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Everything that heard him play,
Even the billows of the sea,

Hung their heads, and then lay by -
In sweet music is such art:
Killing care, and grief of heart,
Fall asleep, or, hearing, die.

William Shakespeare.


Musick, thou queen of heaven, care-charming

spel, That strik'st a stillnesse into hell; Thou that tam’st tygers, and fierce storms that

rise, With thy soul-melting lullabies; Fall down, down, down, from those thy chim

ing spheres, To charme our soules, as thou enchant'st our ears.

Robert Herrick.


There are in this loud stunning tide

Of human care and crime,

With whom the melodies abide

Of everlasting chime;
Who carry music in their heart

Through dusky lane and wrangling mart, Plying their daily toil with busier feet, Because their secret souls a holy strain repeat.

John Keble.


Thick-rushing, like an ocean vast

Of bisons the far prairie shaking,
The notes crowd heavily and fast
As surfs, one plunging while the last

Draws seaward from its foamy breaking.

Or in low murmurs they began,

Rising and rising momently,
As o’er a harp Æolian
A fitful breeze, until they ran

Up to a sudden ecstasy.

And then, like minute-drops of rain

Ringing in water silverly,
They lingering, dropped and dropped again,

Till it was almost like a pain
To listen when the next would be.

James Russell Lowell.


(Merchant of Venice,Act. V., Scene 1)

Lorenzo. How sweet the moonlight sleeps

upon this bank!
Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears; soft stillness, and the night,
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
Sit, Jessica: Look, how the floor of heaven
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold;
There's not the smallest orb which thou be-

But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young-ey'd cherubins:
Such harmony is in immortal souls;
But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Dost grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.

Enter Musicians.

Come, ho, and wake Diana with a hymn!
With sweetest touches pierce your mistress'
And draw her home with music. (Music.)
Jessica. I am


never merry when I hear sweet music. Lor. The reason is, your spirits are atten

tive: For do but note a wild and wanton herd, Or race of youthful and unhandled colts, Fetching mad bounds, bellowing and neigh

ing loud, Which is the hot condition of their blood; If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound, Or any air of music touch their ears, You shall perceive them make a mutual stand, Their savage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze, By the sweet power of music: therefore, the

poet Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and

floods; Since nought so stockish, hard and full of rage, But music for the time doth change his

nature: The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet

sounds, Is fit for treason, stratagems and spoils : The motions of his spirit are dull as night,

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