Choose ye the mildly breathing flute,
The mellow horn, the loving lute,
The viol ye must not forget,
And take the sprightly flageolet,
And grave bassoon; choose too the fife,
Whose warblings in the tuneful strife,
Mingling in myst’ry with the words,
May seem like notes of blithest birds.
Are ye prepared ? now lightly tread,
As if by elfin minstrels led,
And fling no sound upon the air,
Shall rudely wake my slumb'ring fair.
Softly! Now breathe the symphony;
So gently breathe, the tones may vie
In softness with the magic notes
In visions heard; music that floats
So buoyant, that it well may seem,
With strains ethereal in her dream,
One song of such mysterious birth,
She doubts it comes from heaven or earth.
Play on! my loved one slumbers still.
Play on! she wakes not with the thrill
Of joy produced by strains so mild;
But fancy moulds them gay and wild :
Now, as the music low declines,
'Tis sighing of the forest pines,
Or 'tis the fitful varied roar
Of distant falls or troubled shore.
Now as the tone grows full, or sharp,
'Tis whisp'ring of th'Eolian harp.