Music to hear, why hear’st thou music sadly?
Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy.
Why lovest thou that which thou receivest not gladly,
Or else receivest with pleasure thine annoy?
If the true concord of well-tuned sounds,
By unions married, do offend thine ear,
They do but sweetly chide thee, who confounds
In singleness the parts that thou shouldst bear.
Mark how one string, sweet husband to another,
Strikes each in each by mutual ordering,
Resembling sire and child and happy mother
Who all in one, one pleasing note do sing:
Whose speechless song, being many, seeming one,
Sings this to thee: ‘thou single wilt prove none.’
The theme of the youth’s failure to marry and to have children is continued. A lesson is drawn from his apparent sadness in listening to music. Music itself is concord and harmony, similar to that which reigns in the happy household of father, child and mother, as if they were separate strings in music which reverberate mutually. The young man is made sad by this harmony because he does not submit to it. In effect it admonishes him, telling him that, in dedicating himself to a single life he makes himself worthless, a nonentity, a nothingness.