- How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
- Here we will sit, and let the sounds of music
- Creep in our ears: soft stillness, and the night,
- Become the touches of sweet harmony.
- Sit, Jessica. Look how the floor of heaven
- Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold.
- There’s not the smallest orb which thou
- But in his motion like an angel sings,
- Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins.
- Such harmony is in immortal souls;
- But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay
- Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.
Ralph Vaughan Williams set a longer excerpt of this passage to music
for his “Serenade to Music,” composed in 1938 for Sir
Henry J. Wood to mark his fiftieth anniversary as a conductor. Listen
to this recording
of Vaughn Williams’ arrangement for sixteen voices.