In what way is the nightingale's song "welcome" and the cuckoo's song "thrilling?"  

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Wordsworth heard the solitary reaper's song on a trip he took the north of Scotland in 1803. As a traveler himself, it was only natural he would imagine the experiences of other travelers. The nightingale's song would be "welcome" to those crossing the "Arabian sands" because it would indicate they were arriving in a place of refuge. If we imagine them crossing the Sahara or another desert, coming to a "shady haunt" would indicate they had arrived at an oasis, a place with enough water for trees to grow and provide shade. After the silence of the desert, the beautiful song of this night singing bird would not only have been a sign they were near water but also a welcome accompaniment to their rest in this haven. It suggests as well that the Scottish highlands felt as exotic to the poem's narrator as the Arabian desert.

Likewise, the cuckoo's song would be "thrilling" because it would break the silence of the seas and indicate that the sailors the narrator imagines are not far from land.

Although he does not say this explicitly, we can imagine that the narrator is weary, like the other travelers he describes, and has been in a silent place, far from human habitation, until he comes on the song of the solitary reaper. She, like the birds, is also a natural creature who suggests he has arrived at a place of rest. He does stop and listen, and like those crossing the desert or the sea, takes comfort in the song.

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The "weary bands" of travelers would be pleasantly surprised and would welcome a nightingale's song simply because they are tired (weary) from their long journey. Also note that they are in a "shady" place. This probably means it is in the evening or at night since it is in a desert. Nightingales sing during the nights as well as during the day. That's where the name (nightingale) comes from. The song would be a nice surprise for a group of weary travelers in a dark place. 

It would be thrilling for sailors to hear the cuckoo because it would mean they are getting closer to land. The Hebrides are an archipelago off the coast of Scotland. The cuckoo would break the "silence of the seas" and its song would indicate proximity to land. Both the nightingale and the cuckoo tend to sing alone. This makes both bird songs fitting to compare with the "solitary" reaper. 

Note that the speaker in the poem is saying that the solitary reaper has a song that is more welcome and more thrilling than either of these examples. The speaker does not understand the reaper's language. For him, the music is so beautiful that he can only imagine what the subject is. 

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