The Poet And The Bird


    Said a people to a poet "Go out from among us straightway!
    While we are thinking earthly things, thou singest of divine.
    There's a little fair brown nightingale, who, sitting in the gateways
    Makes fitter music to our ears than any song of thine!"

    The poet went out weeping the nightingale ceased chanting;
    "Now, wherefore, O thou nightingale, is all thy sweetness done?"
    I cannot sing my earthly things, the heavenly poet wanting,
    Whose highest harmony includes the lowest under sun."

    The poet went out weeping, and died abroad, bereft there
    The bird flew to his grave and died, amid a thousand wails:
    And, when I last came by the place, I swear the music left there
    Was only of the poet's song, and not the nightingale's.


facebook share button twitter share button google plus share button tumblr share button reddit share button email share button share on pinterest pinterest

Create a library and add your favorite stories. Get started by clicking the "Add" button.
Add The Poet And The Bird to your own personal library.

Return to the Elizabeth Barrett Browning Home Page, or . . . Read the next poem; The Prisoner

Anton Chekhov
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Susan Glaspell
Mark Twain
Edgar Allan Poe
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Herman Melville
Stephen Leacock
Kate Chopin
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson