Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, STRADA'S NIGHTINGALE, by VINCENT BOURNE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

STRADA'S NIGHTINGALE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The shepherd touched his reed; sweet philomel
Last Line: And he may wish that he had never won.
Subject(s): Birds; Nightingales

THE shepherd touched his reed; sweet Philomel
Essayed, and oft essayed to catch the strain,
And treasuring, as on her ear they fell,
The numbers, echoed note for note again.

The peevish youth, who ne'er had found before
A rival of his skill, indignant heard,
And soon (for various was his tuneful store)
In loftier tones defied the simple bird.

She dared the task, and rising, as he rose,
With all the force that passion gives inspired,
Returned the sounds awhile, but in the close,
Exhausted fell, and at his feet expired.

Thus strength, not skill, prevailed. O fatal strife,
By thee, poor songstress, playfully begun!
And oh, sad victory, which cost thy life,
And he may wish that he had never won.

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