Page 1

A Mesostic on Thomas Campion’s “ The Lords’ Masque ” by Paul Paccione (1991)

“A Mesostic on Thomas Campion’s The Lords’ Masque ” by Paul Paccione (1991)

A mesostic is a formal poetic technique that was used extensively by the experimental composer John Cage. Similar to the acrostic, the mesostic is a poem that is generated using a central word or phrase to select and arrange fragments of text from a preexisting text. In both poetic forms a vertical phrase intersects lines of horizontal text and runs down the length of the poem. In the acrostic, the vertical phrase runs down the beginning of each new line of the poem, while in the mesostic the vertical phrase runs down and intersects the middle of each new line of the poem. The text to Renaissance poet and composer Thomas Campion’s “The Lords’ Masque” (first performed in 1613) served as the source text for the following mesostic. The poet’s name, Thomas Campion, serves as the central phrase. The poem (or portions of the poem) may be read aloud at various intervals (chosen by the narrator) during a performance of Paul Paccione’s “A Masque for Dancing” (2001), for dancers and fixed stereo electronic media.


genTly fortH; what pOwerful noise iMportunes me t'Abandon darkneSse

whiCh hAnd Must aPproach wIll Of jove, eyes caN see

arT encHanter Orpheus. thy doMinions rAve bloudS distemper

Cellestiall rApture coMmands thy Power straIt tO set how caN I?

disTurbe wHat pOwer Musick


to Any forme joveS will

musiCke chAnges calMe sounds, Passe wIth thy fOr them aloNe

DivinesT orpHeus, wOndrous sweetnesse! aM I free? Affliction vaniSht?

senCeless celestiAll rage that seeMs most light, Pallate sIck Of prisoN'd spright

obTaine Her fiery scOpe againe: here by Me creAte inventionS rare, suCh As becoMe a nuPtiall


I see prOmetheus staNd

lighTs wHich stOle enflaMe plAine majeStie

suCh As Might orPheus gIve and discOver yoN hid

beauTie may appeare. tHy gOlden theft, proMetheus All thy lightS Come quickly, stArs to our stars faire daMes aPpeare; lovIng O they shiNe; is yeT divine, tHeir beames apprOach theM so


by nAtures Sights

desCend full of grAce! Mankinde, Powerful and bounteous, rIch prOmetheus solempNize

these royal nupTials witH admiratiOn froM thy hAnd wonderS flow tonight

beCome sublunArs; their forMes aPply thy musIck a cOurtly miracle. souNd

besT of musicks, raise yet Higher Our sprights adMire dAncing lightS night Concludes move Againe yet nearer Move exPresse


ayrIe bOwres iN showres

dainTie cHeare. tO here coMmend Awhile, fiery Sprits,

Clouds descend leAd down transforMed fires, this nuPtiall nIght sO faire loNg since

dids'T forge Heav'nly fire, by jOve transforMed to stAtues entheuS thy Councels Are divine thy hyMne, Pray brIght thy pOwer iN sTatues Have life new-bOrne Men,


entertAine theSe new-borne women

Court them fAire: Musicke speake, beautie most resPected faIre mOre skaNt

suiTe witH lOve words can Move thAt Strange beauties

onCe more And with a hyMne imPlore raIse Once more iN

jusT measures meet tHe number's nOw coMplete no mAn needS fear musiCke emptie spAce whoM Pleasure breed,


for choIce taken Or left None

disconTent tHy frOlicke-faire coMes And aS

with musiCke shAll faMe, sPlendet egregIum MediO digNus

capiTe pulcHra pulchrO nuMinis! pAtrem parenS rober britanniCum: pAr aMor Pax favebIt adiutOr deus vocibus Nec monumenTum traHit sacratur jOvi such Melodie,


grAce where orpheuS is,

musiCke dAnce, dance changed forMes imPloy. loftie wIng, sO flie, turNe

naTure's sHin'd sO late still Mount And Still

musiCke hAppy daies froM gold: aPproach yet nearer, brIde and bridegrOome whereiN

which Time hatH brOught: SponsuM non hAec unica beatiS multipliCi pArique aMore Peace


love gIve yOu iNcrease,

posTeritie tHe garden flOwers, warMe showres, never cAn be Said to

suCh; but night doth wAst and hyMen chides Prevent the nIght Of her approachiNg day;

call away......


Profile for Paul Paccione

A Mesostic on Thomas Campion's "The Lords' Masque" (1991)  

By Paul Paccione

A Mesostic on Thomas Campion's "The Lords' Masque" (1991)  

By Paul Paccione