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SLEEP.

King Henry. D OW many thousand of my poorest subjects 11 Are at this hour asleep! O gentle Sleep, Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee, That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down, And steep my senses in forgetfulness ? Why rather, Sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs, Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee, And hushed with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber; Than in the perfumed chambers of the great, Under the canopies of costly state, And lulled with sounds of sweetest melody? O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile In loathsome beds, and leav'st the kingly couch A watch-case, or a common 'larum-bell? Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains In cradle of the rude imperious surge And in the visitation of the winds, Who take the ruffian billows by the top, Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them With deafʼning clamours in the slippery clouds, That, with the hurly, death itself awakes ? Canst thou, O partial Sleep, give thy repose To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude, And in the calmest and most stillest night, With all appliances and means to boot, Deny it to a king ? Then happy low, lie down! Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

2 Henry IV, Act iii. Sc. I.

FLOWERS. I WOULD I had some flowers o' the spring, that might I Become your time of day; and yours, and yours; That wear upon your virgin branches yet Your maidenheads growing :-0, Proserpina,

For the flowers now, that frighted thou lett'st fail
From Dis's waggon! daffodils,
That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty ; violets, dim,
But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes,
Or Cytherea's breath ; pale primroses,
That die unmarried, ere they can behold
Bright Phæbus in his strength, a malady
Most incident to maids ; bold oxlips, and
The crown-imperial ; lilies of all kinds,
The flower-de-luce being one! O! these I lack,
To make you garlands of: and, my sweet friend,
To strew him o'er and o'er.

A IVinter's Tale, Act iv. Sc. 3.

CLEOPATRA'S BARGE.

Enobarbus.
THE barge she sat in, like a burnished throne,

1 Burnt on the water : the poop was beaten gold ;
Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
The winds were love-sick with them: the oars were silver;
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made

The water, which they beat, to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggared all description : she did lie
In her pavilion-cloth-of-gold, of tissue-
O'er-picturing that Venus where we see
The fancy outwork nature : on each side her,
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With divers-coloured fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid, did.

Agrippa.

O, rare for Antony !

Enobarbus.
Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,
So many mermaids, tended her i’ the eyes,

And made their bends adornings : at the helm .
A seeming mermaid steers ; the silken tackle
Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands,
That yarely frame the office. From the barge
A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast
Her people out upon her; and Antony,
Enthroned in the market-place, did sit alone,
Whistling to the air ; which, but for vacancy,
Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too,
And made a gap in nature.

Antony and Cleopatra, Act ii. Sc. 2.

CUPID.

Oberon.
M Y gentle Puck, come hither. Thou remember'st

1 Since once I sat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid, on a dolphin's back,
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
That the rude sea grew civil at her song
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
To hear the sea-maid's music.

Puck.

I remember

Oberon. That very time I saw, but thou couldst not, Flying between the cold moon and the earth, Cupid all armed : a certain aim he took At a fair vestal throned by the west, And loosed his love-shaft smartly from his bow, As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts : But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft Quenched in the chaste beams of the watery moon, And the imperial votaress passed on, In maiden meditation, fancy-free.

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act ii. Sc. I.

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W HEN, in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes,

V I all alone beweep my outcast state, And trouble deaf Heaven with my bootless cries, And look upon myself, and curse my fate, Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, Featured like him, like him with friends possessed, Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope, With what I most enjoy contented least; Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising, Haply I think on thee,--and then my state, Like to the lark at break of day arising From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate ; For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

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W HEN to the sessions of sweet silent thought

VV I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste :
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long since cancelled woe,
And moan the expense of many a vanished sight :
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored and sorrows end.

XXXIII.

FULL many a glorious morning have I seen
T Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchymy;
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
With ugly rack on his celestial face,
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace :
Even so my sun one early morn did shine
With all triumphant splendour on my brow;
But out, alack! he was but one hour mine ;
The region cloud hath masked him from me now.

Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth ;
Suns of the world may stain when heaven's sun staineth.

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LIKE as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,

L So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativity, once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crowned,
Crooked eclipses 'gainst his glory fight,
And Time that gave, doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth,
And delves the parallels in beauty's brow;
Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow :

And yet, to times in hope, my verse shall stand,
Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.

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