Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON THE DEATH OF MR. PURCELL, by JOHN DRYDEN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ON THE DEATH OF MR. PURCELL, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: Mark how the lark and linnet sing
Last Line: Nor know to mend their choice.
Variant Title(s): An Ode On The Death Of Mr Henry Purcell;an Ode, On The Death Of Mr. Henry Purcell, Late Servant To His Majesty
Subject(s): Death; Music & Musicians; Purcell, Henry (1659-1695); Teaching & Teachers; Dead, The; Educators; Professors


MARK how the Lark and Linnet sing,
With rival Notes
They strain their warbling Throats
To welcome in the Spring.
But in the close of night,
When Philomel begins her Heav'nly Lay,
They cease their mutual spight,
Drink in her Musick with delight,
And list'ning and silent, and silent and list'ning, and list'ning and silent


So ceas'd the rival Crew, when Purcell came,
They Sung no more, or only Sung his Fame.
Struck dumb, they all admir'd
The godlike man,
Alas, too soon retir'd,
As He too late began.
We beg not Hell our Orpheus to restore;
Had He been there,
Their Sovereigns fear
Had sent Him back before.
The pow'r of Harmony too well they knew;
He long e'er this had Tun'd their jarring Sphere,
And left no Hell below.


The Heav'nly Quire, who heard his Notes from high,
Let down the Scale of Musick from the Sky:
They handed him along,
And all the way He taught, and all the way they Sung.
Ye Brethren of the Lyre and tunefull Voice,
Lament his lott: but at your own rejoyce.
Now live secure, and linger out your days,
The Gods are pleas'd alone with Purcell's Layes,
Nor know to mend their Choice.

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