To Mr. H. Lawes, On His Airs

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Harry, whose tuneful and well-measured song
 First taught our English music how to span
 Words with just note and accent, not to scan
 With Midas’ ears, committing short and long,
Thy worth and skill exempts thee from the throng,
 With praise enough for Envy to look wan;
 To after-age thou shalt be writ the man
 That with smooth air couldst humor best our tongue.
Thou honor’st Verse, and Verse must lend her wing
 To honor thee, the priest of Phœbus’ choir,
 That tun’st their happiest lines in hymn or story.
Dante shall give Fame leave to set thee higher
 Than his Casella, whom he wooed to sing,
 Met in the milder shades of Purgatory.

© Patrick Kavanagh