- The Poem
- The Owl and the Nightingale, a Middle English poem, was written in octosyllabic couplets probably by Nicholas de Guildford of Dorsetshire about the beginning of the 13th century. The poem is an example of the popular debate genre. It presents a dispute between the sombre owl and the merry nightingale. The two birds argue topics ranging from their hygienic habits, looks, and songs to marriage, prognostication, and the proper modes of worship. There is no clear winner, but the debate ends as the birds go off to consult a wise man, Nicholas of Guildford.
The Owl and the Nightingale
- The Owl and the Nightingale at the University of Michigan
The Owl and the Nightingale at the University of Virginia