by Richard Crashaw
Though now 'tis neither May nor June
And Nightingales are out of tune,
Yett in these leaves (Faire one) there lyes
(Sworne servant to your sweetest Eyes)
A Nightingale, who may shee spread
In your white bosome her chast bed,
Spite of all the Maiden snow
Those pure untroden pathes can show,
You streight shall see her wake and rise
Taking fresh Life from your fayre Eyes;
And with clasp't winges proclayme a spring
Where Love and shee shall sit and sing,
For lodg'd so ne're your sweetest throte
What Nightingale can loose her noate?
Nor lett her kinred birds complayne
Because shee breakes the yeares old raigne,
For lett them know shee's none of those
Hedge-Quiristers whose Musicke owes
Onely such straynes as serve to keepe
Sad shades and sing dull Night asleepe.
No shee's a Priestesse of that Grove
The holy chappell of chast Love
Your Virgin bosome. Then what e're
Poore Lawes divide the publicke yeare,
Whose revolutions wait upon
The wild turnes of the wanton sun;
Bee you the Lady of Loves Yeere:
Where your Eyes shine his suns appeare:
There all the yeare is Loves long spring.
There all the yeare Loves Nightingales shall sitt and sing.
Note: A recitation can be heard here.
- Mark Olival-Bartley
- Mark Olival-Bartley studied applied linguistics at Hawaii Pacific University, attaining B.A. and M.A. degrees in TESOL, and poetry at the City College of New York. He is now anatomizing the prosody of E. A. Robinson’s sonnets for his dissertation at Amerika Institut of LMU Munich, where also he edits a poetry weekly. His poems and translations have appeared in journals on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the resident poet at EcoHealth, where his science-themed verse is regularly featured, and a senior copyeditor of Review of International American Studies.