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Edmund Waller

(3 March 1606 – 21 October 1687 / Coleshill / Buckinghamshire / England)

Of My Lady Isabella Playing on the Lute


Such moving sounds from such a careless touch,
So unconcerned herself, and we so much!
What art is this, that with so little pains
Transports us thus, and o'er the spirit reigns?
The trembling strings about her fingers crowd
And tell their joy for every kiss aloud.
Small force there needs to make them tremble so;
Touched by that hand, who would not tremble too?
Here love takes stand, and while she charms the ear,
Empties his quiver on the listening deer:
Music so softens and disarms the mind
That not an arrow does resistance find.
Thus the fair tyrant celebrates the prize,
And acts herself the the triumph of her eyes.
So Nero once with harp in hand surveyed
His flaming Rome, and as it burned he played.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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