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VERSES

AMOXG THE

ADDITIONAL POEMS TO CHESTER'S LOVE'S

MARTYR, 1601.

Let the bird of loudest lay, .
On the sole Arabian tree,
Herald sad and trumpet be,
To whose sound chaste wings obey.

But thou, shrieking harbinger,
Foul pre-currer of the fiend,
Augur of the fever's end,
To this troop come thou not nea

1 There is a curious coincidence in a passage in The Tem. pest:

“ Now I will believe
That there are unicorns ; that in Arabia
There is one tree, the phænix throne."

From this session interdict
Every fowl of tyrant wing,
Save the eagle, feathered 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 loved, 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.

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

i Can, knows.

Property was thus appalled,
That the self was not the same ;
Single nature's double name
Neither two nor one was called.

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

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

Whereupon it made this threne?
To the phenix and the dove,
Co-supremes and stars of love;
As chorus to their tragic scene.

THRENOS.

Beauty, truth, and rarity,
Grace in all simplicity,
Here enclosed in cinders lie

Death is now the phænix' nest;
And the turtle's loyal breast
To eternity doth rest,

Leaving no posterity :-
'T was not their infirmity
It was married chastity.

1 Threne, funereal song.

Truth may seem, but cannot be ;
Beauty brag, but 'tis not she;
Truth and beauty buried be.

To this urn let those repair
That are either true or fair ;
For these dead birds sigh a prayer.

ILLUSTRATIONS

OP

A LOVER’S COMPLAINT, THE PASSIONATE

PILGRIM, &c.

A Lover's COMPLAINT was first printed with the Sonnets in 1609. It was reprinted in 1610, in that collection called Shakspeare's Pocms, in which the original order of the Sonnets was entirely disregarded, some were omitted, and this poem was thrust in amidst translations from Ovid which had been previously claimed by another writer. Of these we shall have presently to speak. There can be no doubt of the genuineness of A Lover's Complaint. It is distinguished by that condensation of thought and outpouring of imagery which are the characteristics of Shakspeare's poems. The effect consequent upon these qualities is, that the language is sometimes obscure, and the metaphors occasionally appear strange and forced. It is very different from any production of Shaks. peare's contemporaries. As in the case of the Venus and Adonis, and the Lucrece, we feel that the power of the writer is in perfect subjection to his art. Ile is never carried away by the force of his own conceptions. We mention these attributes mcrcly with reference to the undoubted character of the poem as belonging to the Shakspearian system: we shall have occasion to notice it again.

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