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Shvoong Home>Books>Poetry>Review on “a Song for Saint Cecilia Day” by John Dryden Review

Review on “a Song for Saint Cecilia Day” by John Dryden

Book Review   by:akso6o175     Original Author: Andy Kester Sawian
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St. Cecilia, a Christian martyr of the third century was the patron saint of music. Dryden wrote this ode to celebrate St. Cecilia’s Day viz November, 22, an annual festival organized by a London Musical Society. The Universal Frame began from Heavenly Harmony when Nature lay beneath a heap of jarring atoms. The tuneful voice was heard from high above and could not heave her head. All those who are spiritually dead are to arise; the cold, hot, moist and dry; the qualities of the four elements, according to the ancient and medieval natural philosophy; and witness the music’s power obey when their stations leap. From Harmony to Harmony the Universal Frame began and ran through all the compass of the notes of the diapason closing full in man.
Every passion can raise and quell music when Jubal; mentioned in The Old Testament of The Bible in Genesis 4:21 as the “Father of all such as handle the harp and organ”; struck the chorded shell while his listening brethren stood around wondering and on their faces fell to worship that celestial sound. Within the hollow of that shell, they thought there could not dwell anyone lesser than a god who spoke so softly and so well. The loud clangour of the trumpet excited them to arms with their shrill notes of anger and mortal alarms. The double beat of the thundering drum declared that their foes had come to charged forward for it was too late to retreat. In dying notes the soft complaining flute discovers the woes of hopeless lovers whose dirge is whispered by the warbling lute. The sharp violins proclaim their jealous pangs and desperation, fury, frantic indignation, depths of pain and heights of passion for fair disdainful Dame.
The kind of art that teaches and human voice that reaches the sacred organs praise that is filled with notes of inspiring holy love and wings their heavenly ways to mend the choir above. Orpheus, in Greek mythology was a Thracian poet and musician whose lyre could charm beasts and move rocks and trees. However, the bright Cecilia raised the wonder even higher when she gave her organ vocal breath; an angel heard the tune and straight away appeared before her, mistaking Earth for Heaven. The grand chorus of this song states that from the powers of sacred lays, according to ancient belief, the stars created music as they revolved in their spheres. They sang praises to the Great Creator and to all His blessed ones above. So when the last and dreadful hour come to pass, this crumbling pageant shall devour, the trumpet shall be heard on high, the dead shall rise up from the grave, the living shall die and the music shall untune the sky.

Published: September 24, 2010   
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  1. Answer   Question  :    what's the main figurative language in this poem ?? View All
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