As it fell upon a day In the merry month of May, Sitting in a pleasant shade Which a grove of myrtles made, Beasts did leap and birds did sing, Trees did grow and plants did spring, Every thing did banish moan Save the Nightingale alone. She, poor bird, as all forlorn, Lean’d her breast against a thorn, And there sung the dolefullest ditty, That to hear it was great pity. Fie, fie, fie, now would she cry; Tereu, tereu, by and by: That to hear her so complain Scarce I could from tears refrain; For her griefs so lively shown Made me think upon mine own. —Ah! thought I, thou mourn’st in vain, None takes pity on thy pain: Senseless trees, they cannot hear thee, Ruthless beasts, they will not cheer thee; King Pandion, he is dead, All thy friends are lapp’d in lead: All thy fellow birds do sing Careless of thy sorrowing: Even so, poor bird, like thee, None alive will pity me.
Cold winter has come, And the cruel winds blow— The trees are all leafless and brown; These two pretty robins, Oh, where shall they go To shelter their little brown heads from the snow? Just look at the flakes coming down.
But see, they have found a snug shelter at last, And hark, how they talk, while the storm whistles past:
Says Polly to Dicky, “You’re nearest the door, And you are the gentleman, too: Just peep out and see When the storm will be o’er; Be-cause, if the weather’s as bad as before, I think we will stay, do not you?”
I know the song that the bluebird is singing, Out in the apple-tree where he is swinging; Brave little fellow, the skies may look dreary; Nothing cares he while his heart is so cheery.
Hark! how the music leaps out from his throat, Hark! was there ever so merry a note? Listen awhile and you’ll hear what he’s saying, Up in the apple-tree swinging and swaying.
“Dear little blossoms down under the snow, You must be weary of winter, I know; Hark, while I sing you a message of cheer; Summer is coming and spring-time is here!
“Little white snowdrop! I pray you arise; Bright yellow crocus! come, open your eyes; Sweet little violets, hid from the cold, Put on your mantles of purple and gold; Daffodils! daffodils! say, do you hear?— Summer is coming and spring-time is here!”