As where heaven its dews shall shed
On the martyred patriot's bed,
And the rocks shall raise their head

Of his deeds to tell !

The Ode to the Passions, by William Collins, an English poet of the last century, gives a variety of illustrations in vocal expression.

First is the introduction, requiring pure quality, median stress, medium pitch, moderate speed, and a degree of force higher than moderate. Let special care be given to inflections and emphases :


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;
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting,
Possessed beyond the Muse's painting;
By turns they felt the glowing mind
Disturbed, delighted, raised, refined;

once, ’t is said, when all were fired,
Filled with fury, rapt, inspired,
From the supporting myrtles round,
They snatched her instruments of sound;
And, as they oft had heard apart
Sweet lessons of her forceful art,
Each, for Madness ruled the hour,
Would prove his own expressive power.


Fear requires for its expression very impure quality, almost a whisper, radical stress, and intense force. The impurity of the tones, however, will not allow of much loudness, in the usual sense of that word:

First FEAR his hand its skill to try,
Amid the chords bewildered laid;
And back recoiled, he knew not why,
E'en at the sound himself had made.


Anger requires the most abrupt radical stress, with impure quality, rapid utterance, high pitch, short pauses, and the loudest force :

Next ANGER rushed; his eyes on fire,
In lightnings owned his secret stings;
In one rude clash he struck the lyre,
And swept with hurried hand the strings.

IV. Despair requires very low pitch, slow speed, long pauses, quality less impure than in fear :

With woeful measures wan DESPAIR-
Low, sullen sounds his grief beguiled;
A solemn, strange, and mingled air;
’T was sad by fits, by starts ’t was wild.


In hope the pitch becomes high, the quality perfectly pure and clear, the speed rapid, the pauses short, and the voice dances along the lines. Remember the principles in reference to inflections and emphasis :


But thou, O HOPE! with eyes so fair,
What was thy delighted measure ?

Still it whispered promised pleasure,
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail.

Still would her touch the strain prolong;
And from the rocks, the woods, the vale,

She called on Echo still through all the song;

And, where her sweetest theme she chose, A soft, responsive voice was heard at every close; And HOPE, enchanted, smiled, and waved her golden hair.


Revenge employs the abrupt vanishing stress, a somewhat impure quality, strongly marked emphases and inflections, with intense force, and rapid utterance. Pity demands soft tones with high pitch:

And longer had she sung; but, with a frown,

REVENGE impatient rose :
He threw his blood-stained sword in thunder down,

And, with a withering look,
The war-denouncing trumpet took,

And blew a blast so loud and dread,
Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of woe;

And ever and anon he beat

The doubling drum with furious heat;
And, though sometimes, each dreary pause between,

Dejected Pity at his side

Her soul-subduing voice applied, Yet still he kept his wild, unaltered mien, While each strained ball of sight seemed bursting from his



Love is expressed in soft tones, high pitch, pure quality, smooth median stress; hate, by an abrupt vanishing stress, impure quality, intense force :

Thy numbers, JEALOUSY, to nought were fixed;

Sad proof of thy distressful state; Of differing themes the veering song was mixed, And now it courted Love, now raving called on HATE.


The next stanza requires soft tones, smooth median stress, vowel sounds prolonged, pure quality :

With eyes upraised, as one inspired,
Pale MELANCHOLY sat retired,
And, from her wild, sequestered seat,

In notes by distance made more sweet,
Poured through the mellow horn her pensive soul;

And, dashing soft from rocks around,

Bubbling runnels joined the sound;
Thiough glades and glooms the mingled measure stole:

Or o'er some haunted stream with fond delay,
Round a holy calm diffusing,
Love of peace and lonely musing,
In hollow murmurs died away.


Cheerfulness is characterized by an expression not unlike that used in hope, except that the speed seems a little more rapid :

But, oh! how altered was its sprightlier tone,
When CHEERFULNESS, a nymph of healthiest hue,

Her bow across her shoulder flung,

Her buskins gemmed with morning dew,
Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket rung,

The hunter's call, to Faun and Dryad known;
The oak-crowned sisters, and their chaste-eyed queen,

Satyrs and sylvan boys, were seen
Peeping from forth their alleys green;

Brown EXERCISE rejoiced to hear,
And SPORT leaped up, and seized his beechen spear.

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Joy requires the intensifying of the characteristics of cheerfulness. Also a lengthening of the emphatic vowels :

Last came Joy's ecstatic trial :

He, with viny crown advancing,
First to the lively pipe his hand addressed;
But soon he saw the brisk, awakening viol,
Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the best.

They would have thought, who heard the strain,
They saw, in Tempe's vale, her native maids,

Amidst the festal-sounding shades,

To some unwearied minstrel dancing: While, as his flying fingers kissed the strings,

LOVE framed with Mirth a gay fantastic round-
Loose were her tresses seen, her zone unbound:

And he, amidst his frolic play,
As if he would the charming air repay,
Shook thousand odors from his dewy wings.


Repeat here the directicns for the first stanza, and apply them to the eleventh and twelfth stanzas :

O Music! sphere-descended maid,
Friend of PLEASURE, WISDOM's aid,
Why, goddess ! why, to us denied,
Lay'st thou thy ancient lyre aside ?
As in that loved Athenian bower,
You learned an all-commanding power,
Thy mimic soul, O Nymph endeared,
Can well recall what then it heard.
Where is thy native simple heart,
Devote to virtue, fancy, art?

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