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A thousand trills and quivering sounds
In airy circles o'er us fly,
Till, wafted by a gentle breeze,
They faint and languish by degrees,
And at a distance die.
- Joseph Addison,
An Ode for St. Cecelia's Day (VI)
A noise like of a hidden brook
In the leafy month of June,
That to the sleeping woods all night
Singeth a quiet tune.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
The Ancient Mariner (pt. V, st. 18)
By magic numbers and persuasive sound.
- William Congreve, Mourning Bride
(act I, sc. 1)
I hear a sound so fine there's nothing lives
'Twixt it and silence.
- James Sheridan Knowles, Virginius
(act V, sc. 2)
Parent of sweetest sounds, yet mute forever.
- Thomas Babington Macaulay, Enigma
(last line), "Cut off my head, etc."
And filled the air with barbarous dissonance.
- John Milton, Comus (l. 550)
Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds,
At which the universal host up sent
A shout that tore hell's concave, and beyond
Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night.
- John Milton, Paradise Lost (bk. I, l. 540)
Their rising all at once was as the sound
Of thunder heard remote.
- John Milton, Paradise Lost
(bk. II, l. 476)
To all proportioned terms he must dispense
And make the sound a picture of the sense.
- Christopher Pitt,
Translation of Vida's Art of Poetry
That stealeth ever on the ear of him
Who, musing, gazeth on the distance dim,
And sees the darkness coming as a cloud--
Is not its form--its voice--most palpable and loud?
- Edgar Allan Poe
The murmur that springs
From the growing of grass.
- Edgar Allan Poe, Al Aaraaf
(pt. II, l. 124)
The sound must seem an echo to the sense.
- Alexander Pope, Essay on Criticism
What's the business,
That such a hideous trumpet calls to parley
The sleepers of the house? Speak, speak!
- William Shakespeare, Macbeth
(Lady Macbeth at II, iii)
I did never know so full a voice issue from so empty a heart; but the saying is true, 'The empty vessel makes the greatest sound.'
- William Shakespeare,
The Life of King Henry the Fifth
(Boy at IV, v)
Sweet is every sound,
Sweeter thy voice, but every sound is sweet;
Myriads of rivulets hurrying through the lawn,
The moan of doves in immemorial elms,
And murmuring of innumerable bees.
- Lord Alfred Tennyson
Hark! from the tombs a doleful sound.
- Isaac Watts,
Hymns and Spiritual Songs--Funeral Thoughts
(bk. II, vol. IX, hymn 63)
How deep is the magic of sound may be learned by breaking some sweet verses into prose. The operation has been compared to gathering dew-drops, which shine like jewels upon the flower, but run into water in the hand. The elements remain, but the sparkle is gone.
- Robert Aris Willmott
My eyes are dim with childish tears,
My heart is idly stirred,
For the same sound is in my ears
Which in those days I heard.
- William Wordsworth, The Fountain