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May 22, 2013

File:Rossinyol 04 (Luscinia megarhynchos).jpgCommon Nightingale, Photo by hhhalberto, Source (CC BY 2.O Generic)

The nightingale is a migratory songbird native to Europe and Southwest Asia. Not a beautiful bird, the nightingale is brown above and light below, with a reddish tail. Despite its drab appearance, the nightingale sings liltingly, day and night. The bird’s ancient name derives, in fact, from the Anglo-Saxon for “night songstress”.

It is actually the male bird that sings. Not to be outdone, nightingales sing more loudly in urban environments, presumably to offset competing noise.

Nightingales have inspired poets, musicians, and sweethearts since time immemorial. Milton wrote of the nightingale in Paradise Lost, Book III, at lines 38-39:  “…as the wakeful Bird Sings darkling, and in shadiest Covert hid Tunes her nocturnal Note.”

The website claims to “translate” words into birdsong. Accurate or not, the result is lovely.

The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me — a prayer to the God of my life” (Ps. 42: 8).

Father, we seek You out as deep calls unto deep. Our hearts were made to long for You. Yet when the waves roll over us, we fear at times we are lost.

Forgive our lack of faith, Father. How can we doubt when You sent us Your Son?

Your mercies are unending. Your beauty surrounds us. We will hope in You and praise Your name…as does the humble nightingale.


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