[Skip Navigation]

Plagiarist Poetry Sites: Plagiarist.com | Poetry X | Poetry Discussion Forums | Open Poetry Project | Joycean.org
Enter our Poetry Contest
Win Cash and Publication!

Visitors' Comments about:

Song For Saint Cecilia's Day, 1687

John Dryden

Add a new comment.

The Grand Chorus
Added by: Soundsnatcher
I love this poem and have committed it to memory, being as Cecilia is patron saint to us musicians.

But it is not complete here; The Grand Chorus has been omitted. With some probable discrepancies in punctuation, it goes:

As FROM the power of sacred lays

The spheres began to move,

And sung the great Creator's praise

To all the blessed above,

So in that 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.

Is that chilling and magnificent or what?
Added by: Soundsnatcher
Oh, yeah. There it is.

Certainly that's about Judgement Day, a Christian concept, but see how the rest oscillates between Christianity and classical Greek paganism. This is the same device Dante used ; Dryden must have been deeply influenced: CHECK out his wonderful translation of the Aeneid by Big D's subterranean babysitter.

The beginning has two beginnings, just as Genesis has two accounts of Creation. Coincidence? "From harmony, FROM heavenly harmony" introduces Primal Chaos first, and then Order: It's evident in the rhyme scheme, for instance. Apollo was not only god of Music (which was full of moral connotations for the Greeks), he was also god of Order; There is a horrifying and famous painting of him skinning alive an uppity flute-playing satyr who had dared to challenge him. (That's what Apollonians in universities commonly do to their Dionysian students.)

My shrink is a Hindu, and he says they also believe the universe was created through music.

Music and Poetry are mankind's response to the joy and horror of a moving world.

» Add a new comment.

« Return to the poem page.