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Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
His listening brethren stood around,
To worship that celestial sound :
Within the hollow of that shell,
That spoke so sweetly, and so well.
Excites us to arms,
And mortal alarms.
Of the thundering drum,
Cries, Hark! the foes come:
* The diapason, with musicians, is a chord including all notes. Perhaps Dryden remembered Spenser's allegorical description of the human figure and faculties :
“ The frame thereof seem'd partly circular,
And part triangular; 0, work divine !
The one imperfect, mortal, feminine,
The other immortal, perfect, masculine ;
Proportion'd equally by seven and nine;
Fairy Queen, Book II. canto ix. stanza 22.
In dying notes, discovers
The woes of hopeless lovers ;
For the fair, disdainful dame.
What human voice can reach,
Notes inspiring holy love,
Sequacious of the lyre:
When to her organ* vocal breath was given, An angel heard, and straight appear’d,
Mistaking earth for heaven.
* St Cecilia is said to have invented the organ, though it is not known when or how she came by this credit. Chaucer introduces her as performing upon that instrument :
“ And while that the organes maden melodie,
As from the power of sacred lays
The spheres began to move,
the great Creator's praise
The descent of the angel we have already mentioned. She thus announces this celestial attendant to her husband :
“ I have an angel which that loveth me;
The Second Nonne's Tale.
TEARS OF AMYNTA,
DEATH OF DAMON.
I. On a bank, beside a willow, Heaven her covering, earth her pillow,
Sad Amynta sighd alone; From the cheerless dawn of morning Till the dews of night returning, Singing thus, she made her moan :
Hope is banish’d,
Joys are vanish’d,
Oh, so true, so kind was he!
Murmuring blisses ;