Page images
PDF
EPUB

IC

Triumph, my Britain, thou hast one to

From A PINDARIC ODE show To whom all scenes of Europe homage owe. It is not growing like a tree He was not of an age, but for all time!

In bulk, doth make men better be; And all the Muses still were in their prime, Or standing long an oak, three hundi When, like Apollo, he came forth to warm

year, Our ears, or like a Mercury to charm. 46 | To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sear Nature herself was proud of his designs

A lily of a day And joyed to wear the dressing of his lines,

Is fairer far in May; Which were so richly spun, and woven so fit, Although it fall and die that night, As, since, she will vouchsafe no other wit: It was the plant and flower of light. The merry Greek, tart Aristophanes, 51 In small proportions we just beauties se Neat Terence, witty Plautus, now not And in short measures life may perfec please,

be. But antiquated and deserted lie, As they were not of Nature's family. Yet must I not give Nature all; thy art, 55 AN EPITAPH ON SALATHIEL PAVY My gentle Shakespeare, must enjoy a part: For though the poet's matter nature be, Weep with me all you that read His art doth give the fashion; and that he

This little story; Who casts to write a living line must And know, for whom a tear you shed sweat,

Death's self is sorry. (Such as thine are) and strike the second Twas a child that so did thrive

5 heat

60

In grace and feature, Upon the Muses' anvil, turn the same As heaven and nature seemed to strive (And himself with it) that he thinks to

Which owned the creature. frame,

Years he numbered scarce thirteen
Or, for the laurel, he may gain a scorn;

When fates turned cruel,
For a good poet's made, as well as born. Yet three filled zodiacs had he been
And such wert thou; look how the father's The stage's jewel;
face

65 And did act, what now we moan, Lives in his issue, even so the race

Old men so duly, Of Shakespeare's mind and manners As, sooth, the Parcae? thought him brightly shines

one,

15 In his well turned and true filèd3 lines,

He played so truly.
In each of which he seems to shake a lance, So, by error, to his fate
As brandished at the eyes of ignorance. 70 They all consented,
Sweet Swan of Avon! what a sight it were But viewing him since, alas, too late!
To see thee in our waters yet appear,

They have repented;
And make those flights upon the banks of And have sought, to give new birth,
Thames,

IO

20

In baths to steep him;
That so did take Eliza" and our James! But being so much too good for earth,
But stay, I see thee in the hemisphere 75

Heaven vows to keep him.
Advanced, and made a constellation there!
Shine forth, thou Star of poets, and with
rage

JOHN DONNE (1673-1631) Or influence chide or cheer the drooping stage,

GO AND CATCH A FALLING STAR Which, since thy flight from hence, hath mourned like night,

Go and catch a falling star, And despairs day, but for thy volume's Get with child a mandrake root, light.

Tell me where all past years are,

Or who cleft the Devil's foot; : polished. * captivate.

. Queen Elizabeth. 5 years.

1 man.

: plans.

7 the Fates.

[blocks in formation]

IC

40

5

IO

That thou lovest me as thou say'st, 30 Even such is man, whose borrowed light If in thine my life thou waste,

Is straight called in and paid to night. That art the best of me.

The wind blows out, the bubble dies,

The spring intombed in autumn lies; Let not thy divining heart

The dew's dried up, the star is shot, Forethink me any ill;

The flight is past, and man forgot. Destiny may take thy part

35 And may thy fears fulfil.

But think that we
Are but turned aside to sleep:

ON THE TOMBS IN WESTMINSTER They who one another keep

ABBEY
Alive, ne'er parted be.

Mortality, behold and fear!
What a change of flesh is here!

Think how many royal bones
DEATH

Sleep within this heap of stones;
Death, be not proud, though some have Who now want strength to stir their hands;

Here they lie had realms and lands, called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so; They preach, “In greatness is no trust.”

Where from their pulpits sealed with dust For those whom thou think'st thou dost

Here's an acre sown indeed overthrow

With the richest, royal'st seed Die not, poor Death; nor yet canst thou

That the earth did e'er suck in

Since the first man died for sin; From rest and sleep, which but thy pic

Here the bones of birth have cried, ture be,

5

“Though gods they were, as men they Much pleasure, then from thee much more

died.” must flow;

Here are sands, ignoble things, And soonest our best men with thee do

15 Dropt from the ruined sides of kings. goRest of their bones and souls' delivery!

Here's a world of pomp and state Thou’rt slave to Fate, chance, kings, and

Buried in dust, once dead by fate. desperate men, And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,

JOHN FLETCHER (1679-1626) And

poppy or charms can make us sleep as well,

SWEETEST MELANCHOLY And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?

Hence, all you vain delights, One short sleep past, we wake eternally,

As short as are the nights And death shall be no more: Death, thou

Wherein you spend your folly! shalt die!

There's nought in this life sweet,
If man were wise to see't,

5

But only melancholy; FRANCIS BEAUMONT (1684-1616)

O sweetest melancholy!

kill me.

IO

EVEN SUCH IS MAN

Like to the falling of a star,
Or as the flights of eagles are,
Or like the fresh spring's gaudy hue,
Or silver drops of morning dew,
Or like a wind that chafes the flood, 5
Or bubbles which on water stood:

Welcome, folded arms and fixed eyes,
A sigh that piercing mortifies,
A look that's fastened to the ground, 10
A tongue chained up without a sound.
Fountain heads and pathless groves,
Places which pale Passion loves;
Moonlight walks, when all the fowls
Are warmly housed save bats and owls.

A midnight bell, a parting groan, 16 | HARK, NOW EVERYTHING IS STILL

These are the sounds we feed upon. Then stretch our bones in a still gloomy Hark, now everything is still, valley;

The screech-owl and the whistler2 shrill, Nothing's so dainty sweet as lovely Call upon our dame aloud, melancholy.

And bid her quickly don her shroud.
Much you had of land and rent,

5 CARE-CHARMING SLEEP

Your length in clay's now competent;

A long war disturbed your mind, Care-charming Sleep, thou easer of all

Here your perfect peace is signed.

Of what is't fools make such vain keeping? woes, Brother to Death, sweetly thyself dispose Their life a general mist of error,

Sin their conception, their birth weeping, 10 On this afflicted prince; fall like a cloud

Their death a hideous storm of terror. In gentle showers; give nothing that is

Strew your hair with powders sweet, loud Or painful to his slumbers; easy, sweet,

Don clean linen, bathe your feet,

5 And as a purling stream, thou son of Night,

And—the foul fiend more to check- 15 Pass by his troubled senses; sing his pain

A crucifix let bless

your neck. Like hollow murmuring wind or silver rain;

'Tis now full tide 'tween night and day;

End Into this prince gently, oh, gently slide,

your groan,

and come away. And kiss him into slumbers like a bride. 10

WILLIAM BROWNE (1691-1643?) SONG TO BACCHUS

ON THE COUNTESS DOWAGER OF

PEMBROKE
God Lyæus, ever young,
Ever honored, ever sung,
Stained with blood of lusty grapes,

Underneath this sable herse3
In a thousand lusty shapes,

Lies the subject of all verse:

Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother: Dance upon the mazer's? brim, 5 In the crimson liquor swim;

Death, ere thou hast slain another

Fair and learn'd and good as she, From thy plenteous hand divine

Time shall throw a dart at thee.
Let a river run with wine;
God of youth, let this day here
Enter neither care nor fear!

ELIZABETHAN PROSE

IO

JOHN WEBSTER (15807-1626?)

SIR THOMAS NORTH (1636?-1601?) A DIRGE

THE DEATH OF CÆSAR

From THE LIFE OF JULIUS CÆSAR Call for the robin-redbreast and the wren, Since o'er shady groves they hover,

The Romans inclining to Cæsar's prosAnd with leaves and flowers do cover perity, and taking the bit in the mouth, The friendless bodies of unburied men. supposing that to be ruled by one man Call unto his funeral dole

5

alone, it would be a good mean for them The ant, the field-mouse, and the mole, to take breath a little, after so many To rear him hillocks that shall keep him troubles and miseries as they had abidden warm,

in these civil wars, they chose him perAnd, when gay tombs are robbed, sustain petual Dictator. This was a plain tyrno harm;

anny: for to this absolute power of DicBut keep the wolf far thence, that's foe to tator they added this, never to be (10 men,

afraid to be deposed. Cicero propounded For with his nails he'll dig them up again. before the Senate that they should give 1 cup's.

? plover.

3 tomb.

him such honors as were meet for a his secret enemies honest color, to bea man; howbeit others afterwards added to, him ill-will. honors beyond all reason. For, men striving who should most honor him, they made him hateful and troublesome to The people went straight unto Marcu themselves that most favored him, by Brutus, who from his father came of the reason of the unmeasurable greatness and first Brutus, and by his mother, of the honors which they gave him. There- (20 house of the Servilians, a noble house [70 upon it is reported that even they that as any was in Rome, and was also nephew most hated him were no less favorers and and son-in-law of Marcus Cato. Notfurtherers of his honors than they that withstanding, the great honors and favors most flattered him; because they might Cæsar showed unto him kept him back, have greater occasions to rise, and that that of himself alone he did not conspire it might appear they had just cause and nor consent to depose him of his kingdom. color to attempt that they did against For Cæsar did not only save his life after him.

the battle of Pharsalia when Pompey fled, And now for himself, after he had and did at his request also save many ended his civil wars he did so honor- [30 more of his friends beside, but further- [80 ably behave himself that there was no more he put a marvellous confidence in fault to be found in him; and therefore, him. For he had already preferred him methinks, amongst other honors they to the Prætorship for that year, and gave him, he rightly deserved this, that furthermore was appointed to be Consul they should build him a temple of clem- the fourth year after that, having through ency, to thank him for his courtesy he had Cæsar's friendship obtained it before used unto them in his victory. For he Cassius, who likewise made suit for the pardoned many of them that had borne same; and Cæsar also, as it is reported, arms against him, and, furthermore, did said in this contention, Indeed Cassius prefer some of them to honor and (40 hath alleged best reason, but yet shall [90 office in the commonwealth: as, amongst he not be chosen before Brutus. Some one others, Cassius and Brutus, both the which day accusing Brutus while he practised were made Prætors. And where Pom this conspiracy, Cæsar would not hear of pey's images had been thrown down, he it, but clapping his hand on his body, told caused them to be set up again; whereupon them, Brutus will look for this skin: Cicero said then, That Cæsar setting up meaning thereby that Brutus for his Pompey's images again, he made his own virtue deserved to rule after him, but yet to stand the surer.

And when some of that for ambition's sake he would not his friends did counsel him to have a show himself unthankful or dishonorable. guard for the safety of his person, and [50 Now they that desired change, and [100 some also did offer themselves to serve wished Brutus only their prince and goverhim, he would never consent to it, but nor above all other, they durst not come said, It was better to die once, than always to him themselves to tell him what they to be afraid of death.

would have him to do, but in the night
did cast sundry papers into the Prætor's

seat where he gave audience, and the But his enemies that envied his great most of them to this effect: Thou sleepest, ness did not stick to find fault withal. As Brutus, and art not Brutus indeed. CasCicero the orator, when one said, Tomor- sius, finding Brutus' ambition stirred up row the star Lyra will rise: Yea, said he, the more by these ambitious bills, did (110 at the commandment of Cæsar, as if men prick him forward, and egg him on the were compelled to say and think by (60 more, for a private quarrel he had conCæsar's edict. But the chiefest cause that ceived against Cæsar, the circumstance made him mortally hated was the covet whereof we have set down more at large ous desire he had to be called king: which in Brutus' life. Cæsar also had Cassius first gave the people just cause, and next in great jealousy, and suspected him

·

*

*

« PreviousContinue »