Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. II. Ben Jonson to Dryden
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. II. The Seventeenth Century: Ben Jonson to Dryden
Celia Singing
By Thomas Stanley (1625–1678)
    ROSES in breathing forth their scent,
    Or stars their borrowed ornament,
    Nymphs in the watery sphere that move,
    Or angels in their orbs above,
    The wingèd chariot of the light,        5
    Or the slow silent wheels of night,
    The shade which from the swifter sun
    Doth in a circular motion run,
Or souls that their eternal rest do keep,
Make far less noise than Celia’s breath in sleep.        10
    But if the Angel, which inspires
    This subtle flame with active fires,
    Should mould this breath to words, and those
    Into a harmony dispose,
    The music of this heavenly sphere        15
    Would steal each soul out at the ear,
    And into plants and stones infuse
    A life that Cherubim would choose,
And with new powers invert the laws of fate,
Kill those that live, and dead things animate.        20

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