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In her own murmures; that whatever mood
His curious fingers lent, her voice made good :
The man perceived his rival, and her art,
Dispos'd to give the light-foot lady sport,
Awakes his lute, and 'gainst the fight to come
Informs it, in a sweet præludium

Of closer strains, and e'er the war begin,
He lightly skirmishes on every string,
Charg'd with a flying touch; and straightway

Carves out her dainty voice as readily

Into a thousand sweet distinguish'd tones,

And reckons up in soft divisions

Quick volumes of wild notes; to let him know,

By that shrill taste, she could do something


His nimble hand's instinct then taught each string

A cap'ring chearfulness; and made them sing
To their own dance; now negligently rash
He throws his arm, and with a long-drawn

Blends all together; then distinctly trips
From this to that; then, quick returning, skips

And snatches this again, and pauses there.
She measures every measure, every where
Meets art with art; sometimes, as if in doubt,
Not perfect yet, and fearing to be out,
Trails her plain ditty in one long-spun note,
Through the sleek passage of her open throat,
A clear unwrinkled song; then doth she point it
With tender accents, and severely joynt it
By short diminitives, that being rear'd
In controverting warbles evenly shar'd,
With her sweet self she wrangles; he, amaz'd,
That from so small a channel should be rais'd
The torrent of a voice, whose melody

Could melt into such sweet variety,

Strains higher yet, that tickled with rare art The tatling strings, each breathing in his part,

Most kindly do fall out; the grumbling base In surly groans disdains the treble's grace; The high-perch't treble chirps at this, and chides,

Until his finger (moderator) hides

And closes the sweet quarrel, rousing all

Hoarse, shrill at once; as when the trumpet's


Hot Mars to th' harvest of death's field, and


Men's hearts into their hands: this lesson too She gives them back; her supple breast thrills


Sharp airs, and staggers in a warbling doubt Of dallying sweetness, hovers o'er her skill, And folds in wav'd notes, with a trembling bill,

The plyant series of her slippery song;

Then starts she suddenly into a throng

Of short thick sobs, whose thund'ring volleys float,

And roll themselves over her lubrick throat
In panting murmurs, still'd out of her

That ever bubling spring, the sugred nest
Of her delicious soul, that there does lye
Bathing in streams of liquid melodie;
Music's best seed-plot; when in ripen'd airs
A golden-headed harvest fairly rears
His honey-dropping tops, plough'd by her


Which there reciprocally laboureth.

In that sweet soyl it seems a holy quire,
Sounded to th' name of great Apollo's lyre;

Whose silver roof rings with the sprightly


Of sweet-lip'd angel-imps, that swill their throats

In cream of morning Helicon, and then
Prefer soft anthems to the ears of men,

To woo them from their beds, still murmur


That men can sleep while they their mattens


(Most divine service,) whose so early lay
Prevents the eyelids of the blushing day.—
She opes the floodgate, and lets loose a tide
Of streaming sweetness, which in state doth

On the wav'd back of every swelling strain,
Rising and falling in a pompous train ;
And while she thus discharges a shrill peal
Of flashing airs, she qualifies their zeal
With the cool epode of a graver note.

Thus high, thus low, as if her silver throat

Would reach the brazen voice of war's hoarse


Her little soul is ravish'd: and so pour'd

Into loose extasies, that she is plac't

Above herself, musick's enthusiast.

Shame now and anger mixt a double stain
In the musician's face; yet, once again,
Mistress, I come; now reach a strain, my

Above her mock, or be for ever mute :
Or tune a song of victory to me,

Or to thyself sing thine own obsequie;
So said, his hands sprightly as fire he flings,
And with a quavering coyness tastes the

From this to that, from that to this he flies,
Feels musick's pulse in all her arteries;-
The humourous strings expound his learned

By various glosses; now they seem to grutch,
And murmure in a buzzing dinne, then gingle,
In shrill tongued accents, striving to be

Every smooth turn, every delicious stroke Gives life to some new grace; thus doth h' invoke

Sweetness by all her names; thus, bravely thus

(Fraught with a fury so harmonious,

The lute's light genius now does proudly rise, Heav'd on the surges of swoln rhapsodies;

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