Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
 
David’s Song
By Abraham Cowley (1618–1667)
 
                AWAKE, 1 awake my Lyre,
And tell thy silent master’s humble tale,
                In sounds that may prevail;
          Sounds that gentle thoughts inspire,
                Though so exalted she        5
                And I so lowly be,
Tell her such different notes make all thy harmony.
 
                Hark, how the strings awake,
And though the moving hand approach not near,
                Themselves with awful fear,        10
          A kind of numerous trembling make.
                Now all thy forces try,
                Now all thy charms apply,
Revenge upon her ear the conquests of her eye.
 
                Weak Lyre! thy virtue sure        15
Is useless here, since thou art only found
                To cure, but not to wound,
          And she to wound, but not to cure.
                Too weak too wilt thou prove
                My passion to remove,        20
Physic to other ills, thou’rt nourishment to Love.
 
                Sleep, sleep again my Lyre;
For thou can’st never tell my humble tale,
                In sounds that will prevail,
          Nor gentle thoughts in her inspire;        25
                All thy vain mirth lay by,
                Bid thy strings silent lie,
Sleep, sleep again, my Lyre, and let thy Master die.
 
Note 1. From Davideis, a Sacred Poem of the Troubles of David, Bk. III, 1668. [back]
 
 
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