Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Happy Birthday dear John...


Milton's 400th Birthday today... So many wonderful words (though I found him very hard going as an undergraduate - and still don't enjoy reading Paradise Lost in its entirety)...such a strong influence on English literature and thought....and on music too. Hard to choose what to post to celebrate today - (but despite the age old choristers' pun that transforms this into "Best pair of nylons") this wins hands down. It's just fantastic - so visual...and such marvellous music too...
I love it.

AT A SOLEMN MUSIC
BLEST pair of Sirens, pledges of Heav'ns joy,
Sphear-born harmonious Sisters, Voice, and Vers,
Wed your divine sounds, and mixt power employ
Dead things with inbreath'd sense able to pierce,
And to our high-rais'd phantasie present,
That undisturb├Ęd Song of pure content,
Ay sung before the saphire-colour'd throne

To him that sits theron

With Saintly shout, and solemn Jubily,

Where the bright Seraphim in burning row

Their loud up-lifted Angel trumpets blow,
And the Cherubick host in thousand quires
Touch their immortal Harps of golden wires,

With those just Spirits that wear victorious Palms,
Hymns devout and holy Psalms

Singing everlastingly;
That we on Earth with undiscording voice

May rightly answer that melodious noise;

As once we did, till disproportion'd sin
Jarr'd against natures chime, and with harsh din

Broke the fair musick that all creatures made
To their great Lord, whose love their motion sway'd

In perfect Diapason, whilst they stood
In first obedience, and their state of good.

O may we soon again renew that Song,

And keep in tune with Heav'n, till God ere long
To his celestial consort us unite,
To live with him, and sing in endles morn of light.




1 comment:

Crimson Rambler said...

THERE WAS NONE LIKE HIM, NONE, NOT EVER!
I was blessed NOT to encounter him until I was a graduate student...and indeed, wound up "dissertating" on him at great length eventually.
I had forgotten this was his birthday, bless you for the reminder!
I shall go and re-read the "Nativity Ode". I wrote a paper, back in the glory days, conclusively proving that it is all about the nature of time...