Charms of MUSICK.







Occasion’d by Mr. HANDEL’s

Oratorio, and the Harmonia Sacra,

Perform’d at Whitehall, by the GENTLEMEN of the Chappel-Royal.



Dedicated to Mr. HANDEL.



Nor Fame I slight, nor for her Favours call;

She comes unlook’d for, if she comes at all.

Oh! let me still the secret Joy partake,

To follow Virtue, ev’n for Virtue’s Sake.

Tho’ living Virtue is with Envy curst,

And the best Men are treated like the worst:

Unblemish’d let me live, or die unknown

Oh! grant an honest Fame, or grant me none.  A. POPE.




By a GENTLEMAN of Cambridge.




Printed for T. GAME, at the Bible, facing the East-End of the New Church in the Strand; and D. GARDNER, in New Turnstile, High-Holborn.    MDCCXXXIII.    [Price 6 d.]









I Raise my Voice, but you can raise it high’r,

And in bold Notes, can bolder string my Lyre:

Tun’d by thy Art, my artless Muse may live,

And from thy pleasing Strains may Pleasure give.

Deep hid in Thought may buried Raptures roll,

Light up the Bard, and fire his kind’ling Soul.

So genial Beams, on Earth, th’ Almighty spreads,

To ripen Metals, sleeping in their Beds,

Hence lively Brilliants into Being strive,

From waking Seeds, yet doubtful if alive.

Hence, may your Song, my rougher Song, refine;

To pierce, like Diamonds, and like Diamonds, shine.[1]

Yours, &c. [1]


[double line]




The Charms of MUSICK, &c.



AWAKE!  Awake!  my Silent, Sleeping Lyre,

Shake into trembling Voice, thy vocal Strings:

Urania sweeps thy undulating Wire,

Roll into Floods of Harmony, thy Springs!


Break Silence, Lyre, or may you Break;

Speak to the Saint, divinely Speak;

Sing to her, who Sings to thee



The Lyre inspir’d, awakes aloud,

Quav’ring Cherubs round it croud,

And shake their trembling Wings,

And strike the dancing Strings,


And waste from Earth to Heaven, the flying Sound.

From Heaven to Earth the deep-mouth’d Trumpet, FAME,

Bellows, and lengthens out the hallow’d Game,

For thee the babling ECHO’s Tongue is bound,

Nor tells, the falling Musick, to the Ground.



With sacred Voice the living Organs swell,

And make a Heaven of Earth, a Heaven of Hell.

The swift-footed Tenor floats upon the Wind,

And leaves the clumsy running Base behind. [2]

Full, and more full, the Diapason ran,

As sweet as Woman, and as strong, as Man.


The solemn Noise, the pious Sound

Pours Balm, O Conscience, in they Wound.

Raptur’d, we our Thoughts employ,

On Hymns of Love, and Songs of Joy.

To Heaven above, the Numbers go,

While ’tis Heaven on Earth below.


The breathing Organs flow religious Airs,

Swells Man to God, and Wings his flatt’ring Breath,

Inspires the Dumb with Voice, the Deaf with Ears,

Deadens thy Sting, O Sin, thy Dart, O Death.



When sacred Orpheus strung his charming Lyre,

All Nature’s wondrous Works admir’d the Man,

And he at wond’ring Nature, did admire,

The murm’ring Stream in flowing Numbers ran.


The finny Nations of the Sea,

Drunk in the liquid Harmony,

Wrapt in Silence, dumb Mutes stood,

Hanging on the list’ning Flood.


The feather’d People of the Air,

Warbl’d in the Concert there,

And tun’d their out-stretch’d Throats,

From highest, down to lowest Notes,

But were out-warbl’d by the Play’r.


He drown’d their artless Song, in Songs of Art,

He play’d the Poet’s, and the Prophet’s Part;

The speaking Tree mov’d, as the Prophet pray’d,

And crown’d the Poet with a laurel’d Shade. [3]



The Curtain opens, and a Cloud unbends,

Array’d in Starry Robes, our GOD descends:

Attendant Thunders play around his Head,

And Sheets of lambent Flames their Lightnings spread.


He moves, and Motion rolls on high,

Globe over Globes, in Harmony:

Open, open, Earth thy Ears,

Hear the Musick of the Spheres.


Hear the ratling Tempests blow

The moulded Hail, and scattered Snow;

Torrents swell, and Fountains flow,

Scenes above, and Scenes below.


GOD reins the Winds, the winged Courses fly

And launch, the harness’d Chariot, thro’ the Sky.

See the black Thunder burst, the Lightning burn;

And Men to Dust, and Worlds to Ashes, turn.



In rumbling Noise when growling Thunder flies,

Hurling pale Fear, and paler Death around;

How dreadful is the Labour of the Sound,

The Voice of God, and Musick of the Skies?


What Tune can please the tuneful Sire,

When Thunder blasts his learned Head;

When his Bays singe in crackling Fire,

For ever dying, never Dead?


Bard call on Harmony, in Vain,

In unharmonious Strain;

Winds, blow away his Groans,

Winds, howl away his Moans. [4]


But with the howling Winds, his Howlings grow,

And the loud Tempest swells a louder Woe;

The gnawing Worm eats his immortal Brain,

Eternal was the Sin, eternal is the Pain.



What Orb on Orb, and Sun and Moon shall flash,

When ghostly Bodies cloath the guilty Soul?

When Grave on Grave, and Ghost on Ghost shall clash;

And bellowing Trumpets speak from Pole to Pole?


See Worlds on Worlds expire,

In Sheets of Flame, and Globes of Fire,

Yawning Tombs gaping break,

Gaping Ghosts yawning shriek,


Horrid Moans,

Dismal Groans,

Teeth gnashing,

Skulls clashing.


Howl, howl ye Winds, blow Trumpets, blow,

But with the howling Winds, the Howlings grow,

And the loud Trumpet swells a louder Woe;

Oceans of Sound can’t quench the flaming World,

When Fire on Fire, and Hell on Hell is hurl’d.









[1] Robert Manson Myers (Handel’s Messiah: A Touchstone of Taste [New York: MacMillan, 1948], 49-50), also reprints the following couplets:


When melting Solo’s steal th’ attentive Ear,

Dead is my Sorrow, and extinct my Fear.

But when the full-mouth’d Chorus wounds the Sky,

The Dead with Fear awake, the Living die. [50]

So with the rising Musick, Passions rise,

As with the dying Musick Passion dies.