Imágenes de páginas

I hate not love, but your device in love,
That lends embracements unto every stranger.

You do it for increase ; 0, strange excuse,
When reason is the bawd to lust's abuse !

Her heavy anthem still concludes in “Woe,” And still the choir of echoes answer so.

[ocr errors]

“ Call it not love, for Love to heaven is fled, Since sweating Lust on earth usurp'd his name; Under whose simple semblance he hath fed Upon fresh beauty, blotting it with blame;

Which the hot tyrant stains and soon bereaves,

As caterpillars do the tender leaves.
“ Love comforteth like sunshine after rain,
But Lust's effect is tempest after sun ;
Love's gentle spring doth always fresh remain,
Lust's winter comes ere summer half be done.

Lore surfeits not; Lust like a glutton dies :

Love is all truth; Lust full of forged lies.
“ More I could tell, but more I dare not say ;
The text is old, the orator too green :
Therefore, in sadness, now I will away ;
My face is full of shame, my heart of teen ; *
Mine ears that to your wanton talk attended

Do burn themselves for baving so offended.” With this, he breaketh from the sweet embrace Of those fair arms which bound him to her breast, And homeward through the dark laundb runs apace; Leaves Love upon her back deeply distress’d.

Look, how a bright star shooteth from the sky,

So glides he in the night from Venus' eye ; Which after him she darts, as one on shore Gazing upon a late-embarked friend, Till the wild waves will have him seen no more, Whose ridges with the meeting clouds contend;

So did the merciless and pitchy night

Fold in the object that did feed her sight. Whereat amaz'd, as one that unaware Hath dropp'd a precious jewel in the flood, Or 'stonish'd as night-wanderers often are, Their light blown out in some mistrustful wood;

Even so confounded in the dark she lay,

Having lost the fair discovery of her way. And now she beats her heart, whereat it groans, That all the neighbour-caves, as seeming troubled, Make verbal repetition of her moans ; Passion on passion deeply is redoubled :

“ Ah me!” she cries, and twenty times, “Woe,

Her song was tedious, and outwore the night,
For lovers' hours are long, though seeming short:
If pleas'd themselves, others, they think, delight
In such-like circumstance, with such-like sport:

Their copious stories, oftentimes begun,

End without audience, and are never done. For who hath she to spend the night withal, But idle, sounds-resembling, parasites ; o Like shrill-tongued tapsters answering every call, Soothing the humour of fantastic wits?

She says, “'T is so :” they answer all,“ 'T is so ;"

And would say after her, if she said "No." Lo, here the gentle lark, weary of rest, From his moist cabinet mounts up on high, And wakes the morning, from whose silver breast The sun ariseth in his majesty;

Who doth the world so gloriously behold,

That cedar-tops and hills seem burnish'd gold. Venus salutes him with this fair Good-morrow :“O, thou clear god, and patron of all light, From whom each lamp and shining stardoth borrow The beauteous influence that makes him bright,

There lives a son, that suck'd an earthly mother,

May lend thee light, as thou dost lend to other."
This said, she hasteth to a myrtle grove,
Musing the morning is so much o'erworn,
And yet she hears no tidings of her love :
She hearkens for his hounds and for his horn :

Anon she hears them chant it lustily,
And all in haste she coasteth d to the cry.

And as she runs, the bushes in the way
Some catch her by the neck, some kiss her face,
Some twin'd about her thigh to make her stay;
She wildly breaketh from their strict embrace,

Like a milch doe, whose swelling dugs do ache,

Hasting to feed her fawn hid in some brake.
By this, she hears the hounds are at a bay;
Whereat she starts, like one that spies an adder
Wreath'd up in fatal folds just in his way,
The fear whereof doth make him shake and shudder;

Even so the timorous yelping of the hounds
Appals her

senses, and her spirito confounds.
For now she knows it is no gentle chase,
But the blunt boar, rough bear, or lion proud,
Because the cry remaineth in one place,
Where fearfully the dogs exclaim aloud :

Finding their enemy to be so curst,
They all strain court'sy 8 who shall cope him


And twenty echoes twenty times cry so. She, marking them, begins a wailing note, And sings extemp'rally a woeful ditty ; How love makes young men thrall, and old men How love is wise in folly, foolish-witty :



[ocr errors]


- teen ;] “Teen," is grief, sorrow.

laund-) Laund and lawn were synonymous formerly. < But idle, sounds-resembling, parasites;] This line has always hitherto been printed,

“ But id sounds resembling parasites :" Yet surely Shakespeare, more suo, wrote,—"sounds-resembling." d - coasteth - ) Advanceth.

- spirit-) Here, as mostly in old verse, "spirit" must be pronounced sprite.

f - curst,-) Fierce, irascible.

& They all strain court'sy-] When any one hesitated to take the post of honour in a perilous undertaking, he was sarcastically said to strain courtesy. Turberville applies the expression to dogs, as Shakespeare does :-—"for many hounds will strain courlesie at this chace."

[ocr errors]

This dismal cry rings sadly in her ear,
Through which it enters to surprise her heart;
Who, overcome by doubt and bloodless fear,
With cold-pale weakness numbs each feeling part:
Like soldiers, when their captain once doth

They basely fly, and dare not stay the field.
Thus stands she in a trembling ecstasy;
Till, cheering up her senses all-dismay'd, a
She tells them 't is a causeless fantasy,
And childish error, that they are afraid ;

Bids them leave quaking, bids them fear no
And with that word she spied the hunted

more :



“ If he be dead,-0, no, it cannot be,
Seeing his beauty, thou shouldst strike at it!
O yes, it may ! thou hast no eyes to see,
But hatefully at random dost thou hit:

Thy mark is feeble age ; but thy false dart

Mistakes that aim, and cleaves an infant's heart. “Hadst thou but bid beware, then he had spoke, And hearing him, thy power had lost his power. The Destinies will curse thee for this stroke; They bid thee crop a weed, thou pluck'st a flower :

Love's golden arrow at him should have fled,

And not Death's ebon dart, to strike him dead. “Dost thou drink tears, that thou provok'st such

weeping ?
What may a heavy groan advantage thee?
Why hast thou cast into eternal sleeping
Those eyes that taught all other eyes to see ?

Now Nature cares not for thy mortal vigour,

Since her best work is ruin'd with thy rigour.” Here overcome, as one full of despair, She vail'd her eyelids, who, like sluices, stopp'd The crystal tide that from her two cheeks fair In the sweet channel of her bosom dropp'd ; But through the flood-gates breaks the silver

rain, And with his strong course opens them again. O, how her eyes and tears did lend and borrow! Her eyes seen in the tears, tears in her eye; Both crystals, where they viewd each other's

sorrow, Sorrow that friendly sighs sought still to dry ;

But like a stormy day, now wind, now rain,
Sighs dry her cheeks, tears make them wet

Variable passions throng her constant woe,
As striving who should best become her grief;
All entertain'd, each passion labours so,
That every present sorrow seemeth chief,

But none is best ; then join they all together,

Like many clouds consulting for foul weather.
By this, far off she hears some huntsman hollo;
A nurse's song ne'er pleas'd her babe so well :
The dire imagination she did follow
This sound of hope doth labour to expel ;

For now reviving joy bids her rejoice,
And flatters her it is Adonis' voice.


Whose frothy mouth, bepainted all with red,
Like milk and blood being mingled both together,
A second fear through all her sinews spread,
Which madly hurries her she knows not whither :

This way she runs, and now she will no further,

But back retires to rate the boar for murther. A thousand spleens bear her a thousand ways; She treads the path that she untreads again; Her more than haste is mated with delays, Like the proceedings of a drunken brain,

Full of respects 6 yet nought at all respecting,

In hand with all things, nought at all effecting. Here kennell’d in a brake she finds a hound, And asks the weary caitiff for his master; And there another licking of his wound, 'Gainst venom'd sores the only sovereign plaster;

And here she meets another sadly scowling,

To whom she speaks, and he replies with howling. When he hath ceas'd his ill-resounding noise, Another flap-mouth'd mourner, black and grim, Against the welkin volleys out his voice ; Another and another answer him,

Clapping their proud tails to the ground below,

Shaking their scratch'd ears, bleeding as they go. Look, how the world's poor people are amaz’d At apparitions, signs, and prodigies, Whereon with fearful eyes they long have gaz'd, Infusing them with dreadful prophecies ;

So she at these sad signs draws up her breath,

And, sighing it again, exclaims on Death: “ Hard-favour'd tyrant, ugly, meagre, lean, Hateful divorce of love,"_thus chides she Death, Grim-grinning ghost, earth's worm, what dost

thou mean To stifle beauty and to steal his breath,

Who when he liv'd, his breath and beauty set Gloss on the rose, smell to the violet ?


Whereat her tears began to turn their tide,
Being prison’d in her eye, like pearls in glass ;
Yet sometimes falls an orient drop beside,
Which her cheek melts, as scorning it should pass,

To wash the foul face of the sluttish ground,
Who is but drunken when she seemeth drown'd.

- all-dismay'd, - ) Sc the two earliest editions. The impression of 1596 reads, with perhaps more emphasis, “sore dismay'd."

b Full of respects-) Minute observances, consideralions. “This is one of our author's nice observations. No one affects more wisdom than a drunken man."-MALONE,

Love's golden arrow at him should have fled,

And not Death's ebon dart, &c.) This is a supposed allusion to the ancient apologue of Love

and Death exchanging their darts by mistake. Massinger, in The Virgin-Marlyr, Act IV. Sc. 3, refers to the same fable,

“Strange affection !
Cupid once more hath chang'd his shafts with Death,

And kills, instead of giving life.”
See Gifford's note on this passage and his extract from Johannes
Secundus, in Massinger's Plays.

[ocr errors]


O, hard-believing love, how strange it seems And in her haste unfortunately spies
Not to believe, and yet too credulous !

The foul boar's conquest on her fair delight;
Thy weal and woe are both of them extremes ; Which seen, her eyes, as d murder'd with the
Despair and hope make thee ridiculous :

view, The one doth flatter thee in thoughts unlikely, Like stars asham'd of day, themselves withdrew; In likely thoughts the other kills thee quickly.

Or, as the snail, whose tender horns being hit, Now she unweaves the web that she hath wrought; Shrinks backward in his shelly cave with pain, Adonis lives, and Death is not to blame;

And there, all smother'd up, in shade doth sit, It was not she that call'd him all to-naught; Long after fearing to creep forth again; Now she adds honours to his hateful name;

So, at his bloody view, her eyes are fled She clepesa him king of graves, and grave for Into the deep-dark cabins of her head;

kings, Imperious supreme of all mortal things.

Where they resign their office and their light

To the disposing of her troubled brain ; “No, no, quoth she, “gweet Death, I did but Who bids them still consort with ugly night, jest;

And never wound the heart with looks again ; Yet pardon me, I felt a kind of fear

Who, like a king perplexed in his throne, Whenas I met the boar, that bloody beast,

By their suggestion gives a deadly groan,
Which knows no pity, but is still severe;

Then, gentle shadow,-truth I must confess,- Whereat each tributary subject quakes;
I raild on thee, fearing my love's decease. As when the wind, imprison'd in the ground,

Struggling for passage, earth's foundation shakes, " 'T is not my fault: the boar provok'd my tongue; Which with cold terror doth men's minds confound, Be wreak'd on him, invisible commander;

This mutiny each part doth so surprise, "T is he, foul creature, that hath done thee wrong; That from their dark beds once more leap her I did but act, he's author of thy slander:

eyes ; Grief hath two tongues, and never woman yet, Could rule them both, without ten women's wit.” And, being open'd, threw unwilling light

Upon the wide wound that the boar had trench'd Thus, hoping that Adonis is alive,

In his soft flank ; whose wonted lily wbite Her rash suspect she doth extenuate ;

With purple tears, that his wound wept, was And that his beauty may the better thrive,

drench'd : With Death she humbly doth insinuate ;

No flower was nigh, no grass, herb, leaf, or weed, Tells him of trophies, statues, tombs, and But stole his blood, and seem'd with him to stories b

bleed. His victories, his triumphs, and his glories,

This solemn sympathy poor Venus noteth; “O, Jove," quoth she, “how much a fool was I, Over one shoulder doth she hang her head ; To be of such a weak and silly mind,

Dumbly she passions, franticly she doteth; To wail his death who lives, and must not die She thinks he could not die, he is not dead : Till mutual overthrow of mortal kind !

Her voice is stopp’d, her joints forget to bow; For he being dead, with him is beauty slain, Her eyes are mad that they have wept till now. And, beauty dead, black chaos comes again.

Upon his hurt she looks so steadfastly “Fie, fie, fond love, thou art so full of fear

That her sight dazzling makes the wound seem As one with treasure laden, hemm’d with thieves ;

three; Trifles, unwitnessed with eye or ear,

And then she reprehends her mangling eye
Thy coward heart with false bethinking grieves.” That makes more gashes where no breach should

Éven at this word she hears a merry horn,
Whereat she leaps that was but late forlorn. His face seems twain, each several limb is

doubled; As falcon o to the lure, away she flies ;

For oft the eye mistakes, the brain being The grass stoops not, she treads on it so light;






clepes-] Calls. So in “Hamlet," Act I. Sc. 4,-"They clope us drunkards," &c.

and stories

His victories,-) The employment of story as a verb is not unfrequent in Shakespeare: thus, in “Cymbeline," Act I. Sc. 4,-"How worthy he is I will leave to appear hereafter, rather than story him in his own hearing; "and in “Lucrece,"

" He stories to her ears her husband's fame." We suspect, too, that in “Othello," Act IV. Sc. 4, the passage usually printed, -" Have you scored me?” should be read, “ Have you storied me?" i.e. have you published my shame? The word in the quartop, indeed, is stor'd. c As falcon to the lure,-) The lection of the quarto 1600; all

previous editions have, falcons."

d - as murder'd--) The quarto 1593 reads are for "as."

e As when the wind, imprison'd in the ground, &c.) This calls to mind the well-known passage in “ Henry IV." Part I. Act III. Scene 1,

oft the teeming earth
Is with a kind of colic pinch'd and vex'd
By the imprisoning of unruly wind
Within her womb; which, for enlargement striving,
Shakes the old beldame earth, and topples down

Steeples, and moss-grown towers."
f - was drench'd :] All editions prior to 1600 read, -" has
drench'a," &c.

8 — she passions,-) See note (6), p. 35, Vol. !

[ocr errors]

“Had I been tooth'd like him, I must confess,
With kissing him I should have killd him first;
But he is dead, and never did he bless
My youth with his,—the more am I accurst."

With this, she falleth in the place she stood,

And stains her face with his congealed blood.
She looks upon his lips, and they are pale ;
She takes him by the hand, and that is cold ;
She whispers in his ears a heavy tale,
As if they heard the woeful words she told ;

She lifts the coffer-lids that close his eyes,
Where, lo, two lamps, burnt out, in darkness

lies !

“My tongue cannot express my grief for one, And yet," quoth she, “behold two Adons dead ! My sighs are blown away, my salt tears gone, Mine eyes are turn'd to fire, my heart to lead :

Heavy heart's lead melt at mine eyes' red fire !

So shall I die by drops of hot desire. “Alas, poor world, what treasure hast thou lost! What face remains alive that's worth the viewing? Whose tongue is music now? what canst thou boast Of things long since, or any thing ensuing ? The flowers are sweet, their colours fresh and

trim ; But true-sweet beauty liv'd and died with him. “ Bonnet nor veil henceforth no creature wear! Nor sun nor wind will ever strive to kiss you : Having no fair a to lose, you need not fear; The sun doth scorn you, and the wind doth hiss

you: But when Adonis liv'd, sun and sharp air

Lurk'd like two thieves to rob him of his fair; “ And therefore would he put his bonnet on, Under whose brim the gaudy sun would peep ; The wind would blow it off, and, being gone, Play with his locks; then would Adonis weep;

And straight, in pity of his tender years,
They both would strive who first should dry his


Two glasses, where herself herself beheld
A thousand times, and now no more reflect;
Their virtue lost, wherein they late excell'd,
And every beauty robb’d of his effect:
“Wonder of time,” quoth she, “this is my spite,
That, thou being dead, the day should yet be


“Since thou art dead, lo, here I prophesy,
Sorrow on love hereafter shall attend !
It shall be waited on with jealousy,
Find sweet beginning, but unsavoury end ;

Ne'er settled equally, but high or low;
That all love's pleasure shall not match his


ries ;

“To see his face the lion walk'd along Behind some hedge, because he would not fearb

him ; To recreate himself

, when he hath sung, The tiger would be tame, and gently hear lim ;

If he had spoke, the wolf would leave his prey,

And never fright the silly lamb that day. “ When he beheld his shadow in the brook, The fishes spread on it their golden gills ; When he was by, the birds such pleasure took, That some would sing, some other in their bills Would bring him mulberries and ripe-red cher

(ries. He fed them with his sight, they him with ber“But this foul, grim, and urchin-snouted boar, Whose downward eye still looketh for a grave, Ne'er saw the beauteous livery that he wore ; Witness the entertainment that he gave :

If he did see his face, why then I know

He thought to kiss him, and hath kill'd him so.
“'T is true, 't is true ; thus was Adonis slain :
He ran upon the boar with his sharp spear,
Who did not whet his teeth at him again,
But by a kiss thought to persuade him there ;

And nuzzling in his flank, the loving swine
Sheath’d, unaware, the tusk in his soft groin.

“ It shall be fickle, false, and full of fraud ;
Bud and be blasted in a breathing-while ;
The bottom poison, and the top o'erstraw'd a
With sweets that shall the truest sight beguile :

The strongest body shall it make most weak,
Strike the wise dumb, and teach the fool to

speak. “ It shall be sparing, and too full of riot ; Teaching decrepit age to tread the measures, The staring ruffian shall it keep in quiet ; Pluck down the rich, enrich the poor with trea

sures ; It shall be raging-mad, and silly-mild,

Make the young old, the old become a child. “It shall suspoct where is no cause of fear ; It shall not fear where it should most mistrust; It shall be merciful, and too severe, And most deceiving when it seems most just;

Perverse it shall be where it shows most toward,

Put fear to valour, courage to the coward.
“It shall be cause of war and dire events,
And set dissention 'twixt the son and sire ;
Subject and servile to all discontents,
As dry combustious matter is to fire;

Sith in his prime death doth my love destroy,
They that love best their loves shall not enjoy.

a — fair-] That is, beauty. See note (b), p. 121, Vol. I.

- because he would not fear him ;) Because he would not frighten him : so in " Henry VI." Part III. Act III. Sc. 3,-"Go fear thy king withal.”

c – urchin-snouted-) An urchin is a hedgehog; but it also meant an elf or mischievous sprite.

d o'erstrawd-) O'erstrewed.
0 to tread the measures,-) By "measures,

," dances of any kind are here meant, and not grave dances suitable to age, as some commentators explain it; the power of love is to be shown by its “confounding contraries." See note (2), p. 103, Vol. I.

By this, the boy that by her side lay kill'd For every little grief to wet his eyes :
Was melted like a vapour from her sight,

To grow unto himself was his desire,
And in his blood, that on the ground lay spill'd, And so 't is thine; but know, it is as good
A purple flower sprung up, chequer'd with white, To wither in my breast as in his blood.

Resembling well his pale cheeks, and the blood Which in round drops upon their whiteness “Here was thy father's bed, here in my breast; stood.

Thou art the next of blood, and 't is thy right:

Lo, in this hollow cradle take thy rest, She bows her head, the new-sprung flower to smell, My throbbing heart shall rock thee day and night! Comparing it to her Adonis' breath;

There shall not be one minute in an hour And says, within her bosom it shall dwell,

Wherein I will not kiss my sweet love's flower.” Since he himself is reft from her by death :

She crops the stalk, and in the breach appears Thus weary of the world, away she hies, Green dropping sap, which she compares to And yokes her silver doves ; by whose swift aid tears.

Their mistress, mounted, through the empty skies

In her light chariot quickly is convey'd ; “Poor flower,” quoth she, “this was thy father's Holding their course to Paphos, where their guise,

queen Sweet issue of a more sweet-smelling sire,

Means to immure herself and not be seen.

[merged small][graphic][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »