Awake, thou Spring
Awake, thou spring of speaking grace, mute rest becomes not thee!
The fairest women, while they sleep, and pictures, equal be.
O come and dwell in love's discourses,
Old renewing, new creating.
The words which thy rich tongue discourses,
Are not of the common rating!
Thy voice is as an Echo clear, which Music doth beget,
Thy speech is as an Oracle, which none can counterfeit:
For thou alone, without offending,
Hast obtained power of enchanting;
And I could hear thee without ending,
Other comfort never wanting.
Some little reason brutish lives with human glory share;
But language is our proper grace, from which they sever'd are.
As brutes in reason man surpasses,
Men in speech excell each other:
If speech be then the best of graces,
Do it not in slumber smother!
Thomas Campion (1567-1620)
from The Third and Fourth Book of Ayres, 1617
[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]
Thomas Campion biography