Verse > Anthologies > Francis T. Palgrave, ed. > The Golden Treasury
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Francis T. Palgrave, ed. (1824–1897). The Golden Treasury.  1875.
 
J. Dryden
 
LXIII. Song for St. Cecilia's Day, 1687
 
FROM Harmony, from heavenly Harmony 
    This universal frame began: 
  When Nature underneath a heap 
    Of jarring atoms lay 
  And could not heave her head,         5
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.  10
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.  15
  
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.  20
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  25
    Excites us to arms, 
  With shrill notes of anger 
    And mortal alarms. 
  The double double double beat 
    Of the thundering drum  30
    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,  35
  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  40
    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,  45
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:  50
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
  55
  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,  60
The trumpet shall be heard on high, 
The dead shall live, the living die, 
And Music shall untune the sky. 
 
 
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