Meditation and Poetics – (Christopher Smart – 2)

Angelic Musicians  – from Agnolo Gaddi

Allen continues his readings from Christopher Smart

“Of Spiritual Music”

For the spiritual musick is as follows.
For there is the thunder-stop, which is the voice of God direct.
For the rest of the stops are by their rhimes.
For the trumpet rhimes are sounds, bounds, soar, more, and the like
For the Shawm rhimes are lawn fawn moon boon and the like
For the harp rhimes are sing, ring, string, and the like.
For the flute rhimes are tooth, youth, sooth, mute, and the like.
For the clarinet rhimes are clean, seen, and the like.
For the bassoon rhimes are pass, class, and the like
God be gracious to Baumgarten
For the dulcimer are rather van, fan, and the like and grace place, etc. are of the bassoon.
For the beat, heat, weep, peep, etc. are of the pipe.
For every word has its marrow in the English tongue for order and for delight.
For the dissyllables such as able, table, etc. are the fiddle rhimes.
For all dissyllables and some trisyllables are fiddle rhymes.
For the relations of words is in pairs first.
For the relations of words are sometimes in oppositions.
For the relations of words are according to their distances from the pair.

Angel Playing The Harp – Italian School, (18th Century)

“Of The Harp”

For God the Father Almighty play upon the harp of stupendous magnitude and melody.

For innumerable angels fly out at every touch and his tune is a work of creation.
For at that time malignity ceases and the devils themselves are at peace.
For that time is perceptible to man by a remarkable stillness and serenity of soul.
For the story of Orpheus is of the truth.
For there was such a person, a cunning player on the harp.
For he was a believer in the true God and assisted in the spirit.
For he played upon the harp in the spirit by breathing upon the strings
For this will affect every thing that is sustained by the spirit, even every thing in nature.



“Of Colors”

For Newton’s notion of colors is unphilosophical.
For colors are spiritual.
For white is the first and the best.
For there are many intermediate colors before you come to silver
For the next color is a lively grey.
For the next color is blue.
For the next color is green, of which there are ten thousand distinct sorts.
For the next is yellow, which is more excellent than red, though Newton makes red the prime.
God be gracious to John Delap.
For red is the next working round the orange.
For red is of sundry sorts, til it deepens to black.
For black blooms, and it is purple.
For purple works off to brown, which is of ten thousand acceptable shades.
For the next is pale.
God be gracious to William Whitehead.
For pale works about to white again.
Now that color is spiritual appears in as much as the blessing of God upon all things descends in color.
For the blessing in health upon the human face is color.
For the blessing of God upon purity is in the Virgin’s blushes.
For the blessing of God in color is on him that keeps his virgin.
For I saw a blush in Staindrop Church, which is of God’s own coloring.
For it was the benevolence of a virgin shown to me before the whole congregation.
For the blessing of God upon the grass is in shades of green visible to a nice observer as they light upon the surface of the earth.
For the blessing of God on the perfection is in all bloom and fruit by coloring.
For from whence something in the spirit may be taken off by the painters.
For painting is a species of idolatry, though not so gross as statuary.
For it is not good to look with learning upon any dead work.
For by doing so something is lost in the spirit and given from life to death.

[Audio for the above can be heard here beginning at approximately fifty-two-and-a-half minutes in and concluding at approximately  fifty-six-and-three-quarter minutes in]

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