[Page 326]


1 A Nightingale that all day long
2 Had cheer'd the village with his song,
3 Nor yet at eve his note suspended,
4 Nor yet when even tide was ended,
5 Began to feel as well he might
6 The keen demands of appetite;
7 When looking eagerly around,
8 He spied far off upon the ground,
9 A something shining in the dark,
10 And knew the glow-worm by his spark,
[Page 327]
11 So stooping down from hawthorn top,
12 He thought to put him in his crop;
13 The worm aware of his intent,
14 Harangu'd him thus right eloquent.
15 Did you admire my lamp, quoth he,
16 As much as I your minstrelsy,
17 You would abhor to do me wrong,
18 As much as I to spoil your song,
19 For 'twas the self-same power divine,
20 Taught you to sing, and me to shine,
21 That you with music, I with light,
22 Might beautify and cheer the night.
23 The songster heard his short oration,
24 And warbling out his approbation,
25 Releas'd him as my story tells,
26 And found a supper somewhere else.
27 Hence jarring sectaries may learn,
28 Their real int'rest to discern:
29 That brother should not war with brother,
30 And worry and devour each other,
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31 But sing and shine by sweet consent,
32 'Till life's poor transient night is spent,
33 Respecting in each other's case
34 The gifts of nature and of grace.
35 Those christians best deserve the name
36 Who studiously make peace their aim;
37 Peace, both the duty and the prize
38 Of him that creeps and him that flies.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): THE NIGHTINGALE AND GLOW-WORM.
Themes: friendship
Genres: fable

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Source edition

Cowper, William, 1731-1800. Poems: by William Cowper, of the Inner Temple, Esq. London: printed for J. Johnson, 1782, pp. 326-328. [4],367,[1]p. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T14895; OTA K027775.000) (Page images digitized by the University of California Libraries.)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by William Cowper