Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

Ne'er settled equally, but high or low :

O how much more doth beauty beauteous seem, That all love's pleasure shall not match his woe. By that sweet ornament which truth doth give!

The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem It shall be fickle, false, and full of fraud ;

For that sweet odour which oth in it live. Bud and be blasted in a breathing while;

The canker-blooms have full as deep a dye The bottom poison, and the top o'erstrawed

As the perfumed tincture of the roses, With sweets that shall the truest sight beguile.

Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly The strongest body shall it make most weak,

When summer's breath their masked buds discloses; Strike the wise dumb, and teach the fool to speak.

But, for their virtue only is their show, It shall be sparing, and too full of riot,

They live unwooed, and unrespected fade; Teaching decrepit age to tread the measures;

Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so; The staring ruffian shall it keep in quiet,

Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made; Pluck down the rich, enrich the poor with treasures ;

And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth, It shall be raging mad, and silly mild,

When that shall fade, my verse distils your truth. Make the young old, the old become a child.

From you have I been absent in the spring, It shall suspect, where is no cause of fear;

When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim, It shall not fear, where it should most mistrust; Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing, It shall be merciful, and too severe,

That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him. And most deceiving when it seems most just :

Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell Perverse it shall be, when it seems most toward,

Of different flowers in odour and in hue, Put fear to valour, courage to the coward.

Could make me any summer's story tell,

Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew: It shall be cause of war and dire events,

Nor did I wonder at the lilies white, And set dissension 'twixt the son and sire :

Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose ; Subject and servile to all discontents,

They were but sweet, but figures of delight, As dry combustious matter is to fire.

Drawn after you, you pattern of all those. Sith in his prime, death doth my love destroy,

Yet seemed it winter still, and, you away,
They that love best, their love shall not enjoy.

As with your shadow I with these did play.
Selections from Shakspeare's Sonnets.

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love Alas, 'tis true, I have gone here and there,

Which alters when it alteration finds, And made myself a motley to the view,

Or bends with the remover to remove : Gored mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most

O no ! it is an ever-fixed mark, dear,

That looks on tempests, and is never shaken; Made old offences of affections new.

It is the star to every wandering bark, Most true it is, that I have looked on truth

Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Askance and strangely : but, by all above,

Love 's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks These blenches gave my heart another youth,

Within his bending sickle's compass come; And worst essays proved thee my best of love.

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, Now all is done, save what shall have no end :

But bears it out e'en to the edge of doom. Mine appetite I never more will grind

If this be error, and upon me proved,
On newer proof, to try an older friend,

I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
A god in love, to whom I am confined.
Then give me welcome, next my heaven the best,
E'en to thy pure and most, most loving breast.

Selections from Shakspeare's Songs.

From As You Like It.
O for my sake do thou with Fortune chide,
The guilty goddess of my harmful deeds,

Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
That did not better for my life provide,

Thou art not so unkind Than public means, which public manners breeds.

As man's ingratitude ! Thence comes it that my name receives a brand,

Thy tooth is not so keen, And almost thence my nature is subdued

Because thou art not seen, To what it works in, like the dyer's hand.

Although thy breath be rude. Pity me then, and wish I were renewed ;

Heigh ho! sing, heigh ho! unto the green holly: Whilst, like a willing patient, I will drink

Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly. Potions of eysell,i 'gainst my strong infection;

Then, heigh ho, the holly!
No bitterness that I will bitter think,

This life is most jolly.
Nor double penance, to correct correction.
Pity me then, dear friend, and I assure ye,

Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
E’en that your pity is enough to cure me.

That dost not bite so nigh

As benefits forgot ! When to the sessions of sweet silent thought

Though thou the waters warp, I summon up remembrance of things past,

Thy sting is not so sharp I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,

As friend remembered not.
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste :

Heigh ho ! &c.
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,

At the end of Love's Labour's Lost,
And weep afresh love's long-since-cancelled woe,

When icicles hang by the wall, And moan the expense of many a vanished sight.

And Dick the shepherd blows his nail, Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,

And Tom bears logs into the hall, And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er

And milk comes frozen home in pail ; The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,

When blood is nipt, and ways be foul, Which I new pay as if not paid before :

Then nightly sings the staring owl, But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,

Tu-whoo !
All losses are restored, and sorrows end.

Tu-whit! tu-whoo! a merry note,
Vinegar.

While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

1

When all aloud the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,

SIR JOHN DAVIES.
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw;

SIR JOHN DAVIES (1570-1626), an English barWhen roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,

rister, at one time Speaker of the Irish House of Then nightly sings the staring owl,

Commons, was the author of a long philosophical Tu-whoo!

poem, On the Soul of Man and the Immortality Tu-whit! tu-whoo! a merry note,

thereof, supposed to have been written in 1598, While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.

and one of the earliest poems of that kind in our

language. Davies is a profound thinker and close In Much Ado about Nothing.

reasoner : 'in the happier parts of his poem,' says Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more ;

Campbell, 'we come to logical truths so well Men were deceivers ever ;

illustrated by ingenious similes, that we know not One foot in sea, and one on shore ;

whether to call the thoughts more poetically or To one thing constant never :

philosophically just. The judgment and fancy are Then sigh not so,

reconciled, and the imagery of the poem seems to But let them go,

start more vividly from the surrounding shades of And be you blithe and bonny ;

abstraction. The versification of the poem (long Converting all your sounds of woe

quatrains) was afterwards copied by Davenant and Into, Hey nonny, nonny.

Dryden. In another production, entitled Orchestra, Sing no more ditties, sing no moe

or a Poem of Dancing, in a Dialogue between Of dumps so dull and heavy;

Penelope and one of her Wooers, he is much more The fraud of men was ever so,

fanciful. He there represents Penelope as declinSince summer first was leavy.

ing to dance with Antinous, and the latter as Then sigh not so, &c.

proceeding to lecture her upon the antiquity of that elegant exercise, the merits of which he

describes in verses partaking, as has been justly In Cymbeline.

remarked, of the flexibility and grace of the subFear no more the heat o'the sun,

ject. The following is one of the most imaginative Nor the furious winter's rages;

passages :
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages :

The Dancing of the Air.
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

And now behold your tender nurse, the Air,

And common neighbour, that aye runs around, Fear no more the frown o' the great,

How many pictures and impressions fair Thou art past the tyrant's stroke;

Within her empty regions are there found, Care no more to clothe and eat,

Which to your senses dancing do propound; To thee the reed is as the oak.

For what are breath, speech, echoes, music, winds, The sceptre, learning, physic, must

But dancings of the air in sundry kinds ? All follow this, and come to dust.

For when you breathe, the air in order moves, Fear no more the lightning-flash,

Now in, now out, in time and measure true; Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;

And when you speak, so well she dancing loves, Fear not slander, censure rash;

That doubling oft, and oft redoubling new, Thou hast finished joy and moan.

With thousand forms she doth herself endue: All lovers young, all lovers must

For all the words that from your lips repair, Consign to thee, and come to dust.

Are nought but tricks and turnings of the air.

Hence is her prattling daughter, Echo, born, No exorciser harm thee!

That dances to all voices she can hear :
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!

There is no sound so harsh that she doth scorn,
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
Nothing ill come near thee !

Nor any time wherein she will forbear

The airy pavement with her feet to wear :
Quiet consummation have,
And renowned be thy grave !

And yet her hearing sense is nothing quick,

For after time she endeth every trick.

And thou, sweet Music, dancing's only life,
From As You Like 17.

The ear's sole happiness, the air's best speech,
Under the greenwood tree

Loadstone of fellowship, charming rod of strife, Who loves to lie with me,

The soft mind's paradise, the sick mind's leech, And tune his merry note

With thine own tongue thou trees and stones can Unto the sweet bird's throat,

teach, Come hither, come hither, come hither;

That when the air doth dance her finest measure, Here shall he see

Then art thou born, the gods' and men's sweet No enemy

pleasure. But winter and rough weather.

Lastly, where keep the Winds their revelry, Who doth ambition shun,

Their violent turnings, and wild whirling hays, And loves to live i' the sun,

But in the air's translucent gallery? Seeking the food he eats,

Where she herself is turned a hundred ways, And pleased with what he gets,

While with those maskers wantonly she plays: Come hither, come hither, come hither ;

Yet in this misrule, they such rule embrace,
Here shall he see

As two at once encumber not the place.
But winter and rough weather.

Afterwards, the poet alludes to the tidal influence

No enemy

of the moon, and the passage is highly poetical in Then, as a bee which among weeds doth fall, expression :

Which seem sweet flowers, with lustre fresh and gay,

She lights on that, and this, and tasteth all, For lo, the sea that fleets about the land,

But, pleased with none, doth rise and soar away. And like a girdle clips her solid waist, Music and measure both doth understand :

So, when the soul finds here no true content, For his great crystal eye is always cast

And, like Noah's dove, can no sure footing take, Up to the moon, and on her fixed fast :

She doth return from whence she first was sent,
And as she danceth in her pallid sphere

And flies to him that first her wings did make.
So danceth he about the centre here.
Sometimes his proud green waves in order set,

EDWARD VERE, EARL OF OXFORD.
One after other flow into the shore,

This nobleman, so highly popular in the court Which when they have with many kisses wet,

of Elizabeth (15402-1604), and conspicuous on They ebb away in order as before ; And to make known his courtly love the more,

many memorable occasions—as in the trial of He oft doth lay aside his three-forked mace,

Mary Queen of Scots-is now known only for And with his arms the timorous earth embrace.

some verses in the miscellany entitled the Para

dise of Dainty Devices. He was famed in his The poem on dancing is said to have been own day for comedies, or courtly entertainments, written in fifteen days. It was published in 1596.

one of which has been preserved. Stow states The Nosce Teipsum, or Poem on the Immortality that this nobleman was the first that brought to of the Soul, was first published in 1599, and four England from Italy embroidered gloves and perother editions appeared in the author's lifetime-fumes, which Elizabeth no doubt approved of as namely, in 1602, 1608, 1619, and 1622. This work highly as his sonnets or madrigals. gained the favour of James I. who made Davies successively solicitor-general and attorney-general

Fancy and Desire. for Ireland. He was also a judge of assize, and Come hither, shepherd swain ! was knighted by the king in 1607. The first

Sir, what do you require ? Reports of Law Cases published in Ireland were I pray thee shew to me thy name! made by this able and accomplished man, and his

My name is Fond Desire. preface to the volume is considered 'the best that

When wert thou born, Desire ? was ever prefixed to a law-book.'

In pomp and prime of May.
By whom, sweet boy, wert thou begot?

By fond Conceit, men say.
Reasons for the Soul's Immortality.
All moving things to other things do move

Tell me who was thy nurse?
Of the same kind, which shews their nature such ;

Fresh youth, in sugared joy, So earth falls down, and fire doth mount above,

What was thy meat and daily food ? Till both their proper elements do touch.

Sad sighs with great annoy.

What hadst thou then to drink? And as the moisture which the thirsty earth

Unseigned lovers' tears. Sucks from the sea to fill her empty veins,

What cradle wert thou rocked in? From out her womb at last doth take a birth,

In hope devoid of fears. And runs a lymph along the grassy plains;

What lulled thee then asleep? Long doth she stay, as loath to leave the land,

Sweet speech, which likes me best. From whose soft side she first did issue make;

Tell me where is thy dwelling-place? She tastes all places, turns to every hand,

In gentle hearts I rest. Her flowery banks unwilling to forsake.

What thing doth please thee most? Yet nature so her streams doth lead and carry

To gaze on beauty still. As that her course doth make no final stay,

Whom dost thou think to be thy foe? Till she herself unto the sea doth marry,

Disdain of my good will. Within whose watery bosom first she lay.

Doth company displease? E'en so the ul, which, in this earthly mould,

Yes, surely, many one. The Spirit of God doth secretly infuse,

Where doth Desire delight to live? Because at first she doth the earth behold,

He loves to live alone. And only this material world she views.

Doth either time or age At first her mother-earth she holdeth dear,

Bring him into decay ? And doth embrace the world and worldly things;

No, no! Desire both lives and dies She flies close by the ground, and hovers here,

A thousand times a day. And mounts not up with her celestial wings :

Then, Fond Desire, farewell !

Thou art no mate for me ; Yet under heaven she cannot light on aught

I should be loath, methinks, to dwell
That with her heavenly nature doth agree;

With such a one as thee.
She cannot rest, she cannot fix her thought,
She cannot in this world contented be.

SIR EDWARD DYER.
For who did ever yet, in honour, wealth,
Or pleasure of the sense, contentment find ?

Another courtly poet, SIR EDWARD DYER (circa Who ever ceased to wish, when he had health, 1540-1607), is author of several copies of verses, Or, having wisdom, was not vexed in mind ?

including the following popular piece :

If once we fall, we fall Colossus like,
My Mind to me a Kingdom is.

We fall at once like pillars of the sun ;
My mind to me a kingdom is,

They that between our stride their sails did strike, Such present joys therein I find,

Make us sea-marks where they their ships do runThat it excels all other bliss

E'en they that had by us their treasure won.
That earth affords or grows by kind :
Though much I want which most would have, Perchance the tenor of my mourning verse
Yet still my mind forbids to crave.

May lead some pilgrim to my tombless grave,

Where neither marble monument, nor hearse,
No princely pomp, no wealthy store,
Nor force to win the victory;

The passenger's attentive view may crave,

Which honours now the meanest persons have ; No wily wit to salve a sore,

But well is me where'er my ashes lie,
No shape to feed a loving eye ;
To none of these I yield as thrall,

If one tear drop from some religious eye.
For why, my mind doth serve for all

Storer was a native of London ; he was entered I see how plenty surfeits oft,

of Christchurch, Oxford, in 1587, took his degree And hasty climbers soon do fall;

of M.A. in 1594, and besides his poetical biography I see that those which are aloft,

of Wolsey, was author of some pastoral airs and Mishap doth threaten most of all ;

madrigals collected in England's Helicon. Storer These get with toil, they keep with fear :

died in 1604.
Such cares my mind could never bear.
Content to live, this is my stay ;
I seek no more than may suffice;

JOHN DONNE.
I press to bear no haughty sway ;

JOHN DONNE was born in London in 1573, of Look, what I lack my mind supplies :

a Catholic family ; through his mother, he was Lo! thus I triumph like a king,

related to Sir Thomas More and Heywood the Content with that my mind doth bring.

epigrammatist. He was educated partly at Oxford Some have too much, yet still do crave;

and partly at Cambridge, and was designed for I little have and seek no more.

the law, but relinquished the study in his nineThey are but poor, though much they have, teenth year. About this period of his life, having And I am rich with little store :

carefully considered the controversies between the They poor, I rich; they beg, I give ;

Catholics and Protestants, he became a member They lack, I leave; they pine, I live.

of the established church. The great abilities and I laugh not at another's loss;

amiable character of Donne were early appreI grudge not at another's gain ;

ciated. The Earl of Essex, the Lord Chancellor No worldly waves my mind can toss ;

Ellesmere, and Sir Robert Drury, successively My state at one doth still remain :

befriended and employed him; and it was a I fear no foe, I fawn no friend;

saying of Lord Ellesmere's, that Donne was fitter I loathe not life, nor dread my end.

to serve a king than a subject. Having been Some weigh their pleasure by their lust,

appointed to the office of secretary to the lord Their wisdom by their rage of will;

chancellor, Donne gained the affections of his Their treasure is their only trust;

lordship's niece, daughter of Sir George Moore, A cloaked craft their store of skill :

lord-lieutenant of the Tower, and a private marBut all the pleasure that I find,

riage was the result. Sir George was so indignant Is to maintain a quiet mind.

that he induced Lord Ellesmere to dismiss Donne My wealth is health and perfect ease :

from his service, and the unfortunate bridegroom My conscience clear my chief defence ;

was also for a time confined in prison. All parties, I neither seek by bribes to please,

however, were afterwards reconciled. At the age Nor by deceit to breed offence :

of forty-two, Donne was ordained, and became so Thus do I live; thus will I die ;

celebrated as a preacher, that he is said to have Would all did so as well as I!

had the offer of fourteen different livings in the

first year of his ministry. In 1621, King James THOMAS STORER.

appointed him Dean of St Paul's. Izaak Walton

describes his friend the dean as 'a preacher in The Life and Death of Cardinal Wolsey, 1594, earnest; weeping sometimes for his auditory, is deserving of notice as illustrating the tendency sometimes with them ; always preaching to himto adopt historical events as materials for poetry, self like an angel from a cloud, but in none. He and because this work probably, in conjunction died in 1631, and was honourably interred in Old with Cavendish's Life of Wolsey, incited Shak- St Paul's. speare to the composition of his Henry VIII. In The works of Donne consist of satires, elegies, some parts the dramatist has followed Cavendish's religious poems, complimentary verses, and epinarrative even in the language ; and the following grams : they were collected and published after lines from Storer's poem seem also to have been his death, in 1650, by his son. An earlier but present to his memory :

imperfect collection was printed in 1633. His Look how the God of Wisdom marbled stands

reputation as a poet, great in his own day, low Bestowing laurel-wreaths of dignity

during the latter part of the seventeenth and the In Delphos isle, at whose impartial hands

whole of the eighteenth centuries, has latterly Hung antique scrolls of gentle heraldry,

revived. In its days of abasement, critics spoke And at his feet ensigns and trophies lie :

of his harsh and rugged versification, and his Such was my state when every man did follow leaving nature for conceit. It seems to be now A living image of the great Apollo !

acknowledged that, amidst much bad taste, there

is much real poetry, and that of a high order, in Donne. He is described by a recent critic as So let us melt, and make no noise, imbued to saturation with the learning of his age,'

No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move; endowed with a most active and piercing intellect 'Twere profanation of our joys -an imagination, if not grasping and comprehen- To tell the laity our love. sive, most subtile and far-darting-a fancy, rich,

Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears, vivid, and picturesque--a mode of expression terse,

Men reckon what it did, and meant ; simple, and condensed-and a wit admirable, as

But trepidation of the spheres, well for its caustic severity, as for its playful quick- Though greater far, is innocent. ness—and as only wanting sufficient sensibility and taste to preserve him from the vices of style Dull, sublunary lovers' lovewhich seem to have beset him.' To give an idea Whose soul is sense-cannot admit of these conceits : Donne writes a poem on a Absence, because it doth remove broken heart. He does not advert to the miseries Those things which alimented it. or distractions which are presumed to be the causes of the calamity, but runs off into a play on

But we're by love so much refined, the expression 'broken heart.' He entered a

That ourselves know not what it is;

Inter-assured of the mind, room, he says, where his mistress was present,

Careless eyes, lips, and hands to miss. and Love, alas !

Our two souls, therefore-which are oneAt one first blow did shiver it [his heart] as glass.

Though I must go, endure not yet Then, forcing on his mind to discover by what

A breach, but an expansion, means the idea of a heart broken to pieces, like

Like gold to airy thinness beat. glass, can be turned to account in making out

If they be two, they are two so something that will strike the reader's imagination,

As stiff twin compasses are two; he adds :

Thy soul, the fixed foot, makes no show
Yet nothing can to nothing fall,

To move, but doth, if th' other do.
Nor any place be empty quite,
Therefore I think my breast hath all

And though it in the centre sit,

Yet when the other far doth roam,
Those pieces still, though they do not unite :
And now, as broken glasses shew

It leans, and hearkens after it,
A hundred lesser faces, so

And grows erect as that comes home.
My rags of heart can like, wish, and adore,
But after one such love can love no more.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must

Like th' other foot, obliquely run : There is here, certainly, analogy, but then it is an

Thy firmness makes my circles just, analogy which altogether fails to please or move :

And makes me end where I begun. it is a mere conceit. This peculiarity, however, does not characterise the bulk of the writings of

The Will. Donne and his followers. They are often direct, natural, and truly poetical—abounding in rich

Before I sigh my last gasp, let me breathe, thought and melody. Donne is usually con

Great Love, some legacies : I here bequeath sidered as the first writer of satire, in rhyming

Mine eyes to Argus, if mine eyes can see ;

If they be blind, then, Love, I give them thee; couplets, such as Dryden, Young, and Pope

My tongue to Fame; to ambassadors mine ears; carried to perfection. A copy of his first three

To women, or the sea, my tears; satires is in the British Museum, among the

Thou, Love, hast taught me heretofore, Harleian manuscripts, and bears date 1593. The

By making me serve her who had twenty more, fourth was transcribed by Drummond in 1994, That I should give to none but such as had too much three years before the appearance of Hall's satires. before. Acting upon a hint thrown out by Dryden, Pope modernised some of Donne's satires.

My constancy I to the planets give ;

My truth to them who at the court do live ; Address to Bishop Valentine, on the Day of the Marriage

Mine ingenuity and openness of the Elector Palatine to the Princess Elizabeth.

To Jesuits ; to buffoons my pensiveness ;

My silence to any who abroad have been ; Hail, Bishop Valentine ! whose day this is;

My money to a Capuchin. All the air is thy diocese,

Thou, Love, taught'st me, by appointing me And all the chirping choristers

To love there, where no love received can be,
And other birds are thy parishioners :

Only to give to such as have no good capacity.
Thou marryest, every year,
The lyric lark and the grave whispering dove ;

My faith I give to Roman Catholics ;
The sparrow that neglects his life for love,

All my good works unto the schismatics The household bird with his red stomacher;

Of Amsterdam ; my best civility Thou mak'st the blackbird speed as soon

And courtship to an university; As doth the goldfinch or the halcyon ;

My modesty I give to soldiers bare ; This day more cheerfully than ever shine ;

My patience let gamesters share ;
This day which might inflame thyself, old Valentine ! Thou, Love, taught’st me, by making me

Love her that holds my love disparity,
Valediction-Forbidding Mourning.

Only to give to those that count my gifts indignity.
As virtuous men pass mildly away,

I give my reputation to those
And whisper to their souls to go;

Which were my friends : mine industry to foes;
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,

To schoolmen í bequeath my doubtfulness;
The breath goes now—and some say, no;

My sickness to physicians, or excess ;

« AnteriorContinuar »