To a Nightingale


After Christian Morgenstern

Why do you not transform
Yourself to a fish; and,
In this matter of song, perform
Accordingly? For otherwise,
Through these long nights, how can
Slumber restore my eyes,
And blossom on my pillow,
As is most needful? Then,
Do, if you are a noble fellow.
And your wife, too, on the nest —
How sweetly you will astound her
When you shine forth like a flounder
Blissfully at rest
On the top branch of your tree —
Or when you flutter around her
Like a flying mackerel —
Heavenly Philomel,
You will do me this courtesy?