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The nightingale, as soon as April...

Language: English

The nightingale, [as]1 soon as April bringeth
    Unto her rested sense a perfect waking,
While late-bare earth, proud of new clothing, springeth,
    Sings out her woes, a thorn her song-book making,
    And mournfully bewailing,
    Her throat in tunes expresseth
    What grief her breast oppresseth,
For Tereus' force on her chaste will prevailing.

  O Philomela fair, O take some gladness,
  That here is juster cause of plaintful sadness!
    Thine earth now springs, mine fadeth ;
  Thy thorn without, my thorn my heart invadeth.

Alas! she hath no other cause of anguish
    But Tereus' love, on her by strong hand wroken,
Wherein she suffering, all her spirits languish ;
    Full womanlike complains her will was broken.
    But I, who daily craving,
    Cannot have to content me,
    Have more cause to lament me,
Since wanting is more woe than too much having.

  O Philomela fair, O take some gladness,
  That here is juster cause of plaintful sadness :
    Thine earth now springs, mine fadeth ;
  Thy thorn without, my thorn my heart invadeth.


T. Bateson sets stanza 1

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1 Bateson: "so"

Submitted by Emily Ezust

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Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)


Text added to the website: 2008-01-11.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:33
Line count: 24
Word count: 170

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