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“ You 're overtasked, good Simon Lee,
The tears into his eyes were brought,
Written in April, 1798.
No cloud, no relique of the sunken day
And hark! the Nightingale begins its song, “ Most musical, most melancholy*" Bird ! A melancholy Bird ? O idle thought ! In nature there is nothing melancholy. -But some night-wandering Man, whose heart
was pierced With the remembrance of a grievous wrong, Or slow distemper, or neglected love;
(And so, poor wretch! filled all things with him- self, And made all gentle sounds tell back the tale Of his own sorrows) be and such as he First named these notes a melancholy strain : '
* “ Most musical, most melancholy," This passage in Milton possesses an excellence far superior to that of mere description: it is spoken in the character of the melancholy Man, and has therefore a dramatic propriety. The Author makes this remark, to rescue himself from the charge of having alluded with levity to a line in Milton: a charge than which none could be more painful to him, except, perhaps, that of having ridiculed his Bible.
And many a poet echoes the conceit;
And joyance! 'Tis the merry Nightingale