Sunday 12 October 2014


42014-42  William Cowper Poem: The Nightingale and Glow-worm

William Cowper [1731-1800]
William Cowper [1731-1800] was an English poet and hymn-writer. One of the most popular poets of his time, Cowper changed the direction of 18th century nature poetry by writing of everyday life and scenes of the English countryside. In many ways, he was one of the forerunners of Romantic poetry. Samuel Taylor Coleridge called him "the best modern poet", whilst William Wordsworth was all praise for his poem Yardley-OakHis religious sentiment and association with John Newton led to much of the poetry for which he is best remembered. His poem "Light Shining out of Darkness" gave the English language the idiom "God moves in a mysterious way / His wonders to perform."

The Nightingale And Glow-worm

A nightingale, that all day long
Had 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 selfsame 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 by 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.


YouTube Video/Audio of The Nightingale and Glow-worm: [Click Here]


 Amazing Video on Waitomo Glow-worm Caves, NZ: [Click Here] 2 min                   

William Cowper - Light and Glory of the World: [Click Here]

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