On Mrs. Arabella Hunt Singing

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On Mrs. Arabella Hunt Singing
by William Congreve


I.
LET all be husht, each softer Motion cease,
Be ev'ry loud tumultuous Thought at Peace,
And ev'ry ruder Gasp of Breath
Be calm, as in the Arms of Death.
And thou most fickle, most uneasie Part,
Thou restless Wanderer, my Heart,
Be still; gently, ah gently, leave,
Thou busie, idle thing, to heave.
Stir not a Pulse; and let my Blood,
That turbulent, unruly Flood,
Be softly staid:
Let me be all, but my Attention, dead.
Go, rest, y'unnecessary Springs of Life,
Leave your officious Toil and Strife;
For I would hear her Voice, and try
If it be possible to die.

II.
Come all ye Love-sick Maids and wounded Swains,
And listen to her Healing Strains.
A. wond'rous Balm, between her Lips she wears,
Of Sov'reign Force to soften Cares;
'Tis piercing as your Thoughts, and melting as your Tears:
And this, through ev'ry Ear she does impart,
(By tuneful Breath diffus'd,) to ev'ry Heart.
Swiftly the gentle Charmer flies,
And to the tender Grief soft Air applies,
Which, warbling Mystick Sounds,
Cements the bleeding Panter's Wounds.
But ah! beware of clam'rous Moan:
let no unpleasing Murmur or harsh Groan,
Your slighted Loves declare:
Your very tend'rest moving Sighs forbear,
For even they will be too boist'rous here.
Hither let nought but Sacred Silence come,
And let all sawcy Praise be dumb.

III.
And lo! Silence himself is here;
Methinks I see the Midnight God appear,
In all its downy Pomp array'd,
Behold the rev'rend Shade:
An ancient Sigh he sits upon,
Whose Memory of Sound is long since gone,
And purposely annihilated for his Throne:
Beneath two soft transparent Clouds do meet,
In which he seems to sink his softer Feet.
A melancholy Thought, condens'd to Air,
Stol'n from a Lover in Despair,
Like a thin Mantle, serves to wrap
In Fluid Folds, his visionary Shape.
A Wreath of Darkness round his Head he wears,
Where curling Mists supply the want of Hairs:
While the still Vapors, which from Poppies rise,
Bedew his hoary Face, and lull his Eyes.

IV.
But hark! the heav'nly Sphere turns round,
And Silence now is drown'd
In Extasie of Sound.
How on a sudden the still Air is charm'd,
As if all Harmony were just alarm'd!
And ev'ry Soul with Transport fill'd,
Alternately is thaw'd and chill'd.
See how the Heav'nly Choir
Come flocking, to admire,
And with what Speed and Care,
Descending Angels cull the thinnest Air!
Haste then, come all th'Immortal Throng,
And listen to her Song;
Leave your lov'd Mansions, in the Sky,
And hither, quickly hither fly;
Your Loss of Heav'n, nor shall you need to fear,
While she Sings, 'tis Heav'n here.

V.
See how they crowd, see how the little Cherubs skip!
While others sit around her Mouth, and sip
Sweet Hallelujahs from her Lip.
Those Lips, where in Surprise of Bliss they rove;
For ne'er before were Angels blest
With such a luscious Feast
Of Musick and of Love.
Prepare then, ye Immortal Choir,
Each sacred Minstrel tune his Lyre,
And with her Voice in Chorus join,
Her Voice, which next to yours is most Divine.
Bless the glad Earth with Heav'nly Lays,
And to that Pitch th'eternal Accents raise,
Which only Breath inspir'd can reach.
To Notes, which only she can learn, and you can teach:
While we, charm'd with the lov'd Excess,
Are wrapt in sweet Forgetfulness
Of all, of all, but of the present Happiness:
Wishing for ever in that State to lye,
For ever to be dying so, yet never die.

This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.