Page images

If broken then, it is no fault of mine;
If by me broke, what fool is not so wise,
To lose an oath to win a paradise ?

On a day, (alack the day!)
Love, whose month is ever May,
Spied a blossom, passing fair,
Playing in the wanton air:
Through the velvet leaves the wind,
All unseen, 'gan passage find;
That the lover, sick to death,
Wish'd himself the heaven's breath.
Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow;
Air, would I might triumph so!
But, alack, my hand is sworn,
Ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn:
Vow, alack, for youth unmeet;
Youth so apt to pluck a sweet.
Do not call it sin in me,
That I am forsworn for thee:
Thou for whom even Jove would swear,
Juno but an Ethiop were;
And deny himself for Jove,
Turning mortal for thy love.


But love, first learned in a lady's eyes, Lives not alone immured in the brain; But with the motion of all elements, Courses as swift as thought in every power; And gives to every power a double power, Above their functions and their offices. It adds a precious seeing to the eye; A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind; A lover's ear will hear the lowest sound, When the suspicious head of theft is stopp'd; Love's feeling is more soft, and sensible, Than are the tender horns of cockled snails; Love's tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste: For valour, is not love a Hercules, Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?

Subtle as sphinx, as sweet and musical,
As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair:
And, when love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.
Never durst poet touch a pen to write,
Until bis ink were temper'd with love's sighs; -
0, then his lines would ravish savage ears,
And plant in tyrants mild humility.

From women's eyes this doctrine I derive;
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
They are the books, the arts, the academies,
That show, contain, and nourish all the world;
Else, none at all in aught proves excellent.



Your task shall be With all the fierce* endeavour of your wit, To enforce the pained impotent to smile. Biron. To move wild laughter in the throat of

death? It cannot be; it is impossible: Mirth cannot move a soul in agony.

Ros. Why, that's the way to choke a gibing spirit;
Whose influence is begot of that loose grace,
Which shallow laughing hearers give to fools:
A jest's prosperity lies in the ear
of him that hears it, never in the tongue
Of him that makes it.

Spring. When daisies pied, and violets blue,

And lady-smocks all silver-white,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue,

Do paint the meadows with delight,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men, for thus sings he, .


* Vehement.

Cuckoo, cuckoo,-0 word of fear,
Unpleasing to a married ear!

When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,

And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks,
When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,

And maidens bleach their summer smocks,
The cuckoo then, on every tree,
Mocks married men, for thus sings he,

Cuckoo, cuckoo,-0 word of fear,

Unpleasing to a married ear!
Winter. When icicles hang by the wall,

And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,

And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipp'd, and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,

Tu-whit, to-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel* the pot.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]


HEAVEN doth with us, as we with torches do; Not light them for themselves: for if our virtues * Cool

+ Wild apples.


Did not go forth of us,

'twere all alike
As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely touch'd,
But to fine Essues:* nor nature never lends
The smallest scruple of her excellence,
But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines
Herself the glory of a creditor,
Both thanks and use.

As surfeit is the father of much fast,
So every scope by the immoderate use
Turns to restraint: Our natures do pursue,
Like rats that ravint down their proper bane,)
thirsty evil; and when we drink, we die.

In her youth
There is a prones and speechless dialect,
Such as moves men; beside, she hath prosperous art
When she will play with reason and discourse,
And well she can persuade.

For we bid this be done,
When evil deeds have their permissive pass,
And not the punishment.

Lord Angelo is precise;
Stands at a guard|| with envy; scarce confesses
That his blood flows, or that his appetite
Is more to bread than stone; Hence shall we see,
If power change purpose, what our seemers be.


Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win,
By fearing to attempt.
* For high purposes.

+ Interest.
Voraciously devour

§ Prompt. I On his defence

THE PRAYERS OF MAIDENS EFFECTUAL. Go to lord Angelo, And let him learn to know, when maidens sue, Men give like gods; but when they weep and kneel, All their petitions are as freely theirs As they themselves would owe* them.



Let but your honour know,f (Whom I believe to be most strait in virtue,) That, in the working of your own affections, Had time coherd with place, or place with wishing, Or that the resolute acting of your blood Could have attained the effect of your own purpose, Whether you had not some time in your life Err’d in this point which now you censure him, And pull'd the law upon you. THE FAULTS OF OTHERS NO JUSTIFICATION OF

OUR OWN. "Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus, Another thing to fall. I not deny, The jury, passing on the prisoner's life, May, in the sworn twelve, have a thief or two Guiltier than him they try: What's open made to

justice, That justice seizes. What know the laws, That thieves do pass on thieves? 'Tis very preg

The jewel that we find, we stoop and take it,
Because we see it; but what we do not see,
We tread upon, and never think of it.

may not so extenuate his offence,
For I have had such faults; but rather tell me,
When I, that censure** him, do so offend,
Let mine own judgment pattern out my death,
And nothing come in partial,
* Have.
+ Examine.

#Suited. & Pass judgment. || Plain.

Because. ** Sentence.


« PreviousContinue »