If This Music Be
If this music be the food of love, chaste I'll be;
Give me none of it, that, fasting,
Neither corpus sicken, nor mind die.
That strain again! it has a soul's pall:
O, it came o'er my ear like the dischord
Of man's vistigial talons full scrape on a blackboard,
Stealing fragrance and giving ordure! Enough; no more:
'Tis a fell suite that my self doth abhore
O what nature this love? diminished art thou,
denuded of melody, robbed of harmony: a solitary rythm
That, notwithstanding an infinity of frequency
Each rendition as the one before,
Of what validity can such be what so e'er,
But to beget attenuated cognition
Where sweet inspiration is relieved
by a hammer's beat:
Four hundred and forty divided by twelve
Is a shady path to a dark land,
Where dark resonance spawns dark deeds.
Confusing and giving rancour! free will; no more:
'Tis not an option now as it was before.
O rythm of control! how sharp and clean art thou,
With full flush of harmonics to stimulate and regulate
each organ, each system: to activate, attenuate
That notwithstanding base capacity or wavelength
To master the mind of man to succumb to thy bidding.
Even in an instant: so full of fancy is mind
That it alone is high fantastical.
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons,
stratagems, and spoils;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.