Imagens das páginas
[blocks in formation]

As it fell upon a day
In the merry month of May,
Sitting in a pleasant shade,
Which a grove of myrtles made,
Beasts did leap and birds did sing,
Trees did grow and plants did spring;
Every thing did banish moan,
Save the nightingale alone :
She, poor bird, as all forlorn,
Lean'd her breast up-till a thorn,
And there sung the dolefull'st ditty,
That to hear it was great pity.
Fie, fie, fie! now would she cry;
Tereu, Tereu ! by and by ;
That to hear her so complain
Scarce I could from tears refrain,
For her griefs, so lively shown,
Made me think upon mine own.
Ah! thought I, thou mournost in vain,
None takes pity on thy pain :
Senseless trees they cannot hear thee,
Ruthless bears they will not cheer thee.
King Pandion he is dead,
All thy friends are lapp'd in lead,
All thy fellow birds do sing,
Careless of thy sorrowing..

From this session interdict
Every fowl of tyrant wing,
Save the eagle, feather'd king:
Keep the obsequy so strict.

Let the priest in surplice white,
That defunctive music can,
Be the death-divining swan,
Lest the requiem lack his right.

And thou, treble-dated crow,
That thy sable gender mak'st
With the breath thou giv'st and tak'st,
Mongst our mourners shalt thou go.

Here the anthem doth commence :
Love and constancy is dead;
Phænix and the turtle fled
In a mutual flame from hence.

So they lov'd, as love in twain
Had the essence but in one;
Two distincts, division none:
Number there in love was slain.

Hearts remote, yet not asunder;
Distance, and no space was seen
'Twixt the turtle and his queen:
But in them it were a wonder.

Whilst as fickle fortune smil'd,
Thou and I were both beguil'd:
Every one that flatters thee
Is no friend in misery.
Words are easy, like the wind;
Faithful friends are hard to find :
Every man will be thy friend,
Whilst thou hast wherewith to spend;
But if store of crowns be scant,
No man will supply thy want.
If that one be prodigal,
Bountiful they will him call,
And with such like flattering,
Pity but he were a king.
If he be addict to vice,
Quickly him they will entice:
If to women he be bent,
They have him at commandement;
But if fortune once do frown,
Then, farewell his great renown:
They that fawn'd on him before
Use his company no more.
He that is thy friend indeed
He will help thee in thy need :
If thou sorrow, he will weep;
If thou wake, he cannot sleep:
Thus of every grief in heart,
He with thee does bear a part.
These are certain signs to know
Faithful friend from flattering foe.

So between them love did shine,
That the turtle saw his right
Flaming in the Phænix' sight:
Either was the other's mine.

Property was thus appall’d,
That the self was not the same;
Single nature's double name
Neither two nor one was call'd.

Reason, in itself confounded,
Saw division grow together;
To themselves yet either neither,
Simple were so well compounded;

That it cryd, how true a twain
Seemeth this concordant one!
Love hath reason, reason none,
If what parts can so remain.

1 This poem is contained in R. Barnfield's “Encomion of Lady Pecunia," 1598. It is also inserted in "England's Helicon," 1600, (H. 2) under the signature of Ignoto; but as Barnfield reprinted it as his, in 1605, there can be little doubt that he was the author of it. 26 England's Helicon” here adds this couplet:

5 Even so, poor bird, like thee,

None alive will pity me." 3 This is the last poem in " The Passionate Pilgrim," 1599. It is a separate production, both in subject and place, with a division between it and Barnfield's poem, which precedes it; nevertheless they have been incautiously coupled in some modern editions. 4 This poem is printed, as we have given it, with the name of Shakespeare, in Robert Chester's “Love's Martyr, or Rosalin's Complaint," 1601. It occurs near the end, among what are called on the title-page, "new Compositions of several modern Writers, whose names are subscribed to their several Works."

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »