Imágenes de páginas

He looks upon his love, and neighs unto her ;
She answers him, as it she knew his mind :
Being proud, as females are, to see him woo her,
She puts on outward strangeness, seems unkind;

Spurns at his love, and scorns the heat he feels,

Beating his kind embracements with her heels.
Then, like a melancholy malcontent,
He vails a his tail, that, like a falling plume,
Cool shadow to his melting buttock lent:
He stamps, and bites the poor flies in his fume.

His love, perceiving how he is enrag'd,
Grew kinder, and his fury was assuag'd.


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

And all this dumb play had hise acts made plain

With tears, which, chorus-like, her eyes did rain. Full gently now she takes him by the hand, A lily prison'd in a gaol of snow, Or ivory in an alabaster band ; So white a friend engirts so white a foe :

This beauteous combat, wilful and unwilling,

Show'd like two silver doves that sit a-billing. Once more the engine of her thoughts began : “ O, fairest mover on this mortal round, Would thou wert as I am, and I a man, My heart all whole as thine, thy heart my wound; For one sweet look thy help I would assure thee, Though nothing but my body's bane would cure



[ocr errors]

Give me my hand,” saith he, “why dost thou

feel it?" “Give me my heart,” saith she, “and thou shalt

have it; O, give it me, lest thy hard heart do steel? it, And being steeld, soft sighs can never grave

it:& Then love's deep groans I never shall regard,

Because Adonis' heart hath made mine hard." “For shame,” he cries, “let go, and let me go; My day's delight is past, my horse is gone, And 't is your fault I am bereft him so ; I

pray you hence, and leave me here alone ;
For all my mind, my thought, my busy care,

Is how to get my palfrey from the mare.”
Thus she replies : “Thy palfrey, as he should,
Welcomes the warm approach of sweet desire :
Affection is a coal that must be coold;
Else, suffer'd, it will set the heart on fire:

The sea hath bounds, but deep desire hath none;
Therefore no marvel though thy horse be gone.

His testy master goeth about to take him ;
When, lo, the unback'd breeder, full of fear,
Jealous of catching, swiftly doth forsake him,
With her the horse, and left Adonis there :

As they were mad, unto the wood they hie them,

Out-stripping crows that strive to over-fly them. All swoln with chafing down Adonis sits, Banning his boisterous and unruly beast: And now the happy season once more fits, That love-sick Love by pleading may be blest ;

For lovers say, the heart hath treble wrong

When it is barr'd the aidance of the tongue.
An oven that is stopp'd, or river stay'd,
Burneth more hotly, swelleth with more rage :
So of concealed sorrow may be said ;
Free vent of words love's fire doth assuage ;

But when the heart's attorneyd once is mute,

The client breaks, as desperate in his suit.
He sees her coming, and begins to glow,
Even as a dying coal revives with wind,
And with his bonnet hides his angry brow;
Looks on the dull earth with disturbed mind;

Taking no notice that she is so nigh,

For all askance he holds her in his eye.
O, what a sight it was, wistly to view
How she came stealing to the wayward boy!
To note the fighting conflict of her hue,
How white and red each other did destroy!

But now her cheek was pale, and by and by

It flash'd forth fire, as lightning from the sky. Now was she just before him as he sat, And like a lowly lover down she kneels; With one fair hand she heaveth up his hat, Her other tender hand his fair cheek feels : His tenderer cheek receives her soft hand's

print, As apt as new-fall’n snow takes any dint. O, what a war of looks was there between them! Her eyes, petitioners, to his eyes suing; His eyes saw her eyes as they had not seen them; Her eyes woo'd still, his eyes disdain'd the wooing :


“How like a jade he stood, tied to the tree,
Servilely master'd with a leathern rein!
But when he saw his love, his youth's fair fee,
He held such petty bondage in disdain ;

Throwing the base thong from his bending crest,

Enfranchising his mouth, his back, his breast. “Who sees his true-love in her naked bed, Teaching the sheets a whiter hue than white, But, when his glutton eye so full hath fed, His other agents aim at like delight ?

Who is so faint that dare not be so bold

To touch the fire, the weather being cold ?
“Let me excuse thy courser, gentle boy ;
And learn of him, I heartily beseech thee,
To take advantage on presented joy; [thee :
Though I were dumb, yet his proceedings teach

O, learn to love ! the lesson is but plain,
And once made perfect, never lost again."

his acts-] í - do steel it,-) Harden it like steel, 8 -- grave it :) Engrave it, i.e. make an impression on it."b - suffer'd,-) Allowed, indulged, not restrained. See note (9), p. 388, Vol. II. 1- naked bed,-) See note (*), p. 88, of the present volume

“ His" for its.


* He vails his tail,-) To vail is to sink, to lower. So in "The Merchant of Venice,” Act I. Sc. I.: "Vailing her high-tops lower than her ribs."

b- with chafing-) The reading of all the ed of 1600, which substituted chasing.

c Banning-) That is, cursing.
d - attorney-) Advocate, pleader.

ons before that


[ocr errors]

“I know not love," quoth he, “nor will not Like a red morn, that ever yet betoken'd know it,

Wreck to the seaman, tempest to the field, Unless it be a boar, and then I chase it;

Sorrow to shepherds, woe unto the birds, 'T is much to borrow, and I will not owe it ;

Gusts and foul flawsb to herdmen and to herds. My love to love is love but to disgrace it; For I have heard it is a life in death,

This ill presage advisedly she marketh : That laughs, that weeps, and all but with a Even as the wind is bush'd before it raineth, breath.

Or as the wolf doth grin before he barketh,

Or as the berry breaks before it staineth, “Who wears a garment shapeless and unfinish'd ? Or like the deadly bullet of a gun, Who plucks the bud before one leaf put forth ? His meaning struck her ere his words begun. If springing things be any jot diminish'd, They wither in their prime, prove nothing worth :

And at his look she flatly falleth down, The colt that's back'd and burden'd being For looks kill love, and love by looks reviveth : young,

A smile recures the wounding of a frown; Loseth his pride, and never waxeth strong.

But blessed bankrupt, that by love so thriveth !

The silly boy, believing she is dead, “You hurt my hand with wringing ; let us part, Claps her pale cheek, till clapping makes it red; And leave this idle theme, this bootless chat: Remove your siege from my unyielding heart; And all-amaz'd brake off his late intent, To love's alarms it will not ope the gate :

For sharply did he think to reprehend her, Dismiss your vows, your feigned tears, your Which cunning love did wittily prevent: flattery ;

Fair fall the wit that can so well defend her! For where a heart is hard, they make no bat- For on the grass she lies as she were slain, tery."

Till his breath breatheth life in her again. “What! canst thou talk," quoth she, “hast thou He wrings her nose, he strikes her on the cheeks, a tongue ?

He bends her fingers, holds her pulses hard, 0, would thou hadst not, or I had no hearing ! He chafes her lips ; a thousand ways he seeks Thy mermaid's® voice hath done me double wrong; To mend the hurt that his unkindness marr': I had my load before, now press'd with bearing: He kisses her; and she, by her good will, Melodious discord, heavenly tune harsh-sound- Will never rise, so he will kiss her still.

ing, Ear's deep-sweet music, and heart's deep-sore The night of sorrow now is turn'd to day: wounding.

Her two blue windows faintly she up-heaveth,

Like the fair sun, when in his fresh array “ Had I no eyes but ears, my ears would love He cheers the morn, and all the earth relieveth: That inward beauty and invisible ;

And as the bright sun glorifies the sky, Or were I deaf, thy outward parts would move So is her face illumin'd with her eye ; Each part in me that were but sensible :

Though neither eyes nor ears, to hear nor see, Whose beams upon his hairless face are fix'd, Yet should I be in love by touching thee. As if from thence they borrow'd all their shine.

Were never four such lamps together inix'd, “Say, that the sense of feeling were bereft me, Had not his clouded with his brows' repine; a And that I could not see, nor hear, nor touch, But hers, which through the crystal tears gave And nothing but the very smell were left me,

light, Yet would my love to the be still as much ;

Shone like the moon in water seen by night. For from the still’tory of thy face excelling Comes breath perfum'd, that breedeth love by "O, where am I ?" quoth she,“ in earth or heaven, smelling

Or in the ocean drench’d, or in the fire ?

What hour is this ? or morn or weary even? “But 0, what banquet wert thou to the taste, Do I delight to die, or life desire ? Being nurse and feeder of the other four !

But now I liv'd, and life was death's annoy ; Would they not wish the feast might ever last, But now I died, and death was lively joy. And bid Suspicion double-lock the door ?

Lest Jealousy, that sour unwelcome guest, “O, thou didst kill me, kill me once again : Should, by his stealing in, disturb the feast." Thy eyes' shrewd tutor, that hard heart of thine,

Hath taught them scornful tricks, and such disOnce more the ruby-colourd portal open'd,

dain, Which to his speech did honey passage yield; That they have murder'd this poor heart of mine ;


Thy mermaid's roicem] With our early writers, mermaid and siren were synonymous. b - foul flaws-] Violent blasts of wind. - blue windows--) By "windows" are meant eye-lids. So

* in “Cymbeline,” Act 11. Sc. 1,

“ To see the enclosed lights, now canopied

Under these windows, white, and azure lac'd

With blue of heaven's own tinct."
And in “Romeo and Juliet," Act IV. Sc. 1,-

Thy eyes' windows fall,
Like death, when he shuts up the day of life."
d – repine ;) Repine is here a substantive.


And these mine eyes, true leaders to their Whose vulture thought doth pitch the price so queen,

high, But for thy piteous lips no more had seen.

That she will draw his lips' rich treasure dry. “ Long may they kiss each other, for this cure ! And having felt the sweetness of the spoil, O, never let their crimson liveries wear !

With blindfold fury she begins to forage ; And as they last, their verdure still endure, Her face doth reek and smoke, her blood doth To drive infectiona from the dangerous year!

boil, That the star-gazers, having writ on death,

And careless lust stirs up a desperate courage ; May say, the plague is banish'd by thy breath. Planting oblivion, beating reason back,

Forgetting shame's pure blush and honour's “Pure lips, sweet seals in my soft lips imprinted,

wrack. What bargains may I make, still to be sealing ? To sell myself I can be well contented,

Hot, faint, and weary, with her hard embracing, So thou wilt buy, and pay, and use good dealing ; Like a wild bird being tam'd with too much Which purchase if thou make, for fear of slips

handling, Set thy seal-manual on my wax-red lips.

Or as the fleet-foot roe that's tir'd with chasing,

Or like the froward infant stilld with dandling, “ A thousand kisses buys my heart from me ; He now obeys, and now no more resisteth, And pay them at thy leisure, one by one.

While she takes all she can, not all she listeth. What is ten hundred kisses b unto thee ? Are they not quickly told, and quickly gone ?

What wax so frozen but dissolves with tempering, Say, for non-payment that the debt should And yields at last to every light impression? double,

Things out of hope are compassid oft with Is twenty hundred kisses such a trouble ?"


Chiefly in love, whose leaved exceeds commission : “Fair queen,” quoth he, “if any love you owe me,

Affection faints not like a pale-fac'd coward, Measure my strangeness with my unripe years;

But then woos best when most his choice is Before I know myself, seek not to know me;

froward. No fisher but the ungrown fry forbears :

When he did frown, O, had she then gave over,
The mellow plum doth fall, the green sticks fast,
Or being early pluck'd is sour to taste.

Such nectar from his lips she had not suck’d.
Foul words and frowns must not repel a lover ;

What though the rose have prickles, yet it is “Look, the world's comforter, with weary gait,

pluck'd : His day's hot task hath ended in the west : The owl, night's herald, shrieks,—'t is very late ;

Were beauty under twenty locks kept fast,

Yet love breaks through, and picks them all at The sheep are gone to fold, birds to their nest;

And coal-black clouds that shadow heaven's light
Do summon us to part, and bid good night. For pity now she can no more detain him;


her that he may depart: “Now let me say "Good night,' and so say you ; She is resolv'd no longer to restrain him ; If you will say so, you shall have a kiss."

Bids him farewell, and look well to her heart, “Good night," quoth she; and, ere


says The which, by Cupid's bow she doth protest, “ Adieu,

He carries thence incaged in his breast. The honey fee of parting tender'd is :

Her arms do lend his neck a sweet embrace ; “Sweet boy," she says, “this night I'll waste in Incorporate then they seem ; face grows to face ;


For my sick heart commands mine eyes to watch. Till, breathless, he disjoin'd, and backward drew Tell me, Love's master, shall we meet to-morrow? The heavenly moisture, that sweet coral mouth, Say, shall we shall we? wilt thou make the Whose precious taste her thirsty lips well knew,

match ?Whereon they surfeit, yet complain on drought: He tells her, no; to-morrow he intends He with her plenty press'd, she faint with To hunt the boar with certain of his friends.

dearth, (Their lips together glu’d,) fall to the earth. “ The boar!" quoth she; whereat a sudden pale,

Like lawn being spread upon the blushing rose, Now quick Desire hath caught the yielding prey, Usurps her cheek; she trembles at his tale, And glutton-like she feeds, yet never filleth; And on his neck her yoking arms she throws : Her lips are conquerors, his lips obey,

She sinketh down, still hanging by his neck, Paying what ransom the insulter willeth ;

He on her belly falls, she on her back.



[ocr errors]

To drive infection from the dangerous year!) An allusion to the practice of strewing apartments with strong-scented herbs in the time of the plague, to prevent infection.

b - len hundred kisses- So the edition of 1600; the preceding copies rad, -"ten hundred touches."

c Say, for non-payment that the debt should double,-) “The

poet was thinking of a conditional bond's becoming forfeited for non-payment; in which case, the entire penalty (usually the double of the principal sum lent by the obligee) was formerly recoverable at law.”—MALONE.

d— leave-] "Leave" here means licence.


Now is she in the very lists of love,

When thou didst name the boar, not to disHer champion mounted for the hot encounter :

semble, All is imaginary she doth prove,

I fear'd thy fortune, and my joints did tremble. He will not manage her, although he mount her; That worse than Tantalus' is her annoy,

“Didst thou not mark my face ? was it not white? To clip Elysium, and to lack her joy.

Saw'st thou not signs of fear lurk in mine eye ?

Grew I not faint ? and fell I not downright? Even as poor birds, deceiv'd with painted grapes," Within my bosom, whereon thou dost lie, Do surfeit by the eye and pine the maw,

My boding heart pants, beats, and takes no rest, Even so she languisheth in her mishaps,

But, like an earthquake, shakes thee on my As those poor birds that helpless b berries saw.

breast. The warm effects which she in him finds missing, She seeks to kindle with continual kissing.

“For where Love reigns, disturbing Jealousy

Doth call himself Affection's sentinel ; But all in vain ; good queen, it will not be : Gives false alarms, suggesteth mutiny, She hath assay'd as mueh as may be prov’d; And in a peaceful hour doth cry, ‘Kill, kill ;'* Her pleading hath desery'd a greater fee;

Distempering gentle Love in his desire, She's Love, she loves, and yet she is not lov’d. As air and water do abate the fire.

"Fie, fie,” he says, "you crush me; let me go; You have no reason to withhold me so."

“ This sour informer, this bate-breeding spy,

This canker that eats up Love's tender spring, “Thou badst been gone,” quoth she, "sweet boy, This carry-tale, dissentious Jealousy, ere this,

That sometime true news, sometime false doth But that thou told'st me thou wouldst hunt the

bring, boar.

Knocks at my heart, and whispers in mine ear, O, be advis'd! thou know'st not what it is

That if I love thee, I thy death should fear : With javelin's point a churlish swine to gore,

Whose tushes never-sheath'd he whetteth still, “And more than so, presenteth to mine eye
Like to a mortalo butcher, bent to kill.

The picture of an angry-chafing boar,

Under whose sharp fangs on his back doth lie « On his bow-back he hath a battle set

An image like thyself, all stain'd with gore ; Of bristly pikes, that ever threat his foes ;

Whose blood upon the fresh flowers being shed His eyes like glow-worms shine when he doth fret: Doth make them droop with grief and hang the His snout digs sepulchres where'er he goes ;

head. Being mov'd, he strikes whate'er is in his way, And whom he strikes his cruel tushes slay.

“ What should I do, seeing thee so indeed,

That tremble at the imagination ? “ His brawny sides, with hairy bristles arm’d, The thought of it doth make my faint heart bleed, Are better proof than thy spear's point can enter ;

And fear doth teach it divination : His short thick neck cannot be easily harm’d;

I prophesy thy death, my living sorrow, Being ireful on the lion he will venture :

If thou encounter with the boar to-morrow.

1 The thorny brambles and embracing bushes, As fearful of him, part; through whom he

“ But if thou needs will hunt, be ruld by me; rushes.

Uncouple at the timorous flying hare,

Or at the fox, which lives by subtlety, Alas, he nought esteems that face of thine, Or at the roe, which no encounter dare : To which Love's eyes pay tributary gazes ;

Pursue these fearful creatures o'er the downs, Nor thy soft hands, sweet lips, and crystal eyne, And on thy well-breath'd horse keep with thy Whose full perfection all the world amazes ;

hounds. But having thee at vantage,-wondrous dread !Would root these beauties as he roots the mead. “And when thou hast on foot the purblind hare,

Mark the poor wretch, to overshoot * his troubles, “O, let him keep his loathsome cabin still !

How he outrung the wind, and with what care Beauty hath nought to do with such foul fiends : He cranks and crosses with a thousand doubles : Come not within his dangerd by thy will ;

The many musits through the which he goes They that thrive well take counsel of their friends, Are like a labyrinth to amaze his foes.



[ocr errors]

a — poor birds, deceiv'd with painted grapes,–] Alluding to the famous picture by Xeuxis, in which the grapes were depicted Bo naturally, that the birds pecked at them.

b - helpless berries-] Berries that afford no help. In “The Comedy of Errors,” Act Í. Sc. I, we have, “Our helpful ship," in the sense of the ship that came to succour us.

mortal-) "Mortal" for deadly. d – his danger-) His power. - doth cry, ' Kill, kill ; '] See note (b) p. 104.

(*) Old text, overshut.
“The tender spring upon thy tempting lip," &c.
and in “Lucrece,

“ Unruly blasts wait on the tender spring," &c.
means a young shoot, sprig, or budding.

Love's tender spring,-) “Spring" here, as in a previous passage,

g - musits-) A musil, or musel, is a gap in a hedge. “We term the place where she (the hare) sitteth, her form; the place through which she goes to relief, her musil."—" Gentleman's Academy," 1595.




« Sometime he runs among a flock of sheep,

Making it subject to the tyranny
To make the cunning hounds mistake their smell, Of mad mischances and much misery;
And sometime where earth-delving conies keep,
To stop the loud pursuers in their yell ;

“ As burning fevers, agues pale and faint, And sometime sorteth with a herd of deer: Life-poisoning pestilence, and frenzies wood, Danger deviseth shifts; wit waits on fear : The marrow-eating sickness, whose attaint

Disorder breeds by heating of the blood : “ For there his smell with others being mingled, Surfeits, imposthumes, grief, and damn'd despair, The hot scent-snuffing hounds are driven to doubt, Swear Nature's death for framing thee so fair. Ceasing their clamorous cry till they have singled With much ado the cold fault cleanly out;

“ And not the least of all these maladies, Then do they spend their mouths : Echo replies, But in one minute's fight brings beauty under : As if another chase were in the skies.

Both favour, savour, hue, and qualities,

Whereat the impartial gazer late did wonder, “ By this, poor Wat, far off upon a hill,

Are on the sudden wasted, thaw'd, and done, Stands on his hinder legs with listening ear,

As mountain-snow melts with the mid-day sun. To hearken if his foes pursue him still : Anon their loud alarums he doth hear;

“Therefore, despite of fruitless chastity, And now his grief may be compared well Love-lacking vestals, and self-loving nuns, To one sore sick that hears the passing-bell. That on the earth would breed a scarcity

And barren dearth of daughters and of sons, “ Then shalt thou see the dew-bedabbled wretch Be prodigal: the lamp that burns by night Turn, and return, indenting with the way;

Dries up his oil to lend the world his light. Each envious briar his weary legs doth scratch, Each shadow makes him stop, each murmur stay : “ What is thy body but a swallowing grave, For misery is trodden on by many,

Seeming to bury that posterity And being low never reliev'd by any.

Which by the rights of time thou needs must have,

If thou destroy them not in dark obscurity ? “ Lie quietly, and hear a little more ;

If so, the world will hold thee in disdain,
Nay, do not struggle, for thou shalt not rise:

Sith in thy pride so fair a hope is slain.
To make thee hate the hunting of the boar,
Unlike myself thou hear'st me moralize,

“ So in thyself thyself art made away; Applying this to that, and so to so ;

A mischief worse than civil home-bred strife, For love can comment upon every woe.

Or theirs whose desperate hands themselves do slay,

Or butcher-sire, that reaves his son of life. “Where did I leave ?—“No matter where,” quoth Foul-cankering rust the hidden treasure frets,

But gold that 's put to use more gold begets.” “ Leave me, and then the story aptly ends : The night is spent.”—“Why, what of that ?” quoth “ Nay, then," quoth Adon, “ you will fall again she.

Into your idle over-handled theme ; “ I am,” quoth he,“ expected of my friends; The kiss I gave you is bestowed in vain,

And now 't is dark, and going I shall fall.” And all in vain you strive against the stream ; “ In night,” quoth she, “ desire sees best of all. For by this black-fac'd night, desire's foul nurse,

Your treatise makes me like you worse and “ But if thou fall, O, then imagine this, The earth in love with thee thy footing trips, And all is but to rob thee of a kiss.

“ If love have lent you twenty thousand tongues, Rich preys make true-men thieves ; so do thy lips And every tongue more moving than your own, Make modest Dian cloudy and forlorn,

Bewitching like the wanton mermaid's songs, Lest she should steal a kiss, and die forsworn. Yet from mine ear the tempting tune is blown ;

For know, my heart stands armed in mine ear, Now of this dark night I perceive the reason ; And will not let a false sound enter there; Cynthia for shame obscures her silver shine, Till forging Nature be condemn'd of treason, “ Lest the deceiving harmony should run For stealing moulds from heaven that were divine, Into the quiet closure of my breast;

Wherein she fram'd thee in high heaven's despite, And then my little heart were quite undone, To shame the sun by day, and her by night. In his bedchamber to be barr'd of rest.

No, lady, no; my heart longs not to groan, “And therefore hath she brib'd the Destinies, But soundly sleeps, while now it sleeps alone, To cross the curious workmanship of nature, To mingle beauty with infirmities,

“What have you urg'd that I cannot reprove ? And pure perfection with impure defeature ; The path is smooth that leadeth on to danger;




[ocr errors]

- keep,-) Dwell.

poor Wai,-) “Wat" is an old provincial name for the bare.

- true-men-) In the language of Shakespeare's day, honest men were termed true-men. Thus in " Henry IV." Pt. I. Act II.

Sc. 2, –

“ The thieves have bound the true-men."
d wood,-) Mad, crazy.
done,-] Destroyed.


« AnteriorContinuar »