Gentleman Playing a Lute and a Lady Singing.
David Teniers the Younger, 1640-2.
To Lysander at the Music-Meeting.
It was too much, ye Gods, to see and hear;|
Receiving wounds both from the eye and ear:
One charm might have secur'd a victory,
Both, rais'd the pleasure even to ecstasy:
So ravish'd lovers in each other's arms,
Faint with excess of joy, excess of charms:
Had I but gaz'd and fed my greedy eyes,
Perhaps you'd pleas'd no farther than surprize.
That heav'nly form might admiration move,
But, not without the Music, charm'd with Love:
At least so quick the conquest had not been;
You storm'd without, and Harmony within:
Nor cou'd I listen to the sound alone,
But I alas must look—and was undone:
I saw the softness that compos'd your face,
While your attention heighten'd every grace:
Your mouth all full of sweetness and content,
And your fine killing eyes of languishment:
Your bosom now and then a sigh wou'd move,
(For Music has the same effects with Love)
Your body easy and all tempting lay,
Inspiring wishes which the eyes betray,
In all that have the fate to glance that way:
A careless and a lovely negligence,
Did a new charm to every limb dispense:
So look young angels, listening to the sound,
When the tun'd spheres glad all the heav'ns around:
So raptur'd lie amidst the wondering crowd,
So charmingly extended on a cloud.
When from so many ways Love's arrows storm,
Who can the heedless heart defend from harm?
Beauty and Music must the soul disarm;
Since harmony, like fire to wax, does fit
The soft'ned heart impressions to admit:
As the brisk sounds of war the courage move,
Music prepares and warms the soul to love.
But when the kindling sparks such fuel meet,
No wonder if the flame inspir'd be great.
British Women Poets, 1660-1800: An Anthology. Joyce Fullard, ed.
Troy, NY: Whitston Publishing Company, 1990. 97.
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