Oh what can ail thee, nightingale
Alone and with no song to sing
When moonlight strikes the underpass
And iron rails do ring

Oh what has made thee weep and cry
And huddle in thy threadbare coat
Why do salt tears seep from thine eyes
And clog thy long white throat

I see a faded summer rose
Entangled in thy midnight hair
And though the light shines in thy face
I see no spark of moonlight there

I met a man the maiden sighed
Full fat and fair was he
Who brought me from my garden green
And promisèd his love to me

But he was not an honest wight
For all his eyes were blue
He walked away one stormy night
And left me here to rue

My garden and my precious home
Within it’s sheltering wall
I know le beau homme sans merci
Me hath in thrall

And this is why I wait alone
All sad and palely loitering
He robbed me of my greatest gift
And left me with no song to sing

©jj 2021

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