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  1. #1
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    Smile A Song for St. Cecilia’s Day

    Hi..
    Can you help me in analysing this poem line by line in deep explanation?:


    A SONG FOR ST. CECILIA'S DAY, NOVEMBER 22, 1687
    by: John Dryden
      • I. ROM harmony, from heavenly harmony, This universal frame began: When nature underneath a heap Of jarring atoms lay, And could not heave her head, The tuneful voice was heard from high, "Arise, ye more than dead." Then cold, and hot, and moist, and dry, In order to their stations leap, And Music's power obye. From harmony, from heavenly harmony, This universal frame began; From harmony to harmony Through all the compass of the notes it ran, The diapason closing full in man. II. What passion cannot music raise and quell? When Jubal struck the chorded shell, His listening brethren stood around, And, wondering, on their faces fell To worship that celestial sound: Less than a God they thought there could not dwell Within the hollow of that shell, That spoke so sweetly, and so well. What passion cannot Music raise and quell? III. The trumpet's loud clangor 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. IV. The soft complaining flute, In dying notes discovers The woes of hopeless lovers; Whose dirge is whisper'd by the warbling lute. V. Sharp violins proclaim Their jealous pangs and desperation, Fury, frantic indignation, Depth of pains, and height of passion, For the fair, disdainful dame. VI. 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. VII. Orpheus could lead the savage race; And trees uprooted left their place, Sequacious of the lyre: But bright Cecilia raised the wonder higher; When to her organ vocal breath was given, An angel heard, and straight appeared, Mistaking earth for heaven. Grand Chorus As from the power of sacred lays The spheres began to move, And sung the great Creator's praise To all the bless'd 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.

  2. #2
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    Re: A Song for St. Cecilia’s Day

    That's asking a lot.

    I know a man, however, Terri Osman by name, who set this text to music.

    He composed this piece for my choir, The Dutch Corner Choir, to perform. He is a composer who lives in Alum Bank, Pennsylvania, USA. He has a website. You might be able to have an interesting discussion with him.

  3. #3
    Mhd shaher's Avatar
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    Re: A Song for St. Cecilia’s Day

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    I can help you but it may require much work on your part. To understand this material, you should understand: the conventions of 16th Century English, the culture of the writer, the accepted feelings that people of that era had toward the church, a basic understanding of the Christian religion, and the impact of music on people of that era.

    If you would like to proceed, I suggest that we move forward stanza by stanza as this will allow you sufficient time to do research.

    yes sir..
    I am ready.. stanza by stanza..
    and thank you so much..

  4. #4
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    Re: A Song for St. Cecilia’s Day

    sir..
    from the second part I didn't understand these three lines:

    Less than a god they thought there could not dwell
    Within the hollow of that shell
    That spoke so sweetly and so well.

  5. #5
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    Re: A Song for St. Cecilia’s Day

    Very big thank you sir..
    and there is a personal message in yours I sent you two days ago..

  6. #6
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    Re: A Song for St. Cecilia’s Day

    -Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
    The diapason closing full in Man.
    What do you mean by (compass) exactly?
    and what do we mean by (closing full in man)?

  7. #7
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    Re: A Song for St. Cecilia’s Day

    my last questions sir for this poem:

    What do we mean by:
    Notes that wing their heavenly ways
    to mend the choirs above




    and also the last line:
    and Music shall untune the sky

    what does (untune) mean here?

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