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Biron. Sweet lords, sweet lovers, O let us em

brace! As true we are, as flesh and blood can be: The sea will ebb and flow, heaven show his face;

Young blood will not obey an old decree: We cannot cross the cause why we were born ; Therefore, of all hands must we be forsworn. King. What, did these rent lines show some love

of thine ? Biron. Did they, quoth you? Who sees the hea

venly Rosaline, That, like a rude and savage man of Inde,

At the first opening of the gorgeous east, Bows not his vassal head; and, strucken blind,

Kisses the base ground with obedient breast? What peremptory eagle-sighted eye

Dares look upon the heaven of her brow, That is not blinded by her majesty? King. What zeal, what fury hath inspir’d thee

now? My love, her mistress, is a gracious moon; She, an attending star, scarce seen a light.

Biron. My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Birón:

O, but for my love, day would turn to night! Of all complexions the cull'd sovereignty

Do meet, as at a fair, in her fair cheek ; Where several worthies make one dignity;

Where nothing wants, that want itself doth seek. Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues,

Fye, painted rhetorick! O, she needs it not : To things of sale a seller's praise belongs; She passes praise; then praise too short doth

blot. A wither'd hermit, five-score winters worn,

Might shake off fifty, looking in her eye: Beauty doth varnish age, as if new-born,

And gives the crutch the cradle's infancy.

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O, 'tis the sun, that maketh all things shine!

King. By heaven, thy love is black as ebony.
Biron. Is ebony like her? O wood divine!

A wife of such wood were felicity.
O, who can give an oath? where is a book?

That I may swear, beauty doth beauty lack,
If that she learn not of her eye to look:

No face is fair, that is not full so black. King. O paradox! Black is the badge of hell,

The hue of dungeons, and the scowl of night; And beauty's crest becomes the heavens well.3 Biron. Devils soonest tempt, resembling spirits

of light. O, if in black my lady's brows be deckt,

It mourns, that painting, and usurping hair, Should ravish doters with a false aspéct;

And therefore is she born to make black fair. Her favour turns the fashion of the days;

For native blood is counted painting now; And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise,

Paints itself black, to imitate her brow. Dum. To look like her, are chimney-sweepers

black. Long. And, since her time, are colliers counted

bright. King. And Ethiops of their sweet complexion

crack. Dum. Dark needs no candles now, for dark is light. Biron. Your mistresses dare never come in rain,

For fear their colours should be wash'd away. King. 'Twere good, yours did; for, sir, to tell

you plain,
I'll find a fairer face not wash'd to-day.

s And beauty's crest becomes the heavens well.] i, e. the very top, the height of beauty, or the utmost degree of fairness, becomes the heavens.

* - and usurping hair,] i. e. false hair.

Biron. I'll prove her fair, or talk till dooms-day

here. King. No devil will fright thee then so much as

she. Dum. I never knew man hold vile stuff so dear. Long. Look, here's thy love: my foot and her face see.

[Showing his shoe. Biron. O, if the streets were paved with thine

eyes, Her feet were much too dainty for such tread ! Dum. O vile! then as she goes, what upward lies

The street should see as she walk'd over head. King. But what of this? Are we not all in love? Biron. O, nothing so sure; and thereby all for

sworn. King. Then leave this chat; and, good Birón,

now prove Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn. Dum. Ay, marry, there;—some flattery for this

evil. Long. O, some authority how to proceed; Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil.

Dum. Some salve for perjury.
Biron.

O, 'tis more than need!
Have at you then, affection's men at arms:
Consider, what you first did swear unto;-
To fast,—to study,—and to see no woman ;-
Flat treason 'gainst the kingly state of youth.
Say, can you fast? your stomachs are too young;
And abstinence engenders maladies.
And where that you have vow'd to study, lords,
In that each of you hath forsworn his book:
Can you still dream, and pore, and thereon look ?
For when would you, my lord, or you, or you,

some quillets,] Quillet is the peculiar word applied to law-chicane.

6 - affection's men at arms:] i. e. Ye soldiers of affection.

Have found the ground of study's excellence,
Without the beauty of a woman's face?
From women's eyes this doctrine I derive:
They are the ground, the books, the academes,
From whence doth spring the true Promethean fire.
Why, universal plodding prisons up
The nimble spirits in the arteries ;)
As motion, and long during-action, tires
The sinewy vigour of the traveller.
Now, for not looking on a woman's face,
You have in that forsworn the use of eyes;
And study too, the causer of your vow :
For where is any author in the world,
Teaches such beauty as a woman's eye?
Learning is but an adjunct to ourself,
And where we are, our learning likewise is.
Then, when ourselves we see in ladies' eyes,
Do we not likewise see our learning there?
O, we have made a vow to study, lords;
And in that vow we have forsworn our books;
For when would you, my liege, or you, or you,
In leaden contemplation, have found out
Such fiery numbers, as the prompting eyes
Of beauteous tutors have enrich'd you with ?
Other slow arts entirely keep the brain;8
And therefore finding barren practisers,
Scarce show a harvest of their heavy toil:
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,

? The nimble spirits in the arteries ;] In the old system of physic they gave the same office to the arteries as is now given to the nerves.

8 Other slow arts entirely keep the brain ;] As we say, keep the house, or keep their bed. M. Mason.

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 his 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;
O, 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 academes,
That show, contain, and nourish all the world ;
Else, none at all in aught proves excellent:
Then fools you were these women to forswear;
Or, keeping what is sworn, you will prove fools.
For wisdom's sake, a word that all men love;
Or for love's sake, a word that loves all men ;3

9 — the suspicious head of theft is stoppid;] i. e. a lover in pursuit of his mistress has his sense of hearing quicker than a thief (who suspects every sound he hears) in pursuit of his prey. Or, T'he suspicious head of thefi may mean the head suspicious of theft.

i- cockled-] i. e, inshelled, like the fish called a cockle.

? Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?] Our author seems to have thought that the latter word was the name of the garden in which the golden apples were kept: and some of his contemporaries are chargeable with the same inaccuracy. s a word that loves all men;] i. e. that is pleasing to all men.

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