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BRAVE conquerors !—for so you are,
That war against your own affections,
And the huge armies of the world's desires.
VANITY OF PLEASURE.
Why, all delights are vain; but that most vain,
Which, with pain purchas'd, doth inherit pain.
Study is like the heaven's glorious sun,
That will not be deep-search'd with saucy looks; Small have continual plodders ever won,
Save base authority from others' books. These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights,
That give a name to every fixed star, Have no more profit of their shining nights,
Than those that walk, and wot not what they are. Too much to know, is, to know nought but fame; And every godfather can give a name.
An envious sneaping * frost,
That bites the first-born infants of the spring.
A CONCEITED COURTIER,
A man in all the world's new fashion planted,
That hath a mint of phrases in his brain :
One, whom the music of his own vain tongue
Doth ravish, like enchanting harmony;
A man of compliments whom right and wrong
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny:
This child of fancy, that Armado hight *,
For interim to our studies, shall relate, In high-born words, the worth of many a knight
From tawny Spain, lost in the world's debate.
My beauty, though but mean,
Needs not the painted flourish of your praise ;
Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye,
Not utter'd by base sale of chapmen's tongues.
A MERRY MAN.
A merrier man,
Within the limit of becoming mirth,
I never spent an hour's talk withal :
His eye begets occasion for his wit ;
For every object that the one doth catch,
The other turns to a mirth-moving jest;
With his fair tongue (conceit's expositor,)
Delivers in such apt and gracious words,
That aged ears play truant at his tales,
And younger hearings are quite ravished;
So sweet and voluble is his discourse.
ACT III. HUMOROUS DESCRIPTION OF LOVE. 0 !-And I, forsooth, in love! I, that have been
love's whip: A very beadle to a humorous sigh; A critic; nay, a night-watch constable;
A domineering pedant o'er the boy,
Than whom no mortal so magnificent!
This wimpled *, whining, purblind, wayward boy;
This senior-junior, giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid ;
Regent of love-rhymes, lord of folded arms,
The anointed sovereign of sighs and groans,
Liege of all loiterers and malcontents,
Dread prince of plackets t, king of codpieces,
Sole imperator, and great general
Of trotting paritors 1.-0 my little heart!
And I to be a corporal of his field,
And wear his colours like a tumbler's hoop!
What? I! I love! I sue! I seek a wife!
A woman, that is like a German clock,
Still a repairing; ever out of frame;
And never going aright, being a watch,
But being watch'd that it may still go right?
Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye
('Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument,) Persuade my heart to this false perjury?
Vows, for thee broke, deserve not punishment. A woman I forswore; but, I will prove,
Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee: My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love;
Thy grace being gain'd, cures all disgrace in me. Vows are but breath, and breath a vapour is :
Then thou, fair sun, which on my earth doth shine, Exhal’st this vapour vow; in thee it is :
If broken then, it is no fault of mine;
If by me broke, What fool is not so wise,
To lose an oath to win a paradise ?
* Hooded, veiled.
The officer of the spiritual courts who serve citations.
On a day, (alack the day!)
Love, whose month is ever May,
Spied a blossom passing fair,
Playing in the wanton air:
Through the velvet leaves the wind,
All unseen, 'gan passage find;
That the lover, sick to death,
Wish'd himself the heaven's breath.
Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow;
Air, would I might triumph so!
But, alack, my hand is sworn,
Ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn:
Vow, alack, for youth unmeet;
Youth so apt to pluck a sweet.
Do not call it sin in me,
That I am forsworn for thee:
Thou for whom even Jove would swear,
Juno but an Ethiop were ;
And deny himself for Jove,
Turning mortal for thy love.
THE POWER OF LOVE.
But love, first learned in a lady's eyes,
Lives not alone immured in the brain;
But with the motion of all elements,
Courses as swift as thought in every power;
And gives to every power a double power,
Above their functions and their offices.
It adds a precious seeing to the eye ;
A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind;
A lover's ear will hear the lowest sound,
When the suspicious head of theft is stopp'd;
Love's feeling is more soft, and sensible,
Than are the tender horns of cockled snails;
Love's tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste:
For valour, is not love a Hercules,
Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?
Subtle as sphinx; as sweet and musical,
As bright Apollo's lute, strung with hair;
And, when love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.
Never durst poet touch a pen to write,
Until his ink were temper'd with love's sighs ;
0, then his lines would ravish savage ears,
And plant in tyrants mild humility.
From women's eyes this doctrine I derive:
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
They are the books, the arts, the academies,
That show, contain, and nourish all the world;
Else, none at all in aught proves excellent.
JEST AND JESTER.
Your task shall be
With all the fierce * endeavour of your wit,
To enforce the pained impotent to smile.
Biron. To move wild laughterin the throat of death; It cannot be; it is impossible: Mirth cannot move a soul in agony.
Ros. Why, that's the way to choke a gibing spirit,
Whose influence is begot of that loose grace,
Which shallow laughing hearers give to fools:
A jest's prosperity lies in the ear
Of him that hears it, never in the tongue
Of him that makes it.
Spring. When daisies pied, and violets blue,
And lady-smocks all silver-wbite,
And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue,
Do paint the meadows with delight,