Page images
PDF
EPUB

A SONG TO THE LUTE IN MUSICKE

Where gripinge grefes the hart would wounde,

And dolefulle dumps the mynde oppresse, There musicke with her silver-sound

With spede is wont to send redresse:
Of trobled mynds, in every sore,
Swete musick hath a salve in store.

In joy yt maks our mirthe abounde,

In woe yt cheres our hevy sprites;
Be-strawghted heads relyef hath founde,

By musickes pleasant swete delights;
Our senses all, what shall I say more?
Are subjecte unto musick's lore.

The Gods by musicke have theire prayse;

The lyfe, the soul therein doth joye; For, as the Romayne poet sayes,

In seas, whom pyrats would destroy, A dolphin saved from death most sharpe Arion playing on his harpe.

O heavenly gyfte, that rules the mynd,

Even as the sterne doth rule the shippe! O musicke, whom the Gods as sinde

To comforte manne, whom cares would

nippe! Since thow both man and beste doest move, What beste ys he, wyll the disprove?

Ascribed to Richard Edwards, 1596.

SONG FOR SAINT CECILIA'S DAY

From harmony, from heavenly harmony

This universal frame began:
When Nature underneath a heap

Of jarring atoms lay,
And could not heave her head,
The tuneful voice was heard from high,

Arise, ye more than dead!
Then cold, and hot, and moist, and dry
In order to their stations leap,

And Music's power obey.
From harmony, from heavenly harmony

This universal frame began:

From harmony to harmony Through all the compass of the notes it ran, The diapason closing full in Man.

What passion cannot Music raise and quell?

When Jubal struck the chorded shell His listening brethren stood around,

And, wondering, on their faces fell

To worship that celestial sound.
Less than a God they thought there could not

dwell
Within the hollow of that shell

That spoke so sweetly and so well.
What passion cannot Music raise and quell?

The trumpet's loud clangor

Excites us to arms,
With shrill notes of anger

And mortal alarms.
The double double double beat

Of the thundering drum
Cries “ Hark! the foes come;
Charge, charge, 'tis too late to retreat!”

The soft complaining flute
In dying notes discovers

The woes of hopeless lovers,
Whose dirge is whisper'd by the warbling

lute.

Sharp violins proclaim
Their jealous pangs and desperation,
Fury, frantic indignation,
Depth of pains, and height of passion

For the fair disdainful dame.

But oh! what art can teach,
What human voice can reach

The sacred organ's praise?
Notes inspiring holy love,
Notes that wing their heavenly ways

To mend the choirs above.

Orpheus could lead the savage race,
And trees unrooted left their place,

Sequacious of the lyre:
But bright Cecilia raised the wonder higher:
When to her organ vocal breath was given,
An angel heard, and straight appear'd —

Mistaking earth for heaven!

Grand Chorus

As from the power of sacred lays

The spheres began to move,
And sung the great Creator's praise

To all the blest above;
So when the last and dreadful hour
This crumbling pageant shall devour,
The trumpet shall be heard on high,
The dead shall live, the living die,
And Music shall untune the sky.

John Dryden.

« PreviousContinue »