The hero of the poem – it is written in the first person – a worker; he comes at a low tide to the sea, in order to earn a living by working hard – pounding clods and scraps with layered rocks. The extracted stone on the donkey is taken to the railway. Both to the animal, and to the person it is serious. The road passes by a shady, cool garden, hidden behind a high trellis. Because of the fence, roses are reaching out for the worker, somewhere in the distance one can hear “the voice of a nightingale, whispering streams and sheets”, a soft laugh comes, hardly distinguishable singing.
Wonderful sounds torment the hero, he falls into a reverie. Twilight – the day ends – increases anxiety. The hero sees a different life: in his miserable hovel he dreams of a nightingale garden, fenced off from the accursed world by a high grille. Again and again he recalls the white dress that he saw in the blue dusk, which attracted him “and whirling,
and calling for a song.” This continues every day, the hero feels that he is in love with this “inaccessibility of the fence.”
While the tired animal rests, the owner, excited by the closeness of his dream, wanders along the usual road, now, however, become mysterious, as it leads to the bluish dusk of the nightingale garden. Roses under the weight of dew dangle from behind the bars lower than usual. The hero tries to understand how he will be met if he knocks on the coveted door. He can no longer return to blunt labor, his heart tells him that he is waiting in the nightingale garden.
Indeed, the premonitions of the hero are justified – “I did not knock – she opened the unapproachable door herself.” Stunned by the sweet melodies of the nightingale singing, by the sounds of streams, the hero falls into the “alien land of unfamiliar happiness.” So the “poor dream” becomes a reality – the hero gains a beloved. “Scorched” with happiness, he forgets his past life, hard work and an animal, long being his only companion.
behind the rose-covered wall, in the arms of the beloved, the hero spends his time. However, and among all this bliss he is not allowed not to hear the rush of the tide – “to drown out the rumble of the sea, the nightingale song is not free!” At night, the lover, noticing the alarm on his face, constantly asks his beloved about the cause of melancholy. He in his visions discerns a great road and a loaded donkey, wandering along it.
Once the hero wakes up, looks at the serene sleeping lover – her dream is beautiful, she smiles: she dreams of him. The hero opens the window – there is a rush of tide in the distance; behind him, it seems to him, you can distinguish “calling plaintive cry”. The donkey screams – long and long; the hero perceives these sounds as a groan. He pulls the canopy over his lover, trying not to wake up any longer, goes out beyond the fence; flowers, “like hands from the garden,” cling to his clothes.
The hero comes to the seashore, but does not recognize anything around him. There is no house – in its place is rustled scrap, covered with wet sand.
It is unclear whether this is seen in his dream or whether he is waking up – with a trodden path trail, “where the hut used to be / The worker came down with a pick, / Chasing someone else’s donkey.”