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He was in coming forth, that should the thickets thrill ;
The ouzel near at hand, that hath a golden bill,
As nature had him markt of purpose, ť let us see
That from all other birds his tunes should different be ;
For, with their vocal sounds, they sing to pleasant May;
Upon his dulcet pipe the merle doth only play.
When in the lower brake, the nightingale hard by,
In such lamenting strains the joyful hours doth ply,
As though the other birds she to her tunes would draw.
And, but that nature (by her all-constraining law)
Each bird to her own kind this season doth invite,
They else, alone to hear that charmer of the night,
(The more to use their ears,) their voices sure would spare,
That moduleth her tunes so admirably rare,
As man to set in parts at first had learn’d of her.

To Philomel the next, the linnet we prefer;
And by that warbling bird, the wood-lark place we then,
The red-sparrow, the nope, the red-breast, and the wren.
The yellow-pate; which though she hurt the blooming tree,
Yet scarce hath any bird a finer pipe than she.
And of these chaunting fowls, the goldfinch not behind,
That hath so many sorts descending from her kind.
The tydy for her notes as delicate as they,
The laughing hecco, then the counterfeiting jay,
The softer with the shrill (some hid among the leaves,
Some in the taller trees, some in the lower greaves)
Thus sing away the morn, until the mounting sun,
Through thick exhaled fogs his golden head hath run,
And through the twisted tops of our close covert creeps
To kiss the gentle shade, this while that sweetly sleeps.


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Sweet day! so cool, so calm, so bright,
The bridal of the earth and sky;
The dews shall weep thy fall to-night ;

For thou must die.

Sweet rose! whose hue, angry and brave,
Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye ;
Thy root is ever in its grave;

And thou must die.

Sweet spring! full of sweet days and roses
A box where sweets compacted lie;
Thy music shows ye have your closes ;

And all must die.

Only a sweet and virtuous soul,
Like season'd timber never gives ;
But, though the whole world turn to coal,
Then chiefly lives.


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