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18 juin 2013 2 18 /06 /juin /2013 16:53

When whispering strains do softly steal
With creeping passion through the heart,
And when at every touch we feel
Our pulses beat and bear a part;
      When threads can make
      A heartstring shake,
      Philosophy
      Can scarce deny
The soul consists of harmony.

When unto heavenly joy we feign
Whate’er the soul affecteth most,
Which only thus we can explain
By music of the wingèd host,
      Whose lays we think
      Make stars to wink,
      Philosophy
      Can scarce deny
Our souls consist of harmony.

O lull me, lull me, charming air,
My senses rock with wonder sweet;
Like snow on wool thy fallings are,
Soft, like a spirit’s, are thy feet:
      Grief who need fear
      That hath an ear?
      Down let him lie
      And slumbring die,
And change his soul for harmony.

 

William Strode

(1600-1645)

 

 

 

[The spelling of this poem has been modernised. The original text can be found in : The poetical works of William Strode (edited by Bertram Dobell), London: The Editor, 1907, and: Selected poems of William Strode, (selected and edited by Tony Frazer), Shearsman Books, Exeter, 2009. It was set to music by Robin Holloway, under the title The consolation of music, in 1966 (stanza 3), then in 1977. The score is published by Boosey & Hawkes.]

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