by John Dryden (1631 - 1700)
Translation by Norman Dello Joio (1913 - 2008)

To Saint Cecilia
Language: English  after the English 
From harmony this universal frame began:
When Nature underneath a heap
Of jarring atoms lay,
And could not heave her head.

The Voice of Thunder was heard on high,
"Arise, arise ye more than dead."
Then cold, and hot, and moist, and dry,
The elements, they heard from high:
And to their stations leap,
And Music's power obey.

From heavenly harmony this universal frame began:
From harmony to harmony.
Through all the compass of notes it ran,
The diapason closing full in Man.

What passion cannot Music raise or quell!
When Jubal struck the corded shell,
His list'ning brethren stood around,
And, wond'ring, on their faces fell
To worship that celestial sound.


Based on:

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

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2010-01-19
Line count: 19
Word count: 112