Sweet instrument of him for whom I mourn

First Line Sweet instrument of him for whom I mourn
Author Elizabeth Ann Linley Sheridan
Date 1785

Elegy [Music; Family].

Transcribed from Sheridan, Elizabeth Ann. "Mrs. Sheridan on her Brother's Violin." An asylum for fugitive pieces, in prose and verse, not in any other collection: with several pieces never before published, vol. 1, 1785, pp. 30–31. Eighteenth Century Collections Online, GALE|CW0111828442.



"Sweet instrument of him for whom I mourn,

"Tuneful companion of my Lycid's hours,

"How liest thou now, neglected and forlorn!

"What skillful hand shall now call forth thy pow'rs!


"Ah! none like his can reach those liquid notes,

"So soft, so sweet, so eloquently clear,

"To live beyond the touch, and greatly float

"In dying modulations on the ear!"


Thus o'er my Lycid's lyre as I complain'd,

And kiss'd the strings where he was wont to play,

While yet in pensive sadness I remain'd,

Methought it sigh'd, and sighing seem'd to say - 


"Ah! me, forlorn, forsaken, now no more

"Shall fame and just applause around me wait;

"No power my gentle Master can restore,

"And I, alas! will share his hapless fate.


"Fled is that spirit, chill'd that youthful fire,

"Which taught those strains with harmony replete,

"And cold that hand which only can inspire

"My senseless form to utter sounds so sweet.


"Those sounds melodious ne'er again shall please,

"No tuneful strain from me shall ever flow;

"Save o'er my trembling strings a sighing breeze,

"To call one sad, soft note of tender woe.


"Else, ah! for ever mute let me remain,

"Unstrung, untun'd, forgotten let me be;

"Guard me from curious eye, and touch prophane,

"And let me rest in mournful sympathy!


"One fate with thee, my dear Master, let me share;

"Like thee in silent darkness let me lie;

"My frame without thee is not worthy my care!

"With thee alone it liv'd, with thee shall die!"