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Musicks Duell.

Ow Westward Sol had spent the richest Beams Of Noons high Glory, when hard by the streams Of Tiber, on the sceane of a greene plat,

Under protection of an Oake; there sate

A sweet Lutes-master: in whose gentle aires
He lost the Dayes heat, and his owne hot cares.
Close in the covert of the leaves there stood
A Nightingale, come from the neighbouring wood :
(The sweet inhabitant of each glad Tree,
Their Muse, their Syren, harmlesse Syren she)
There stood she listning, and did entertaine
The Musicks soft report: and mold the same
In her owne murmures, that what ever mood
His curious fingers lent, her voyce made good:
The man perceiv'd his Rivall, and her Art,
Dispos'd to give the light-foot Lady sport
Awakes his Lute, and 'gainst the fight to come
Informes it, in a sweet Præludium

Of closer straines, and ere the warre begin,
He lightly skirmishes on every string

Charg'd with a flying touch: and streightway she
Carves out her dainty voyce as readily,
Into a thousand sweet distinguish'd Tones,
And reckons up in soft divisions,

Quicke volumes of wild Notes; to let him know
By that shrill taste, she could do something too.
His nimble hands instinct then taught each string
A capring cheerefullnesse; and made them sing
To their owne dance; now negligently rash
He throwes his Arme, and with a long drawne dash
Blends all together; then distinctly tripps
From this to that; then quicke returning skipps
And snatches this again, and pauses there.
Shee measures every measure, every where
Meets art with art; sometimes as if in doubt,
Not perfect yet, and fearing to be out,

Trayles her plaine Ditty in one long-spun note,
Through the sleeke passage of her open throat,
A cleare unwrinckled song; then doth shee point it
With tender accents, and severely joynt it
By short diminutives, that being rear'd

In controverting warbles evenly shar'd,

With her sweet selfe shee wrangles. Hee amazed
That from so small a channell should be rais'd
The torrent of a voyce, whose melody
Could melt into such sweet variety,

Straines higher yet; that tickled with rare art
The tatling strings (each breathing in his part)
Most kindly doe fall out; the grumbling Base
In surly groans disdaines the Trebles Grace;
The high-perch't treble chirps at this, and chides,
Untill his finger (Moderatour) hides

And closes the sweet quarrell, rowsing all
Hoarce, shrill, at once; as when the Trumpets call
Hot Mars to th'Harvest of Deaths field, and woo
Mens hearts into their hands: this lesson too
Shee gives him back; her supple Brest thrills out
Sharpe Aires, and staggers in a warbling doubt
Of dallying sweetnesse, hovers o're her skill,
And folds in wav'd notes with a trembling bill
The plyant Series of her slippery song;
Then starts shee suddenly into a Throng

Of short thicke sobs, whose thundring volleyes float,
And roule themselves over her lubrick throat

In panting murmurs, still'd out of her Breast,
That ever-bubling spring; the sugred Nest
Of her delicious soule, that there does lye
Bathing in streames of liquid Melodie;
Musicks best seed-plot, where in ripen'd Aires
A Golden-headed Harvest fairely reares
His Honey-dropping tops, plow'd by her breath
Which there reciprocally laboureth

In that sweet soyle, it seemes a holy quire
Founded to th' Name of great Apollo's lyre,
Whose silver-roofe rings with the sprightly notes
Of sweet-lipp'd Angell-Imps, that swill their throats

In creame of Morning Helicon, and then
Preferre soft-Anthems to the Eares of men,
To woo them from their Beds, still murmuring
That men can sleepe while they their Mattens sing:
(Most divine service) whose so early lay,
Prevents the Eye lidds of the blushing day!
There you might heare her kindle her soft voyce,
In the close murmur of a sparkling noyse,
And lay the ground-worke of her hopefull song,
Still keeping in the forward streame, so long
Till a sweet whirle-wind (striving to get out)
Heaves her soft Bosome, wanders round about,
And makes a pretty Earthquake in her Breast,
Till the fledg'd Notes at length forsake their Nest,
Fluttering in wanton shoales, and to the Sky
Wing'd with their owne wild Eccho's pratling fly.
Shee opes the floodgate, and lets loose a Tide
Of streaming sweetnesse, which in state doth ride
On the wav'd backe of every swelling straine,
Rising and falling in a pompous traine.
And while she thus discharges a shrill peale
Of flashing Aires; she qualifies their zeale
With the coole Epode of a graver Noat,
Thus high, thus low, as if her silver throat
Would reach the brasen voyce of war's hoarce Bird;
Her little soule is ravisht: and so pour'd
Into loose extasies, that shee is plac't
Above her selfe, Musicks Enthusiast.

my Lute

Shame now and anger mixt a double staine
In the Musitians face; yet once againe
(Mistresse) I come; now reach a straine
Above her mocke, or be for ever mute.
Or tune a song of victory to me,

Or to thy selfe, sing thine owne Obsequie;
So said, his hands sprightly as fire he flings,
And with a quavering coynesse tasts the strings.
The sweet-lip't sisters musically frighted,
Singing their feares are fearefully delighted.
Trembling as when Appollo's golden haires
Are fan'd and frizled, in the wanton ayres

Of his own breath: which marryed to his lyre
Doth tune the Sphæares, and make Heavens selfe looke higher
From this to that, from that to this he flyes
Feeles Musicks pulse in all her Arteryes,
Caught in a net which there Apollo spreads,
His fingers struggle with the vocall threads,
Following those little rills, he sinkes into
A Sea of Helicon; his hand does goe

Those parts of sweetnesse which with Nectar drop,
Softer then that which pants in Hebe's cup.

The humourous strings expound his learned touch,
By various Glosses; now they seeme to grutch,
And murmur in a buzzing dinne, then gingle
In shrill tongu'd accents: striving to be single.
Every smooth turne, every delicious stroake
Gives life to some new Grace; thus doth h'invoke
Sweetnesse by all her Names; thus, bravely thus
(Fraught with a fury so harmonious)

The Lutes light Genius now does proudly rise,
Heav'd on the surges of swolne Rapsodyes.
Whose flourish (Meteor-like) doth curle the aire
With flash of high-borne fancyes: here and there
Dancing in lofty measures, and anon
Creeps on the soft touch of a tender tone:
Whose trembling murmurs melting in wild aires
Runs to and fro, complaining his sweet cares
Because those pretious mysteryes that dwell,
In musick's ravish't soule he dares not tell,
But whisper to the world: thus doe they vary
Each string his Note, as if they meant to carry
Their Masters blest soule (snatcht out at his Eares
By a strong Extasy) through all the sphæares
Of Musicks heaven; and seat it there on high
In th' Empyræum of pure Harmony.

At length (after so long, so loud a strife
Of all the strings, still breathing the best life
Of blest variety attending on

His fingers fairest revolution.

In many a sweet rise; many as sweet a fall)
A full-mouth Diapason swallowes all.

This done, he lists what she would say to this, And she although her Breath's late exercise Had dealt too roughly with her tender throate, Yet summons all her sweet powers for a Noate Alas! in vaine! for while (sweet soule) she tryes To measure all those wild diversities

Of chatt'ring strings, by the small size of one Poore simple voyce, rais'd in a naturall Tone; She failes, and failing grieves; and grieving dyes. She dyes and leaves her life the Victors prise, Falling upon his Lute; ô fit to have

(That liv'd so sweetly) dead, so sweet a Grave!

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