by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)

How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this...
Language: English 
 How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
 Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
 Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night
 Become the touches of sweet harmony.
 Look, how the floor of heaven
 Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold:
 There's not the smallest orb that thou behold'st
 But in his motion like an angel sings
 Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins;
 Such harmony is in immortal souls;
 But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
 Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.
 Come, ho! and wake Diana with a hymn:
 With sweetest touches pierce your mistress' ear,
 And draw her home with music.

 I am never merry when I hear sweet music.
 The reason is, your spirits are attentive:
 The man that hath no music in himself,
 Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds,
 Is fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils;
 The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
 And his affections dark as Erebus:
 Let no such man be trusted... Music! hark!

 It is your music of the house.

 Methinks it sounds much sweeter than by day.

 Silence bestows that virtue on it.

 How many things by season season'd are.
 To their right praise and true perfection!
 Peace, ho! the moon sleeps with Endymion,
 And would not be awak'd.

 (Soft stillness and the night
 Become the touches of sweet harmony.)

R. Young sets lines 1-12
H. Bedford sets lines 1-4
W. Bendall sets lines 1-10
S. Lovatt sets lines 1-3

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 39
Word count: 240