Ode to St. Cecilia by Dryden

Ode to St. Cecilia.

Now strike the golden lyre again:

A louder yet, and yet a louder strain.

Break his bands of sleep asunder,

And rouse him, like a rattling peal of thunder.

Hark, hark, the horrid sound

Has raised up his head,

As awaked from the dead,

And amazed, he stares around.

Revenge, revenge, Timotheus cries,

See the Furies arise:

See the snakes that they rear,

How they hiss in their hair,

And the sparkles that flash from their eyes!

Behold a ghastly band,

Each a torch in his hand!

Those are Grecian ghosts, that in battle were slain,

And unburied remain

Inglorious on the plain.

Give the vengeance due

To the valiant crew.

Behold how they toss their torches on high,

How they point to the Persian abodes,

And glitt'ring temples of their hostile gods!

The Princes applaud, with a furious joy;

And the King seized a flambeau, with zeal to destroy;

Thais led the way,

To light him to his prey,

And, like another Helen, fired another Troy.

Thus, long ago,

Ere heaving bellows learn'd to blow,

While organs yet were mute;

Timotheus, to his breathing flute

And sounding lyre,

Could swell the soul to rage, or kindle soft desire.

At last divine Cecilia came,

Inventress of the vocal frame;

The sweet enthusiast, from the sacred store,

Enlarged the former narrow bounds,

And added length to solemn sounds,

With nature's mother-wit, and arts unknown before.

Let old Timotheus yield the prize,

Or both divide the crown:

He raised a mortal to the skies;

She drew an angel down.