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die in the fall. But 'tis not so with me:
HENRY V. TO HIS BOON COMPANIONS
KNOW you all, and will awhile uphold
the unyoked humour of your idleness: yet herein will I imitate the sun, who doth permit the base contagious clouds to smother up his beauty from the world, that, when he please again to be himself, being wanted, he may be more wonder'd at, by breaking through the foul and ugly mists of vapours, that did seem to strangle him. If all the year were playing holidays, to sport would be as tedious as to work; but, when they seldom come, they wish’d-for come, and nothing pleaseth but rare accidents. So, when this loose behaviour I throw off, and pay the debt I never promised, by how much better than my word I am, by so much shall I falsify men's hopes; and, like bright metal on a sullen ground, my reformation, glittering o'er my fault, shall show more goodly and attract more eyes, than that which hath no foil to set it off: I'll so offend, to make offence a skill; redeeming time, when men think least I will.
THE CORINTHIANS DRINK RUIN TO ATHENS
THOAS PREDICTS ITS FUTURE GLORY
UIN to Athens! who dares echo that?
who first repeats it dies. These limbs are armed with vigour from the gods that watch above their own immortal offspring. Do ye dream because chance lends ye one insulting hour,
that ye can quench the purest flame the gods
have lit from heaven's own fire ? Hyl.
'Tis ecstacysome frenzy shakes him. Th.
No! I call the gods, who bend attentive from their azure thrones, to witness to the truth of that which throbs within me now. 'Tis not a city crown'd with olive, and enriched with peerless fanes ye would dishonour, but an opening world diviner than the soul of man hath yet been gifted to imagine-truths serene, made visible in beauty, that shall grow in everlasting freshness; unapproached by mortal passion; pure amidst the blood and dust of conquests; never waxing old; but on the stream of time, from age to age, casting bright images of heavenly youth to make the world less mournful. I behold them ! and ye, frail insects of a day, would quaff “Ruin to Athens !”
T. N. TALFOURD
claims ever hostile else; and set thy son-
for that destroyed him. Give them peace; thou canst. Mer. Thou hast forgot, then, who I am who hear,
and who thou art who speakest to me? I
upon a throne not thine to give, is heir
938 THE INVOCATION OF THE GHOST OF LAIUS BY
Tir. C love
HOOSE the darkest part o' the grove;
Dig a trench, and dig it nigh
Answer me, if this be done?
draw her backward to the pit;
Answer me, if this be done.
to mother Earth and Proserpine:
answer me, if all be done? All the Priests. All is done.
E smiled, and, opening out his milk-white palm,
disclosed a fruit of pure Hesperian gold,
beautiful-brow'd Enone, my own soul,
ARBACES KING OF IBERIA
CHAT will the world
conceive of me? with what unnatural sins will they suppose me laden, when my life is sought by her that gave it to the world ? But yet he writes me comfort here: my sister, he says, is grown in beauty and in grace, in all the innocent virtues that become a tender spotless maid : she stains her cheeks with mourning tears, to purge her mother's ill ; and 'mongst that sacred dew she mingles prayers, her pure oblations, for my safe return. If I have lost the duty of a son, if any pomp or vanity of state made me forget my natural offices, nay, farther, if I have not every night expostulated with my wandering thoughts, if ought unto my parent they have err'd, and call’d 'em back; do you direct her arm unto this foul dissembling heart of mine: but if I have been just to her, send out
your power to compass me, and hold me safe F.S.
from searching treason; I will use no means
BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER
EMILIA'S PRAYER TO DIANA
H sacred, shadowy, cold and constant queen,
abandoner of revels, mute, contemplative, sweet, solitary, white as chaste, and pure as wind-fann'd snow, who to thy female knights allow'st no more blood than will make a blush, which is their order's robe; I here, thy priest, am humbled 'fore thine altar! oh, vouchsafe, with that thy rare green eye, which never yet beheld thing maculate, look on thy virgin ! and, sacred silver mistress, lend thine ear, (which ne'er heard scurril term, into whose port ne'er enter'd wanton sound,) to my petition, season'd with holy fear! This is my last of vestal office; I am bride-habited, but maiden-hearted ; a husband I have 'pointed, but do not know him ; out of two I should choose one, and pray for his success, but I am guiltless of election : of mine eyes were I to lose one, (they are equal precious,) I could doom neither ; that which perish'd should go to't unsentenc'd: therefore, most modest queen, he, of the two pretenders, that best loves me, and has the truest title in't, let him take off my wheaten garland, or else grant the file and quality I hold I may continue in thy band !
APOSTROPHE TO SLEEP
KING HENRY IV
SLEEP! O gentle sleep!
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee, that thou no more wilt weigh my eye-lids down, and steep my senses in forgetfulness ?