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English Poetry I: From Chaucer to Gray.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Abraham Cowley

247. A Supplication

AWAKE, awake, my Lyre!

And tell thy silent master’s humble tale

In sounds that may prevail;

Sounds that gentle thoughts inspire:

Though so exalted she

And I so lowly be

Tell her, such different notes make all thy harmony.

Hark, how the strings awake:

And, though the moving hand approach not near,

Themselves with awful fear

A kind of numerous trembling make.

Now all thy forces try;

Now all thy charms apply;

Revenge upon her ear the conquests of her eye.

Weak Lyre! thy virtue sure

Is useless here, since thou art only found

To cure, but not to wound,

And she to wound, but not to cure.

Too weak too wilt thou prove

My passion to remove;

Physic to other ills, thou’rt nourishment to love.

Sleep, sleep again, my Lyre!

For thou canst never tell my humble tale

In sounds that will prevail,

Nor gentle thoughts in her inspire;

All thy vain mirth lay by,

Bid thy strings silent lie,

Sleep, sleep again, my Lyre, and let thy master die.