Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE NIGHTINGALE, by PAUL VERLAINE



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THE NIGHTINGALE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Like a clamorous flock of startled birds
Last Line: The quivering tree and the weeping bird.
Subject(s): Birds; Nightingales


Like a clamorous flock of startled birds,
All my memories swoop upon me,
Swoop among the yellow foliage
Of my heart, watching its bent alder-trunk
In the purple foil of the waters of Regret
That flow nearby in melancholy wise;
They swoop, and then the horrid clamor,
That a moist breeze calms as it rises,
Dies gradually in the tree -- until
At the end of a moment nothing more is heard,
Nothing but the voice hymning the Absent One,
Nothing but the voice -- the languishing voice --
Of the bird that was my Earliest Love,
Singing still as on that earliest day;
And in the sad magnificence of a moon
That rises with pale solemnity, a
Summer night, heavy and melancholy,
Full of silence and obscurity,
Lulls in the sky that a soft wind caresses
The quivering tree and the weeping bird.





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