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Fletcher possessed the latter qualities is certain ; but we have no reason to attribute to Beaumont any of the deficiencies which the 'faint praise' of judgment’might seem to imply.
The opening song of The Two Noble Kinsmen has been included in this selection, although it is difficult to attribute it to any one but Shakespeare. On the other hand, 'Take, oh take those lips away, the first stanza of which occurs in Measure for Measure, has been excluded.
A. C. BRADLEY.
LINES ON THE TOMBS IN WESTMINSTER.
Mortality, behold and fear!
What a change of flesh is here !
Think how many royal bones
Sleep within this heap of stones ;
Here they lie had realms and lands,
Who now want strength to stir their hands;
Where from their pulpits seald with dust
They preach, 'In greatness is no trust.'
Here's an acre sown indeed
With the richest royall'st seed
That the earth did e'er suck in,
Since the first man died for sin :
Here the bones of birth have cried,
'Though gods they were, as men they died':
Here are sands, ignoble things,
Dropt from the ruin'd sides of kings :
Here's a world of pomp and state,
Buried in dust, once dead by fate.
FROM "THE MAID'S TRAGEDY.?
[By Beaumont and Fletcher.]
Lay a garland on my hearse
Of the dismal yew ;
Maidens, willow branches bear ;
Say, I died true.
My love was false, but I was firm
From my hour of birth.
Upon my buried body lie
Lightly, gentle earth!
FROM "THE FAITHFUL SHEPHERDESS.'
Here be grapes whose lusty blood
Is the learned poet's good ;
Sweeter yet did never crown
The head of Bacchus ; nuts more brown
Than the squirrel's teeth that crack them ;
Deign, O fairest fair, to take them !
For these black-eyed Dryope
Hath oftentimes commanded me
With my clasped knee to climb :
See how well the lusty time
Hath deck'd their rising cheeks in red,
Such as on your lips is spread.
Here be berries for a queen,
Some be red, some be green ;
These are of that luscious meat
The great god Pan himself doth eat :
All these, and what the woods can yield,
The hanging mountain or the field,
I freely offer, and ere long
Will bring you more, more sweet and strong ;
Till when, humbly leave I take,
Lest the great Pan do awake,
That sleeping lies in a deep glade,
Under a broad beech's shade.
I must go, I must run
Swifter than the fiery sun.
I am this fountain's god. Below
My waters to a river grow,
And 'twixt two banks with osiers set,
That only prosper in the wet,
Through the meadows do they glide,
Wheeling still on every side,
Sometime winding found about
To find the evenest channel out.
And if thou wilt go with me,
Leaving mortal company,
In the cool streams shalt thou lie,
Free from harm as well as 'I ;
I will give thee for thy food
No fish that useth in the mud,
But trout and pike, that love to swim
Where the gravel from the brim
Through the pure streams may be seen ;
Orient pearl fit for a queen
Will I give, thy love to win,
And a shell to keep them in ;
Not a fish in all my brook
That shall disobey thy look,
But, when thou wilt, come gliding by
And from thy white hand take a fly:
And to make thee understand
How I can my waves command,
They shall bubble whilst I sing,
Sweeter than the silver string.
Do not fear to put thy feet
Naked in the river sweet ;
Think not leech or newt or toad
Will bite thy foot, when thou hast trod;
Nor let the water rising high,
As thou wad'st in, make thee cry
And sob; but ever live with me,
And not a wave shall trouble thee !
Thou divinest, fairest, brightest,
Thou most powerful maid and whitest,
Thou most virtuous and most blessed,
Eyes of stars, and golden tressed
Like Apollo ! tell me, sweetest,
What new service now is meetest
For the Satyr? Shall I stray
In the middle air, and stay
The sailing rack, or nimbly take
Hold by the moon, and gently make
Suit to the pale queen of night
For a beam to give thee light ?
Shall I dive into the sea
And bring thee coral, making way
Through the rising waves that fall
Like snowy fleeces ? Dearest, shall
I catch thee wanton fawns, or flies
Whose woven wings the summer dyes
Of many colours ? get thee fruit,
Or steal from heaven old Orpheus' lute ?
All these I'll venture for, and more,
To do her service all these woods adore.