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An ode on the death of Mr Henry Purcell

Language: English

Mark how the lark and linnet sing:
With rival notes
They strain their warbling throats
To welcome in the spring.

But in the close of night
When Philomel begins her heav'nly lay,
They cease their mutual spite,
Drink in her music with delight,
And list'ning and silent obey.

So ceas'd the rival crew when Purcell came:
They sung no more, or only sung his fame.
Struck dumb, they all admir'd the matchless man,
Alas, too soon retir'd,
As he too late began.

We beg not Hell our Orpheus to restore:
Had he been there,
Their sovereign's fear
Had sent him back before.

The pow'r of harmony too well they knew;
He long ere this had tun'd their jarring sphere,
And left no Hell below.
The heav'nly choir, who heard his notes from high,
Let down the scale of music from the sky;

They handed him along,
And all the way he taught, and all the way they sung.
Ye brethren of the lyre and tuneful voice,
Lament his lot, but at your own rejoice.
Now live secure, and linger out your days:
The gods are pleas'd alone with Purcell's lays,
Nor know to mend their choice.

Translation(s): FRE

List of language codes

Submitted by John Versmoren


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • FRE French (Fran├žais) (Guy Laffaille) , title 1: "Une ode sur la mort de Mr Henry Purcell", copyright © 2012, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Text added to the website: 2004-06-29.
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:08
Line count: 30
Word count: 196

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