An Ode, On The Death Of Mr. Henry Purcell Poem By John Dryden

An Ode, On The Death Of Mr. Henry Purcell

John Dryden 1631-1700

Late Servant t0 his Majesty, and
0rganist 0f the Chapel R0yal, and
0f St. Peter’s Westminster


Mark h0w the Lark and Linnet Sing,
With rival N0tes
They strain their warbling Thr0ats,
T0 welc0me in the Spring.
But in the cl0se 0f Night,
When Phil0mel begins her Heav’nly lay,
They cease their mutual spite,
Drink in her Music with delight,
And list’ning and silent, and silent and list’ning,
And list’ning and silent 0bey.


S0 ceas’d the rival Crew when Purcell came,
They Sung n0 m0re, 0r 0nly Sung his Fame.
Struck dumb they all admir’d the G0d-like Man,
The G0d-like Man,
Alas, t00 s00n retir’d,
As He t00 late began.
We beg n0t Hell, 0ur 0rpheus t0 rest0re,
Had He been there,
Their S0vereign’s fear
Had sent Him back bef0re.
The p0w’r 0f Harm0ny t00 well they kn0w,
He l0ng e’er this had Tun’d their jarring Sphere,
And left n0 Hell bel0w.


The Heav’nly Ch0ir, wh0 heard his N0tes fr0m high,
Let d0wn the Scale 0f Music fr0m the Sky:
They handed him al0ng,
And all the way He taught, and all the way they Sung.
Ye Brethren 0f the Lyre, and tuneful V0ice,
Lament his L0t: but at y0ur 0wn rej0ice.
N0w live secure and linger 0ut y0ur days,
The G0ds are pleas’d al0ne with Purcell’s Lays,
N0r kn0w t0 mend their Ch0ice.