The Harmony of Birds

The Harmony of Birds

From the only known copy

printed by John Wight in the middle of the sixteenth century

with an introduction and notes by John Payne Collier

Originally called "A proper new Boke of the Armonye of Byrdes" this is a charming poem from the middle of the sixteenth century, which survived the centuries in just one copy until the Percy Society published a transcription in 1843.

Though attributed to John Skelton by Herbert, who thought that it was "in the manner" of Skelton, the introduction declares that

"... we own that it does not strike us at all in that light; it is of too moral a turn, as well as in too modern a style, for his pen, however becoming its tendency might have been to his profession. Neither is the versification at all like that of any other production by Skelton with which we are acquainted.@

In the words of the Society:

"We believe that the poem is not only unique in itself, but unique in its kind, and on every account it deserves reprinting and preservation."

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