« PreviousContinue »
As blackest cloudes are chaced by winters nimble wynde,
So have his reasons chaced care out of his carefull mynde.
As of a morning fowle ensues an evening fayre,
So banisht hope returneth home to banish his despayre.
Now is affection's veale removed from his
He seeth the path that he must walke, and reson makes him wise.
For very shame the blood doth flashe in both his cheekes,
He thankes the father for his love, and farther ayde he seekes.
He sayth, that skilles youth for counsell is unfitte,
And anger oft with hastines are joynd to want of witte ;
But sound advise aboundes in heddes with horish heares,
For wisdom is by practise wonne, and perfect made by yeares.
But aye from this time forth his ready bending will
Shal be in awe and governed by fryer Lawrence skill.
The governor is now right carefull of his charge,
To whom he doth wisely discoorse of his affaires at large.
He tells him how he shall depart the towne unknowne,
(Both mindeful of his frendes safetie, and casefull of his owne)
How he shall gyde himselfe, how he shall seeke to winne
The frendship of the better sort, how warely to crepe in
The favour of the Mantuan prince, and how he may
Appease the wrath of Escalus, and wipe the fault away;
The choller of his foes by gentle meanes tassvage,
Or els by force and practises to bridle quite theyr rage:
And last he chargeth hym at his appoynted howre
To goe with manly mery cheere unto his ladies bowre,
And there with holesome woordes to salve her sorowes smart,
And to revive, if nede require, her faint and dying hart.
The old mans woords have fild with joy our Romeus brest,
And eke the old wyves talke hath set our Juliets hart at rest.
Whereto may I compare, o lovers, thys your day?
Like dayes the painefull mariners are woonted to assay;
For, beat with tempest great, when they at length espye
Some little beame of Phoebus light, that perceth through the skie,
To cleare the shadowde earth by clearnes of his face,
They hope that dreadles they shall ronne the remnant of theyr
Yea they assure them selfe, and quite behind theyr backe
They cast all doute, and thanke the gods for scaping of the wracke;
But straight the boysterous windes with greater fury blowe,
And over boord the broken mast the stormy blastes doe throwe;
The heavens large are clad with cloudes as darke as hell,
And twice as hye the striving waves begin to roare and swell;
With greater daungers dred the men are vexed more,
In greater perill of theyr life then they had been before.
The golden sonne was gonne to lodge him in the west,
The full moon eke in yonder south had sent most men to rest;
When restles Romeus and restles Juliet
In woonted sort, by woonted meane, in Juliets chamber met.
And from the windowes top downe had he leaped scarce,
When she with armes outstretched wide so hard did him embrace,
That wel nigh had the sprite (not forced by dedly force)
Flowne unto death, before the time abandoning the corce,
Thus muet stood they both the eyght part of an howre,
And both would speake, but neither had of speaking any powre;
But on his brest her hed doth joylesse Juliet lay,
And on her slender necke his chyn doth ruthfull Romeus stay.
Theyr scalding sighes ascend, and by theyr cheekes downe fall
Theyr trickling teares, as christall cleare, but bitterer far then
Then he, to end the greefe which both they lived in,
Did kisse his love, and wisely thus hys tale he dyd begin:
My Juliet, my love, my onely hope and care,
To you I purpose not as now with length of woordes declare
The diversenes and eke the accidents so straunge
Of frayle unconstant Fortune, that delyteth still in chaunge;
Who in a moment heaves her frendes up to the height
Of her swift-turning slippery wheele, then fleetes her frendship
wondrous change! even with the twinkling of an eye
Whom erst herselfe had rashly set in pleasant place so hye,
The same in great despyte downe hedlong doth she throwe,
And while she treades, and spurneth at the lofty state layde lowe,
More sorow doth she shape within an howers space,
Than pleasure in an hundred yeares; so geyson is her grace.
The proofe whereof in me, alas! too playne apperes,
Whom tenderly my carefull frendes have fosterd with my feeres,
In prosperous hygh degree, mayntained so by fate,
That, as your selfe dyd see, my foes envyde my noble state.
One thing there was I did above the rest desyre,
To which as to the sovereign good by hope I would aspyre.
That by our mariage meane we might within a while
(To work our perfect happenes) our parents reconcile :
That safely so we might, not stopt by sturdy strife,
Unto the bounds that God hath set, gyde forth our pleasant lyfe.
But now, alack! too soone my blisse is over blowne,
And upside downe my purpose and my enterprise are throwne. And driven from my frendes, of straungers must I crave
(O graunt it God!) from daungers dread that I may suretie have. For loe, henceforth I must wander in landes unknowne, (So hard I finde the prince's doome) exyled from myne owne. Which thing I have thought good to set before your eyes, And to exhort you now to proove yourselfe a woman wise; That patiently you beare my absent long abod, For what above by fatall dome decreed is, that God—”
And more than this to say, it seemed, he was bent,
But Juliet in dedly greefe, with brackish tears besprent,
Brake of his tale begonne, and whilst his speeche he stayde,
These selfe same woordes, or like to these, with dreery cheere she
'Why Romeus, can it be, thou hast so hard a hart,
So farre removed from ruth, so farre from thinking on my smart,
To leave me thus alone, thou cause of my distresse,
Beseged with so great a campe of mortall wretchednesse ;
That every howre now and moment in a day
A thousand times Death bragges, as he would reave my lyfe away?
Yet such is my mishap, O cruell destinye !
That still I lyve, and wish for death, but yet can never dye.
So that just cause I have to thinke, as seemeth me,
That froward Fortune did of late with cruel Death agree,
To lengthen lothed lyfe, to pleasure in my payne,
And triumph in my harme, as in the greatest hoped gayne.
And thou, the instrument of Fortunes cruell will,
Without whose ayde she can no way her tyrans lust fulfill,
Art not a whit ashamde (as farre as I can see)
To cast me off, when thou hast culld the better part of me.
Whereby alas! to soone, I, seely wretch, do prove,
That all the auncient sacred laws of friendship and of love
Are quelde and quenched quite, since he on whom alway
My cheefe hope and my steady trust was woonted still to stay,
For whom I am becomme unto myself a foe,
Disdayneth me, his stedfast frend, and skornes my friendship so.
Nay Romeus, nay, thou mayst of two thinges choose the one,
Eyther to see thy castaway, as soone as thou art gone,
Hedlong to throw her selfe downe from the windowes haight,
And so to breake her slender necke with all the bodies waight,
Or suffer her to be companion of thy payne,
Where so thou go (Fortune thy gyde), tyll thou retourne agayne.
So wholy into thine transformed is my hart,
That even as oft as I do thinke that thou and I shall part,
So oft, methinkes, my lyfe withdrawes it selfe awaye,
Which I retaine to no end els but to the end I
In spite of all thy foes thy present partes enjoye,
And in distres to beare with thee the half of thine
Wherefore, in humble sort, Romeus, I make request,
If ever tender pity yet were lodgde in gentle brest,
O, let it now have place to rest within thy hart;
Receave me as thy servant, and the fellow of thy smart:
Thy absence is my death, thy sight shall geve me lyfe.
But if perhaps thou stand in dred to lead me as a wyfe,
Art thou all counsellesse? canst thou no shift devise?
What letteth but in other weede I may my selfe disguyse?
What, shall I be the first? hath none done so ere this,
To scape the bondage of theyr frends? thyselfe can answer, yes. Or dost thou stand in doute that I thy wife ne can
By service pleasure thee as much, as may thy hyred man?
Or is my loyalte of both accompted lesse ?
Perhaps thou fearst lesse I for gayne forsake thee in distresse.
What! hath my bewty now no powre at all on you,
Whose brightnes, force, and prayse, sometime up to the skyes you blew ?
My teares, my friendship and my pleasures donne of olde,
Shall they be quite forgote in dede?"-When Romeus dyd behold
The wildnes of her looke, her cooller pale and ded,
The woorst of all that might betyde to her, he gan to dred;
And once agayne he dyd in armes his Juliet take,
And kist her with a loving kysse, and thus to her he spake :
"Ah Juliet, (quoth he) the mistres of my hart,
For whom, even now, thy servant doth abyde in dedly smart,
Even for the happy dayes which thou desyrest to see,
And for the fervent frendships sake that thou dost owe to mee,
At once these fansies vayne out of thy mynd roote out,
Except, perhaps, unto thy blame, thou fondly go about
To hasten forth my death, and to thine owne to ronne,
Which Natures law and wisdoms lore teach every wight to shonne.
For, but thou change thy mynde, (I do foretell the end)
Thou shalt undoo thyselfe for aye, and me thy trusty frend.
For why?-thy absence knowne, thy father will be wroth,
And in his rage no narowly he will pursue us both,
That we shall trye in vayne to scape away by flight,
And vainely seeke a loorking place to hyde us from his sight.
Then we, found out and caught, quite voyde of strong defence,
Shall cruelly be punished for thy departure hence;
I as a ravisher, thou as a careles childe,
I as a man that doth defile, thou as a mayde defilde;
Thinking to lead in ease a long contented life,
Shall short our dayes by shamefull death:-but if, my loving
Thou banish from thy mynde two foes that counsell hath,
(That wont to hinder sound advise) rashe hastines and wrath ; If thou be bent tobay the love of reasons skill,
And wisely by her princely powre suppresse rebelling will,
If thou our safetie seeke, more then thine own delight,
(Since suretie standes in parting, and thy pleasures growe of
Forbeare the cause of joy, and suffer for a while,
So shall I safely live abrode, and safe torne from exile :
So shall no slanders blot thy spotles life distayne,
So shall thy kinsmen be unstyrd, and I exempt from payne.
And thinke thou not, that aye the cause of care shall last;
These stormy broyles shall over-blowe, much like a winters blast.
For Fortune chaungeth more than fickel fantasie;
In nothing Fortune constant is save in unconstancie.
Her hasty ronning wheele is of a restless coorse,
That turnes the clymers hedlong downe, from better to the
And those that are beneth she heaveth up agayne:
So we shall rise to pleasures mount, out of the pit of payne.
Ere foure monthes overpasse, such order will I take,
And by my letters and my frendes such meanes I mynd to make,
That of my wandring race ended shall be the toyle,
And I cald home with honor great unto my native soyle.
But if I be condemned to wander still in thrall,
I will returne to you, mine owne, befall what may befall.
And then by strength of frendes, and with a mighty hand,
From Verone will I carry thee into a foreign lande;
Not in mans weede disguysd, or as one scarcely knowne,
But as my wife and only feere, in garment of thyne owne.
Wherefore represse at once the passions of thy hart,
And where there is no cause of greefe, cause hope to heale thy
For of this one thyng thou mayst well assured bee,
That nothing els but onely death shall sunder me from thee."
The reasons that he made did seeme of so great waight,
And had with her such force, that she to him gan aunswere
"Deere Syr, nought els wish I but to obey your will;
But sure where so you go, your hart with me shall tarry still,
As signe and certaine pledge, tyll here I shall you see,
Of all the powre that over you yourselfe did graunt to me;
And in his stead take myne, the gage of my good will.—
One promesse crave I at your hand, that graunt me to fulfill;
Fayle not to let me have, at fryer Lawrence hand,
The tydinges of your health, and howe your doutfull case shall
And all the wery whyle that you shall spend abrode,
Cause me from time to time to know the place of your abode." His eyes did gush out teares, a sigh brake from his brest,
When he did graunt and with an othe did vowe to kepe the hest.
Thus these two lovers passe awaye the wery night,
In payne and plaint, not, as they wont, in pleasure and delight.
But now, somewhat too soone, in farthest east arose
Fayre Lucifer, the golden starre that lady Venus chose;
Whose course appoynted is with spedy race to ronne,
A messenger of dawning daye, and of the rysing sonne.
Then fresh Aurora with her pale and silver glade
Did cleare the skies, and from the earth had chased ougly shade.