Else moonstruck with music and madness
I track him in vain!...Read More

by Moore, Marianne
...was not
intended that he should,
"he experiences a solemn joy
in seeing that he has become an idol."
Plagued by the nightingale
in the new leaves,
with its silence --
not its silence but its silences,
he says of it:
"It clothes me with a shirt of fire."
"He dares not clap his hands
to make it go on
lest it should fly off;
if he does nothing, it will sleep;
if he cries out, it will not understand."
Unnerved by the nightingale
and dazzled by the apple,
impelled by "...Read More

by Keats, John
...MY heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains 
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, 
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains 
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk: 
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot, 5 
But being too happy in thine happiness, 
That thou, light-wing¨¨d Dryad of the trees, 
In some melodious plot 
Of beechen green, an...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...with dead philosophy,
Have we not lips to kiss with, hearts to love and eyes to see!

Dost thou not hear the murmuring nightingale,
Like water bubbling from a silver jar,
So soft she sings the envious moon is pale,
That high in heaven she is hung so far
She cannot hear that love-enraptured tune, -
Mark how she wreathes each horn with mist, yon late and labouring
moon.

White lilies, in whose cups the gold bees dream,
The fallen snow of petals where the breeze
Scatters th...Read More

by Milton, John
...nce accompanied; for beast and bird, 
They to their grassy couch, these to their nests 
Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale; 
She all night long her amorous descant sung; 
Silence was pleased: Now glowed the firmament 
With living sapphires: Hesperus, that led 
The starry host, rode brightest, till the moon, 
Rising in clouded majesty, at length 
Apparent queen unveiled her peerless light, 
And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw. 
When Adam thus to Eve. Fai...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...faint o'er the gardens of G?l in her bloom; [1] 
Where the citron and olive are fairest of fruit, 
And the voice of the nightingale never is mute; 
Where the tints of the earth, and the hues of the sky, 
In colour though varied, in beauty may vie, 
And the purple of Ocean is deepest in dye; 
Where the virgins are soft as the roses they twine, 
And all, save the spirit of man, is divine? 
'Tis the clime of the East; 'tis the land of the Sun — 
Can he smile on such deeds as his...Read More

by Stevens, Wallace
...7 To him that postulated as his theme 
228 The vulgar, as his theme and hymn and flight, 
229 A passionately niggling nightingale. 
230 Moonlight was an evasion, or, if not, 
231 A minor meeting, facile, delicate. 

232 Thus he conceived his voyaging to be 
233 An up and down between two elements, 
234 A fluctuating between sun and moon, 
235 A sally into gold and crimson forms, 
236 As on this voyage, out of goblinry, 
237 And then retirement like a turnin...Read More

by Goldsmith, Oliver
...And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind;
These all in sweet confusion sought the shade,
And filled each pause the nightingale had made.
But now the sounds of population fail,
No cheerful murmurs fluctuate in the gale,
No busy steps the grass-grown footway tread,
For all the bloomy flush of life is fled.
All but yon widowed, solitary thing,
That feebly bends beside the plashy spring;
She, wretched matron, forced in age for bread
To strip the brook with mantling c...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...y creed the plan,  Have I not reason to lament  What man has made of man? The NIGHTINGALE.  Written in April, 1798.   No cloud, no relique of the sunken day  Distinguishes the West, no long thin slip  Of sullen Light, no obscure trembling hues.  Come, we will rest on this old mossy Bridge!  You see the glimmer of the stream beneath,&...Read More

by Wilde, Oscar
...er company.

And I will tell thee why the jacinth wears
Such dread embroidery of dolorous moan,
And why the hapless nightingale forbears
To sing her song at noon, but weeps alone
When the fleet swallow sleeps, and rich men feast,
And why the laurel trembles when she sees the lightening east.

And I will sing how sad Proserpina
Unto a grave and gloomy Lord was wed,
And lure the silver-breasted Helena
Back from the lotus meadows of the dead,
So shalt thou see that awful...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...means and by brocage*, *by presents and by agents*
And swore he woulde be her owen page.
He singeth brokking* as a nightingale. *quavering
He sent her piment , mead, and spiced ale,
And wafers* piping hot out of the glede**: *cakes **coals
And, for she was of town, he proffer'd meed.
For some folk will be wonnen for richess,
And some for strokes, and some with gentiless.
Sometimes, to show his lightness and mast'ry,
He playeth Herod  on a scaffold...Read More

by Khayyam, Omar
...br> 

VI.
And David's Lips are lock't; but in divine
High piping Pehlevi, with "Wine! Wine! Wine!
Red Wine!" -- the Nightingale cries to the Rose
That yellow Cheek of hers to incarnadine. 

VII.
Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly -- and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing. 

VIII.
Whether at Naishapur or Babylon,
Whether the Cup with sweet or bitter run,
The Wine of Lif...Read More

by Eliot, T S (Thomas Stearns)
...hough a window gave upon the sylvan scene
The change of Philomel, by the barbarous king
So rudely forced; yet there the nightingale 
Filled all the desert with inviolable voice
And still she cried, and still the world pursues,
"Jug Jug" to dirty ears.
And other withered stumps of time
Were told upon the walls; staring forms
Leaned out, leaning, hushing the room enclosed.
Footsteps shuffled on the stair.
Under the firelight, under the brush, her hair
Spread out in ...Read More

by Chaucer, Geoffrey
...ess
Stubborn and strong, and jolly as a pie.* *magpie
Then could I dance to a harpe smale,
And sing, y-wis,* as any nightingale, *certainly
When I had drunk a draught of sweete wine.
Metellius, the foule churl, the swine,
That with a staff bereft his wife of life
For she drank wine, though I had been his wife,
Never should he have daunted me from drink:
And, after wine, of Venus most I think.
For all so sure as cold engenders hail,
A liquorish mouth must have a li...Read More

by Service, Robert William
...art,
The adoration of the heart?

Is it the mating mood in them
That makes each crystal note a gem?
Oh mocking bird and nightingale,
Oh mavis, lark and robin - hail!
Tell me what perfect passion glows
In your inspired arpeggios?

A thrush is thrilling as I write
Its obligato of delight;
And in its fervour, as in mine,
I fathom tenderness divine,
And pity those of earthy ear
Who cannot hear . . . who cannot hear.

Let poets pattern pretty words:
For lovely larg...Read More

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