The Frog & the Nightingale poem meaning line by line explanation
Once upon a time there was a frog who croaked away in Bingle Bog. Every night from dusk to dawn, he croaked on and on. Other little animals around loathed his voice but they were left with no choice. The crass cacophony; a very loud and unpleasant noise blared out from the sumac tree. At whose foot the frog sang till the break of dawn. The stones, prayers, sticks, insults, complaints and bricks could not silence the frogs determination to display his hearts great pride and joy. One night, in the moonlight cool and pale, a nightingale perched upon the sumac tree. She casted forth her melody and the frog sat dumbstruck in complete silence. The whole bog starred towards the sumac tree totally interested that they could not think of anything else; and at the end of the song they all clapped at her. The ducks had swum and the herons waded to her as she sang beautifully. Out of jealousy and ill-will and a solitary loon wept beneath the light of the summer moon. Toad, teals; a small duck; and tiddlers were all captured by the voice of the nightingale and cheered her on. They were all filled with fascination and delight. They all cheered, Bravo, Too Divine and Encore! The nightingale that was not so used to such applause got up once more and sang till dawn. The next evening when the nightingale shook her head and twitched her tail, she closed one of her eyes, fluffed one of her wings and cleared her throat to sing, she was startled by a croak. She enquired from the frog who proudly admitted that he owned the tree and had been long known for his baritone. The frog was not too keen in praising the nightingale, and said that the song was too long, though the technique was fine and lacked a certain force. The nightingale was greatly impressed and flattered to encounter a critic of such note who can discuss her art and throat. Though the song was not so divine, at least it belonged to the nightingale. The heartless frog told the nightingale that it was not much to boast about. Without proper training which he or a few others could supply, the nightingale would remain a mere beginner. With a proper training she would be a winner. She said that the frog was like Mozart, the great musician, in disguise who had come to earth before her. The frog would charge her a modest fee for training her which was not too much as to hurt her. Now the nightingale was filled with inspiration. She was very pleased and excited and got fired up with both art and adoration. She sang with a great passion. She became a huge success and a celebrity. Many animals from many miles around came to hear the nightingale sing. The frog with great accuracy counted the heads of animals and charged an admission fee from each of them. The next morning it was raining and he began her vocal training. The nightingale could not sing in this kind of weather but the frog insisted that they could sing together. The frog asked the nightingale to put on her head covering and the badge of honour. Both the frog and the nightingale sang together for the full six hours. Then the nightingale started shivering, her voice became hoarse and she started quivering. She was indeed deprived of sleep but in the night her throat revived.
The honored crowd who came to hear the nightingale sing included the Owl of Sandwich, the Duck of Kent, Mallard and Milady Trent, Martin Cardinal Memphisto and the Coot of Cristo. The frog saw them glitter with both sweet and bitter joy. The frog had sold her songs for silver, yet he still scolded her so that she might practice even longer till her voice grew stronger like his. The frog told her that in the second song during the previous night, she became nervous in the middle. He asked her that she should try and make the public happier by giving those better sharps and Trillings and should also aim at increasing the money since she still owed him sixty shillings. Day by day, the nightingale grew more sorrowful and pale. Night after night her tired song became quick and unsteady and had jumps in between the birds and the beast grew tired in hearing such a dull sound. The income from the ticket window fell greatly. The nightingale became addicted to free applauses. Singing into the night gave her no more delight. The frog was furious with the nightingale. She was too brainless on the stage and must use her wits and fashion to feed her lungs with passion. The nightingale trembled and was terrified to fail. She was blinded with tears and when she puffed up to sing she burst a vein and died. The frog said that he tried to teach her but she was too nervous and too tensed. The poor bird should have understood that ones own song is ones own song. That is why the frog could sing with confidence in his own elegant style. The unpleasant voice of the frog went on and on without any rival in the bog.
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