Page images

a composer can never judge where to lay the accent of his mufic, who does not know, or is not made fenfible, where the words have the greatest beauty and force.

There is one thing in compofitions of this fort, which feems a little to want explaining, and that is the Recitative Music, which many people hear without pleasure, the reafon of which is, perhaps, that they have a mistaken notion of it. They are accustomed to think that all Music fhould be Air; and being disappointed of what they expect, they lofe the beauty that is in it of a different kind. It may be proper to obferve therefore, that the Recitative style in compofition is founded on that variety of accent which pleafes in the pronunciation of a good orator, with as little deviation from it as poffible. The different tones of the voice, in astonishment, joy, forrow, rage, tenderness, in affirmations, apoftrophes, interrogations, and all the varieties of speech, make a fort of natural Music, which is very agreeable; and this is what is intended to be imitated, with fome helps by the compofer, but without approaching to what we call a Tune or Air; fo that it is but a kind of improved elocution or pronouncing the words in mufical cadences, and is indeed wholly at the mercy of the performer to make it agreeable or not, according to his skill or ignorance, like the reading of verse, which is not every one's talent. This fort account may poffibly fuffice to fhew how properly the recitative has a place in compofitions of any length, to relieve the


ear with a variety, and to introduce the Airs with the greater advantage.

As to Mr. Pepufch's fuccefs in these compofitions, I am not at liberty to say any more than that he has, I think, very naturally expreffed the sense of the words. He is defirous the publick should be informed that they are not only the first he has attempted in English, but the first of any of his works published by himself; and as he wholly fubmits them to the judgment of the lovers of this art, it will be a pleasure to him to find that his endeavours to promote the compofing of Mufic in the English language, after a new model, are favourably accepted.

[blocks in formation]






HEN Beauty's goddess from the ocean sprung,
Afcending, o'er the waves the caft a finile

On fair Britannia's happy isle,

And rais'd her tuneful voice, and thus she fung.


Hail Britannia! hail to thee,

Faireft island of the fea!

Thou my favourite land fhalt be.
Cyprus too fhall own my fway,
And dedicate to me its groves;

Yet Venus and her train of loves

Will with happier Britain stay.
Hail Britannia! hail to thee,

Faireft ifland of the fea!

Thou my favourite land fhalt be.


Britannia heard the notes diffufing wide,

And faw the power whom gods and men adore

Approaching nearer with the tide,

And in a rapture loudly cry'd,

O welcome! welcome to my hore !





Lovely Ille! fo richly bleft!

Beauty's palm is thine confest.

Thy daughters all the world outshine,
Nor Venus felf is fo divine.
Lovely ifle! fo richly bleft!

Beauty's palm is thine confeft.








SEE,-from the filent grove Alexis flies,

And feeks with every pleafing art

To ease the pain, which lovely eyes
Created in his heart.

To fhining theatres he now repairs,

To learn Camilla's moving airs,


Where thus to Mufic's power the fwain addrefs'd his prayers.


Charming founds! that fweetly languish,

Mulic, O compofe my anguish !

Every paffion yields to thee:
Phoebus, quickly then relieve me;
Cupid fhall no more deceive me;
I'll to fprightlier joys be free.


[blocks in formation]


Apollo heard the foolish fwain;
He knew, when Daphne once he lov'd,
How weak, t' affwage an amorous pain,
His own harmonious art had prov'd,
And all his healing herbs how vain.
Then thus he strikes the speaking strings,
Preluding to his voice, and fings.


Sounds, though charming, can't relieve thee

Do not, fhepherd, then deceive thee,

Mufic is the voice of Love.

If the tender maid believe thee,
Soft relenting,

Kind confenting,

Will alone thy pain remove.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »