Critic and Poet
An Apologue No man had ever heard a nightingale, When once a keen-eyed naturalist was stirred To study and define—what is a bird, To classify by rote and book, nor fail To mark its structure and to note the scale Whereon its song might possibly be heard. Thus far, no farther;—so he spake the word. When of a sudden,—hark, the nightingale! Oh deeper, higher than he could divine That all-unearthly, untaught strain! He saw The plain, brown warbler, unabashed. "Not mine" (He cried) "the error of this fatal flaw. No bird is this, it soars beyond my line, Were it a bird, 'twould answer to my law."
This poem is in the public domain.