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FROM SHAKESPEARE'S SONNETS.
His steeds to water at those springs
On chaliced flowers that lies :
And winking Mary-buds begin
To ope their golden eyes ;
With every thing that pretty bin,
My lady sweet, arise :
Cymbeline, Act II. Sc. 3.
DIRGE OF FIDELE.
Fear no more the frown o' th great,
Thou art past the tyrant's stroke;
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.
Fear no more the lightning-flash,
Nor th' all-dreaded thunder-stone.
Fear not slander, censure rash.
Thou hast finished joy and moan.
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee, and come to dust.
No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
Ghost, unlaid, forbear thee!
Nothing ill come near thee!
Quiet consommation have,
And renowned be thy grave !1
Cymbeline, Act IV. Sc. 2.
FROM SHAKESPEARE'S SONNETS.
That time of year thou may'st in me behold,
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, -
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day
As, after sunset, fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away;
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou seest the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie;
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
1 Compare the Dirge by Collins, “ To fair Fidele's grassy tomb,” &c.
Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
Fooled by those rebel powers that thee array,
Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
Why so large cost, having so short a lease,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend ?
Shall worms, inheritors of this excess,
Eat up thy charge? Is this thy body's end?
Then, soul, live thou upon thy servant's loss,
And let that pine to aggravates thy store.
Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross ;
Within be fed, 4—without be rich no more.
So shalt thou feed on death, that feeds on men ;5
And, death once dead, there's no more dying then.
Is all the counsel that we two have shared,
The sisters vows, the hours that we have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time
For parting us ;-0! and is all forgot-
All school-days friendship, childhood innocence ?
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
Have with our neelds created both one flower,
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion:
Both warbling of one song, both in one key;
As if our hands, our sides, voices, and minds
Had been incorporate. So we grew together,
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
But yet an union in partition ;
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem,
So with two seeming bodies, but one heart;
Midsummer Night's Dream, Act III. Sc. 2.
She never told her love,
But let concealment, like a worm i' th' bud,
Feed on her damask cheek: she pin'd in thought;
And, with a green-and-yellow melancholy,
She sat like Patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief.
Twelfth Night, Act II. Sc. 4.
PROPER USE OF TALENTS.
Heaven doth with us, as we with torches do,
Not light them for themselves : for if our virtues
Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike
As if we had them not.1 Spirits are not finely touched,
But to fine issues ; nor Nature never lends
The smallest scruple of her excellence,
But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines
Herself the glory of a creditor,
Both thanks and use.?
Measure for Measure, Act I. Sc. 1.
TAKE THE BEAM OUT OF THINE OWN EYE.
Go to your bosom :
Knock there, and ask your heart, what it doth know
That's like my brother's fault; if it confess
A natural guiltiness, such as is his,
Let it not sound a thought upon your tongue
Against my brother's life.
Measure for Measure, Act II. Sc. 2.
THE VOICE OF THE DYING.
The tongues of dying men
Inforce attention, like deep harmony:
Where words are scarce, they're seldom spent in vain :
For they breathe truth, that breathe their words in pain.
He that no more must say, is listen’d more
Than they whom youth and ease have taught to glose ;
More are men's ends mark'd, than their lives before :
The setting sun, and music in the close,
As the last taste of sweets is sweetest last;
Writ in remembrance, more than things long past.
Richard II. Act II. Sc. 1.
A GOOD CONSCIENCE.
What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted ?
Thrice is he arm’d that hath his quarrel just;
And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel,
Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.
Henry VI. (Part 2), Act III. Sc. 2.
WOLSEY TO CROMWELL.
Thus far hear me, Cromwell,
And when I am forgotten, as I shall be,
And sleep in dull cold marble, where no mention
2 Interest. Matt. xxv. 20, &c.---Price.
Of me more must be heard of-say I taught thee,
Say, Wolsey,—that once trod the ways of glory,
And sounded all the depths and shoals of honour,-
Found thee a way, out of his wreck, to rise in,-
A safe and sure one, though thy master missed it.
Mark but my fall, and that that ruined me.
Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away Ambition :
By that sin fell the angels, how can man, then,
The image of his Maker, hope to win by't?
Love thyself last: cherish those hearts that hate thee;
Corruption wins not more than honesty.
Still, in thy right hand, carry gentle peace,
To silence envious tongues. Be just and fear not.
Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's,
Thy God's, and truth's. Then, if thou fall'st,
Thou fall'st a blessed martyr.
Henry VIII. Act III. Sc. 2.
The noble sister of Publicola,
The Moon of Rome; chaste as the icicle
That's curded by the frost from purest snow,
And bangs on Dian's temple!
Coriolanus, Act V. Sc. 3.
CLEOPATRA ON THE CYDNUS.
The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne,
Burnt on the water; the poop was beaten gold,
Purple the sails, and so perfumed, that
The winds were love-sick with them; th' oars were silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water, which they beat, to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggar'd all description ; she did lie
In her pavilion, cloth of gold, of tissue,
O'er-picturing that Venus where we see
The fancy out-work nature. On each side her,
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With divers-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid, did.
Antony and Cleopatra, Act II, Sc. 2.
HAMLET'S MELANCHOLY. I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercise ; and, indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition, that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a
sterile promontory ; this most excellent canopy the air, look yon, this brave o'er-hanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, -why, it appears no other thing to me, than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man ! how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties ! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals !-and yet to me what is this quintessence of dust ? Man delights not me.
Hamlet, Act II. Sc. 2.
WEALTH THE ARMOUR OF SIN.
Through tattered clothes small vices do appear;
Robes and furred gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold,
And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks :
Arm it in rags, a pigmy's straw doth pierce it.
Lear, Act IV. Sc. 6.
Good name in man and woman, dear my Lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
Who steals my purse, steals trash ; 'tis something, nothing:
'Twas mine, 'tis his ; and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name,
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.
Othello, Act III. Sc. 3.1
JOHN DONNE, D. D.
DONNE was of Welsh extraction, says Southey, but born in London. He entered Oxford at the early age of twelve. His Roman Catholic faith excluded him from university honours; but he studied with distinction both in Oxford and Cambridge. His subsequent life in his youth is varied and irregular. The romantic story of his marriage and its results to his fortunes is detailed by Isaac Walton. He became, from serious and pious examination of the controversy between the opposing systems of Christianity, a convert to Protestantism. His learning procured him the favour of James I., at whose request he took holy orders, and died Dean of St Paul's in 1631.
The poetical works of Donne consist of satires, epistles, epigrams, and occasional poems. They are characterised by brilliancy of wit, though frequently of a fantastic character ; by subtlety and depth of reflection ; and by terseness and vigour of language. His versification is in general uncouth and rugged ; but this style seems to have been his choice. Dryden calls him “the greatest wit, though not the greatest poet of our nation.”-See Dryden's Dedication of Juvenal to the Earl of Dorset. He is the father of the class of writers