An address delivered before the Birmingham Shakespeare reading club at the annual dinner celebrating Shakespeare's 319th birthday

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Birmingham, 1885 - 13 pages
 

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Page 12 - Had I but died an hour before this chance, I had liv'da blessed time; for, from this instant, There's nothing serious in mortality : All is but toys : renown, and grace, is dead ; The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees Is left this vault to brag of.
Page 10 - And sable curls all silver'd o'er with white ; When lofty trees I see barren of leaves Which erst from heat did canopy the herd, And summer's green all girded up in sheaves Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard, Then of thy beauty do I question make, That thou among the wastes of time must go, Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake And die as fast as they see others grow ; And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.
Page 11 - O gentlemen, the time of life is short ! To spend that shortness basely were too long, If life did ride upon a dial's point, Still ending at the arrival of an hour.
Page 10 - Would I were dead ! if God's good will were so ; For what is in this world but grief and woe? O God ! methinks it were a happy life To be no better than a homely swain; To sit upon a hill, as I do now, To carve out dials quaintly, point by point, Thereby to see the minutes how they run: How many make the hour full complete, How many hours bring about the day, How many days will finish up the year, How many years a mortal man may live.
Page 10 - I better brook the loss of brittle life Than those proud titles thou hast won of me ; They wound my thoughts worse than thy sword my flesh : — But thought's the slave of life, and life time's fool; And time, that takes survey of all the world, Must have a stop.
Page 11 - twill be eleven ; And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe, And then from hour to hour, we rot and rot, And thereby hangs a tale.
Page 11 - he says : Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day, To the last syllable of recorded time ; And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle ! Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more; it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.

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