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A SONG FOR ST. CECILIA'S DAY

by John Dryden

A SONG FOR ST. CECILIA'S DAY -

From Harmonyfrom heav'nly Harmony

This universal Frame began:

When Nature underneath a heap

Of jarring Atomes lay

And cou'd not heave her Head

The tuneful Voice was heard from high:

Ariseye more than dead.

Then cold and hot and moist and dry

In order to their Stations leap

And MUSICK'S pow'r obey.

From Harmonyfrom 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 MUSICK raise and quell?

When Jubal struck the corded Shell

His listening Brethren stood around

Andwond'ringon 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 sweetlyand so well.

What passion cannot MUSICK raise and quell? -

The TRUMPETS loud Clangor

Excites us to Arms

With shrill Notes of Anger

And mortal Alarms.

The double double double beat

Of the thund'ring DRUM

Cryesheark the Foes come;

ChargeCharge'tis too late to retreat.

The soft complaining FLUTE

In dying Notes discovers

The Woes of hopeless Lovers

Whose Dirge is whispered by the warbling LUTE. -

Sharp VIOLINS proclaim

Their jealous Pangs and Desperation

Furyfrantick Indignation

Depth of Pains and height of Passion

For the fairdisdainful Dame. -

But O! what Art can teach

What human Voice can reach

The sacred ORGANS praise?

Notes inspiring holy Love

Notes that wing their heav'nly Ways

To mend the Choires above. -

Orpheus cou'd lead the savage race

And Trees unrooted left their place

Sequacious of the Lyre;

But bright CECILIA rais'd the wonder high'r:

When to her Organ vocal Breath was given

An Angel heardand straight appear'd

Mistaking Earth for Heav'n. -

GRAND CHORUS

As from the Pow'r of Sacred Lays

The spheres began to move

And sung the great Creator's Praise

To all the bless'd above;

Sowhen the last and dreadful Hour

This crumbling Pageant shall devour

The TRUMPET shall be heard on high

The dead shall livethe living die

And MUSICK shall untune the Sky. - -

THE END