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In the beat and fervour of a bloody fight;
And then it was in fashion, not, as now,
Ridiculous and despised ; this hath pass'd through
A wood of pikes, and every one aim'd at it;
With this, as still you see it, fresh and new, [sables,
I've charged through fire that would have singed your
Black fox, and ermines, and changed the proud colour
Of scarlet, though of the right Tyrian dye.
But now, as if the trappings made the man,
Such only are admired that come adorn’d
With what’s no part of them. This is mine own,
My richest suit, a suit I must not part from,
But not regarded now; and yet remember,
'Tis we that bring you in the means of feasts,
Banquets, and revels; which when you possess,
With barbarous ingratitude, you deny us
To be made sharers in the harvest which
Our sweat and industry reap'd and sow'd for you.
2. THE KING'S CONFESSION.
Wherefore pay you
This adoration to a sinful creature ?
I am flesh and blood as you are, sensible
Of heat and cold: as much a slave unto
The tyranny of my passions as the meanest
Of my poor subjects. The proud attributes
By oil-tongued flattery imposed upon us,
As sacred, glorious, high, invincible,
The deputy of heaven, and in that
Omnipotent, with all false titles else,
Coin'd to abuse our frailty, though compounded,
And by the breath of sycophants applied,
Cure not the least fit of an ague
We may give poor men riches, confer honours
On undeservers, raise or ruin such
As are beneath us; and with this puff'd up,
Ambition would persuade us to forget
That we are men; but He that sits above us,
And to whom, at our utmost rate, we are
But pageant properties, derides our weakness.
In me, to whom you kneel, 'tis most apparent;
Can I call back yesterday, with all their aid
That bow unto my sceptre ? or restore
My mind to that tranquillity and peace
It then enjoyed ?
DEATH OF THE NIGHTINGALE.
Menaphon. A sound of music touched mine ears, or
Indeed entranced my soul. As I stole nearer, [rather
Invited by the melody, I saw
This youth, this fair-faced youth, upon his lute,
With strains of strange variety and harmony,
Proclaiming, as it seemed, so bold a challenge,
To the clear choristers of the woods, the birds,
That, as they flocked about him, all stood silent,
Wondering at what they heard. I wondered too.
Amethus. And so do I; good! on-
Nature's best-skilled musician, undertakes
The challenge ; and, for every several strain
The well-shaped youth could touch, she sung her own.
He could not run division with more art
Uper his quaking instrument, than she,
The nightingale, did with her various notes
Reply to; for a voice, and for a sound,
Amethus, 'tis much easier to believe
That such they were than hope to hear again.
Amet. How did the rivals part ?
You term them rightly ;
For they were rivals, and their mistress Harmony.
Some min’tes thus spent, the young man grew at last
Into a pretty anger, that a bird,
Whom art had never taught clefs, moods, or notes,
Should vie with him for mastery, whose study
Had busied many hours to perfect practice.
To end the controversy, in a rapture
Upon his instrument he plays so swiftly,
So many voluntaries, and so quick,
That there was curiosity and cunning,
Concord and discord, lines of differing method,
Meeting in one full centre of delight.
Amet. Now for the bird.
The bird, ordained to be
Music's first martyr, strove to imitate
Those several sounds; which when her warbling throat
Failed in, for grief down dropped she on his lute,
And brake her heart. It was the quaintest sadness,
To see the conqueror upon her hearse
To weep a funeral elegy of tears ;
That, trust me, my Amethus, I could chide
Mine own unmanly weakness that made me
A fellow-mourner with him.
I believe thee.
Men. He looked upon the trophies of his art,
Then sighed, then wiped his eyes, then sighed and cried,
Alas, poor creature! I will soon revenge
This cruelty upon the anthor of it;
Henceforth this lute, guilty of innocent blood,
Shall never more betray a harmless peace
To an untimely end.”
LIV. GEORGE WITHER.
1. BOOKS. For many books I care not, and my
Might now suffice me though I had no more
Than God's two Testaments, and then withal
That mighty volume which the world we call;
For these well look'd on, well in mind preserved,
The present age's passages observed ;
My private actions seriously o'erview'd,
My thoughts recall’d and what of them ensued,
Are books which better far instruct me can
Than all the other paper-works of man;
And some of these I may be reading too
Where'er I come or whatsoe'er I do.
Or make pale my cheeks with care
'Cause another's rosy are ?
Be she fairer than the day,
Or the flowery meads in May,
If she be not so to me,
What care I how fair she be ?
Shall my foolish heart be pined
'Cause I see a woman kind ?
Or a well-disposéd nature
Joinéd with a lovely feature ?
Be she meeker, kinder, than
The turtle-dove or pelican:
If she be not so to me,
What care I how kind she be?
Shall a woman's virtue move
Me to perish for her love ?
Or, her well-deservings known,
Make me quite forget mine own?
Be she with that goodness blest,
Which may merit name of Best;
If she be not such to me,
What care I how good she be ?
'Cause her fortune seems too high,
Shall I play the fool and die ?
Those that bear a noble mind,
Where they want of riches find,
Think what with them they would do,
That without them dare to woo;
And unless that mind I
What care I how great she be?
Great or good, or kind or fair,
I will ne'er the more despair;
If she love me, this believe;
I will die ere she shall grieve.
If she slight me when I woo,
I can scorn and let her go:
If she be not fit for me,
What care I for whom she bes
Sweet groves, to you!
You hills that highest dwell,
And all you humble vales, adieu !
You wanton brooks and solitary rocks
My dear companions all, and you, my tender flocks!
Farewell, my pipe! and all those pleasing songs whosemo-
Delighted once the fairest nymphs that dance upon the
You discontents, whose deep and over-deadly smart
Have without pity broke the truest heart,
Sighs, tears, and every sad annoy,
That erst did with me dwell,
And others joy,
4. THE MUSE.
Though I miss the flow'ry fields,
With those sweets the spring-tide yields :
Though I may not see those groves,
Where the shepherds chaunt their loves,
And the lasses more excel,
Than the sweet-voiced Philomel ;
Though of all those pleasures past,
Nothing now remains at last,
But remembrance, poor relief,
That more makes than mends my grief :
She's my mind's companion still
Maugre envy's evil will ;
(Whence she should be driven too,
Wer't in mortals' power to do)
She doth tell me where to borrow
Comfort in the midst of sorrow;
Makes the desolatest place,
To her presence be a grace;
And the blackest discontents,
Be her fairest ornaments.
In my former days of bliss,
Her divine skill taught me this,