douglas scotney

(boomer / Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. Resides in Adelaide)

A Father's Tale


I had a recent re-encounter with 'The Nightingale'.
Coleridge considered calling it 'A Father's Tale'.

It was one of those still, dark, quiet, balmy nights.
Three thoughtful friends sat on a mossy bridge near Nether Stowy,
Somerset.
A nightingale began to sing.

Sam thought of melancholy,
Of sorrow not suited to this song,
Of poets diluted by books and balls,
Of Nature's eternality,
Of how a poem should add to all of Nature's loveliness,
And be loved, like Nature itself is loved.

He crafted such a poem.

With delicious notes
He describes wild grove
And delicious music of birds.
He fancies nightly votive tribute by a lady
(Actually living hard by as gentle maid) .

Out of this perfection
Arose a promising insight:
'I'll expose my son to birdsong,
Make him a lover of the night.
He should not then
Have dreams like dad's
That wake him up in fright.'

(Coleridge had horrible nightmares from which he had to be woken and
comforted.)

Submitted: Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Edited: Wednesday, February 08, 2012

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