Alexander's Feast: Or, The Power Of Music Quotes

John Dryden

"Fallen From His High Estate"

Context: At a feast after Alexander the Great's conquest of Persia, Timo-theus, a musician, plays upon the conqueror's emotions, demonstrating the power of music to lead and control human feelings. The music charms Alexander in many ways. At one point the music is of the joys of wine and feasting, and then Alexander quietly reminisces over the battles he has fought. But he becomes excited in telling how he routed his enemies and slew his opponents. Timotheus, to quiet the monarch's emotions, turns to mournful music and sings of the defeated Persian king, Darius, and the pity of the fall of a warrior and a king:

He sung Darius great and good,
By too severe a fate,
Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,
Fallen from his high estate,
And welt'ring in his blood:
Deserted, at his utmost need
By those his former bounty fed. . . .