« AnteriorContinuar »
Kent, in the commentaries Cæsar writ,
Is term’d the civil'st place of all this isle :
Sweet is the country, because full of riches ;
The people liberal, valiant, active, wealthy.
Lord Say's Apology for himself.
Justice with favour have I always done ;
Prayers and tears have moved me, gifts could never,
When have I aught exacted at your hands,
Kent to maintain, the king, the realm, and you ?
Large gifts have I bestow'd on learned clerks,
Because my book preferr'd me to the king :
And—seeing ignorance is the curse of God,
Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven, -
Unless you be possess'd with devilish spirits,
You cannot but forbear to murder me.
The Third Part of King Henry the Sixth continues the history of that monarch and Queen Margaret from the battle of St. Albans. It records the battles of Wakefield, Towton, Barnet, and Tewksbury, and concludes with the murder of King Henry the Sixth in the Tower by the Duke of Glo'ster, afterwards Richard the Third, and the occupation of the throne by Edward the Fourth.
The Transports of a Crown.
Do but think,
How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown ;
Within whose circuit is Elysium,
And all that poets feign of bliss and joy.
A Hungry Lion described.
So looks the pent-up lion o'er the wretch
That trembles under his devouring paws :
And so he walks, insulting o'er his prey :
And so he comes to rend his limbs asunder.
The Duke of York on the gallant Behaviour of his
My sons—God knows what hath bechanced them :
But this I know,—They have demean'd themselves
Like men born to renown, by life or death.
Three times did Richard make a lane to me;
And thrice cried,—“Courage, father ! fight it out!”
And full as oft came Edward to my side,
With purple falchion, painted to the hilt
In blood of those that had encounter'd him :
And when the hardiest warriors did retire,
Richard cried—“ Charge! and give no foot of ground!”
And cried—“ A crown, or else a glorious tomb !
A sceptre, or an earthly sepulchre!”
With this, we charged again : but, out, alas !
We bodg’d* again ; as I have seen a swan
With bootless labour swim against the tide,
And spend her strength with overmatching waves.
A Father's Passion on the Murder of a Favourite Child.
O, tiger's heart, wrapp'd in a woman's hide ! How couldst thou drain the life-blood of the child, To bid the father wipe his eyes withal,
* That is, we boggled, made bad or bungling work of our attempt to rally.
And yet be seen to bear a woman's face?
Women are soft, mild, pitiful, and flexible ;
Thou stern, obdurate, Ainty, rough, remorseless.
the humor y cangi bads have stainid
That face of his the hungry cannibals
Would not have touch’d, would not have stain'd with
But you are more inhuman, more inexorable,
O, ten times more,—than tigers of Hyrcania.
See, ruthless queen, a hapless father's tears :
This cloth thou dipp’dst in blood of my sweet boy,
And I with tears do wash the blood away.
Keep thou the napkin, and go boast of this :
And if thou tellst the heavy story right,
Upon my soul the hearers will shed tears ;
Yea, even my foes will shed fast-falling tears,
And say,MAlas, it was a piteous deed !
The Duke of York in Battle.
Methought he bore him* in the thickest troop,
As doth a lion in a herd of neat ; +
Or as a bear, encompass'd round with dogs ;
Who having pinch'd a few, and made them cry,
The rest stand all aloof, and bark at him.
See how the morning opes her golden gates,
And takes her farewell of the glorious sun ! I
How well resembles it the prime of youth,
Trimm'd like a younker prancing to his love !
* Demeaned himself.
+ Cattle, cows, oxen, etc. Aurora takes for a time her farewell of the sun, when she dismisses him to his diurnal course.
. The Morning's Dawn.
This battle fares like to the morning's war,
When dying clouds contend with growing light ;
What time the shepherd, blowing of his nails,
Can neither call it perfect day nor night.
The Blessings of a Shepherd's Life.
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.
When this is known, then to divide the times :
So many hours must I tend my flock;
So many hours must I take my rest ;
So many hours must I contemplate ;
So many hours must I sport myself ;
So many years ere I shall shear the fleece ;
So minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years,
Pass'd over to the end they were created,
Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave.
Ah, what a life were this ! how sweet! how lovely!
Gives not the hawthorn bush a sweeter shade
To shepherds, looking on their silly sheep,
Than doth a rich embroider'd canopy
To kings that fear their subjects' treachery!
O yes, it doth; a thousand fold it doth.
And to conclude,—the shepherd's homely curds,
His cold thin drink out of his leather bottle,
His wonted sleep under a fresh tree's shade.
All which secure and sweetly he enjoys,
[s far beyond a prince's delicates,
His viands sparkling in a golden cup,
His body couched in a curious bed,
When care, mistrust, and treason, wait on him.
Fickleness of the Populace.
Look, as I blow this feather from my face
And as the air blows it to me again,
Obeying with my wind when I do blow,
And yielding to another when it blows,
Commanded always by the greater gust ;
Such is the lightness of you common men.
A Simile on ambitious Thoughts.
Why, then I do but dream on sovereignty ;
Like one that stands upon a promontory,
And spies a far-off shore where he would tread,
Wishing his foot were equal with his eye ;
And chides the sea that sunders him from thence,
Saying—he'll lade it dry to have his way.
Gloster on his Deformity.
Why, love foreswore me,
And, for I should not deal in her soft laws,
She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe
To shrink mine arm up like a wither'd shrub;
To make an envious mountain on my back,
Where sits deformity to mock my body ;
To shape my legs of an unequal size :