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The Nightingale and the Glowworm
- A NIGHTINGALE, that all day long
- Hath cheer'd the village with his song,
- Nor yet at eve his note suspended,
- Nor yet when eventide was ended,
- Began to feel, as well he might,
- The keen demands of appetite;
- When, looking eagerly around,
- He spied far off, upon the ground,
- A something shining in the dark,
- And knew the glowworm by his spark;
- So stooping down from hawthorn top,
- He thought to put him in his crop.
- The worm, aware of his intent,
- Harangued him thus, right eloquent:-
- "Did you admire my lamp," quoth he,
- "As much as I your minstrelsy,
- You would abhor to do me wrong,
- As much as I to spoil your song;
- For 'twas the self-same power Divine
- Taught you to sing, and me to shine
- That you with music, I with light,
- Might beautify and cheer the night."
- The songster heard his short oration,
- And, warbling out his approbation,
- Released him, as my story tells,
- And found a supper somewhere else.
- Hence jarring sectaries may learn
- Their real interest to discern;
- That brother should not war with brother,
- And worry and devour each other;
- But sing and shine with sweet consent,
- Till life's poor transient night is spent,
- Respecting in each other's case
- The gifts of nature and of grace.
- Those Christians best deserve the name,
- Who studiously make peace their aim;
- Peace both the duty and the prize
- Of him that creeps and him that flies.
- William Cowper
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