Grocott & Ward, comps. Grocott’s Familiar Quotations, 6th ed. 189-?.


Music has charms to soothe a savage breast,
To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.
Congreve.—Mourning Bride, Act I. Scene 1.

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 spirits are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus:
Let no such man be trusted.
Shakespeare.—Merchant of Venice, Act V. Scene 1. (Lorenzo to Jessica.)

Of a sweet nature, goat-herd, is the murmuring of yon pine, which tunefully rustles by the fountains: and sweetly too do you play on the pipe.
Banks’ Theocritus, Idyll I. Verse 8.

In some still evening, when the whispering breeze
Pants on the leaves, and dies upon the trees.
Pope.—Pastoral IV. Lines 79, 80.

Thyrsis, the music of that murmuring spring
Is not so mournful as the strains you sing.
Pope.—Pastoral IV. Lines 1, 2; Banks, supra.

Sweeter, good shepherd, is thy melody, than yon resounding water pours down from the rock above.
Banks’ Theocritus, Idyll I. Verse 8.

Nor rivers winding through the vales below,
So sweetly warble, or so sweetly flow.
Pope.—Pastoral IV. Lines 3, 4.

If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again;—it had a dying fall:
O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour.
Shakespeare.—Twelfth Night, Act I. Scene 1.

Hanging upon her notes like a bee upon a Jessamine flower.
De Quincey.—“Walking Stewart” listening to Madam Mara singing; Vol. VIII. Page 1.

The murmur that springs
From the growing of grass.
Poe.—Al Aaraaf.

[Poe says he met with this idea in an old English tale which he was unable to obtain, and quoted from memory:—“The verie essence, and, as it were, springeheade and origine of all music, is the very pleasaunte sounde which the trees of the forest do make when they growe.”]

The streams with softest sound are flowing,
The grass you almost hear it growing,
You hear it now, if e’er you can.
Wordsworth.—The Idiot Boy, Vol. I. 214.

The breath of flowers is farre sweeter in the aire (where it comes and goes like the warbling of musick) than in the hand.
Lord Bacon.—Essay on Gardening.

There’s music in the sighing of a reed;
There’s music in the gushing of a rill;
There’s music in all things, if men had ears.
Byron.—Don Juan, Canto XV. Stanza 5.

O, pleasant is the welcome kiss
When day’s dull round is o’er;
And sweet the music of the step
That meets us at the door.
J. R. Drake.

There’s music in the dawning morn,
There’s music on the twilight cloud,
There’s music in the depth of night,
When the world is still and dim,
And the stars flame out in the pomp of light,
Like thrones of the cherubim!
Hone.—Everyday Book, Vol. I. Page 1142, Verse 9.

Music of the spheres.
Shakespeare.—Pericles, Act V. Scene 1.

The stormy music of the drum.
Campbell.—Pleasures of Hope.

Harmony in uproar.
Arbuthnot.—A Short Piece of Humour.

I hate that drum’s discordant sound,
Parading round, and round, and round.
John Scott.—Ode on hearing the Drum.

I was all ear,
And took in strains that might create a soul
Under the ribs of death.
Milton.—Comus, Scene 1, Line 560.

In notes by distance made more sweet.
Collins.—Ode on the Passions, Line 60.

Sweetest melodies,
Are those that are by distance made more sweet.

Where gripinge grefes the hart would wounde,
And dolefulle dumps the mynd oppresse,
There musicke with her silver-sound
With spede is wont to send redress:
Of troubled mynds, in every sore,
Swete musicke hath a salve in store.
Richard Edwards.—1 Percy Reliques, Book II. Page 199.

When Music, heavenly maid, was young,
While yet in early Greece she sung,
The Passions oft, to hear her shell,
Thronged around her magic cell.
Collins.—Ode on the Passions.