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Ah, how sweet it is to love!

AH, how sweet it is to love!

Ah, how gay is young Desire!

And what pleasing pains we prove

When we first approach Love's fire!

Pains of love be sweeter far

Than all other pleasures are.

Sighs which are from lovers blown

Do but gently heave the heart:

Ev'n the tears they shed alone

Cure, like trickling balm, their smart:

Lovers, when they lose their breath,

Bleed away in easy death.

Love and Time with reverence use,

Treat them like a parting friend;

Nor the golden gifts refuse

Which in youth sincere they send:

For each year their price is more,

And they less simple than before.

Love, like spring-tides full and high,

Swells in every youthful vein;

But each tide does less supply,

Till they quite shrink in again:

If a flow in age appear,

'Tis but rain, and runs not clear.

One happy moment

NO, no, poor suff'ring Heart, no Change endeavour,

Choose to sustain the smart, rather than leave her;

My ravish'd eyes behold such charms about her,

I can die with her, but not live without her:

One tender Sigh of hers to see me languish,

Will more than pay the price of my past anguish:

Beware, O cruel Fair, how you smile on me,

'Twas a kind look of yours that has undone me.

Love has in store for me one happy minute,

And She will end my pain who did begin it;

Then no day void of bliss, or pleasure leaving,

Ages shall slide away without perceiving:

Cupid shall guard the door the more to please us,

And keep out Time and Death, when they would seize us:

Time and Death shall depart, and say in flying,

Love has found out a way to live, by dying.

King Arthur Songs


Come, if you dare, our trumpets sound;

Come, if you dare, the foes rebound:

We come, we come, we come, we come,

Says the double, double, double beat of the thundering drum.

Now they charge on amain,

Now they rally again:

The gods from above the mad labour behold,

And pity mankind, that will perish for gold.

The fainting Saxons quit their ground,

Their trumpets languish in the sound:

They fly, they fly, they fly, they fly;

Victoria, Victoria, the bold Britons cry.

Now the victory's won,

To the plunder we run:

We return to our lasses like fortunate traders,

Triumphant with spoils of the vanquish'd invaders.


Two daughters of this aged stream are we;

And both our sea-green locks have comb'd for thee;

Come bathe with us an hour or two,

Come naked in, for we are so:

What danger from a naked foe?

Come bathe with us, come bathe, and share

What pleasures in the floods appear;

We'll beat the waters till they bound,

And circle round, around, around,

And circle round, around.


Ye blustering brethren of the skies,

Whose breath has ruffled all the watery plain,

Retire, and let Britannia rise,

In triumph o'er the main.

Serene and calm, and void of fear,

The Queen of Islands must appear:

Serene and calm, as when the Spring

The new-created world began,

And birds on boughs did softly sing

Their peaceful homage paid to man;

While Eurus did his blasts forbear,

In favour of the tender year.

Retreat, rude winds, retreat

To hollow rocks, your stormy seat;

There swell your lungs, and vainly, vainly threat.


Foe folded flocks, on fruitful plains,

The shepherd's and the farmer's gains,

Fair Britain all the world outvies;

And Pan, as in Arcadia, reigns,

Where pleasure mix'd with profit lies.

Though Jason's fleece was famed of old,

The British wool is growing gold;

No mines can more of wealth supply;

It keeps the peasant from the cold,

And takes for kings the Tyrian dye.


Fairest isle, all isles excelling,

Seat of pleasures and of loves;

Venus here will choose her dwelling,

And forsake her Cyprian groves.

Cupid from his favourite nation

Care and envy will remove;

Jealousy, that poisons passion,

And despair, that dies for love,

Gentle murmurs, sweet complaining,

Sighs, that blow the fire of love;

Soft repulses, kind disdaining,

Shall be all the pains you prove.

Every swain shall pay his duty,

Grateful every nymph shall prove;

And as these excel in beauty,

Those shall be renown'd for love.

The Instruments

(from A Song for St. Cecilia’s Day)
The trumpet's loud clangour

Excites us to arms,

With shrill notes of anger,

And mortal alarms.
The double double double beat

Of the thundering drum

Cries Hark! the foes come;

Charge, charge, 'tis too late to retreat!

The soft complaining flute,

In dying notes, discovers

The woes of hopeless lovers,

Whose dirge is whisper'd by the warbling lute.

Sharp violins proclaim

Their jealous pangs and desperation,

Fury, frantic indignation,

Depth of pains, and height of passion,

For the fair, disdainful dame.

But oh, what art can teach,

What human voice can reach,

The sacred organ's praise?

Notes inspiring holy love,

Notes that wing their heavenly ways

To mend the choirs above.

Orpheus could lead the savage race;

And trees unrooted left their place,

Sequacious of the lyre;

But bright Cecilia rais'd the wonder higher:

When to her organ vocal breath was given,

An angel heard, and straight appear'd

Mistaking Earth for Heaven.


As from the power of sacred lays

The spheres began to move,

And sung the great Creator's praise

To all the Blest above;

So when the last and dreadful hour

This crumbling pageant shall devour,

The trumpet shall be heard on high,

The dead shall live, the living die,

And Music shall untune the sky!