“But 0, what banquet wert thou to the taste,
Being nurse and feeder of the other four!
Would they not wish the feast might ever last,
And bid Suspicion double-lock the door?

Lest Jealousy, that sour unwelcome guest,
Should, by his stealing in, disturb the feast.”

Once more the ruby-colour'd portal open'd,
Which to his speech did honey passage yield;
Like a red morn, that ever yet betoken'd
Wreck to the seaman, tempest to the field,

Sorrow to shepherds, woe unto the birds,
Gusts and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds.

This ill presage advisedly she marketh:
Even as the wind is hush'd before it raineth,
Or as the wolf doth grin before he barketh,
Or as the berry breaks before it staineth,

Or like the deadly bullet of a gun,
His meaning struck her ere his words begun.

And at his look she flatly falleth down,
For looks kill love, and love by looks reviveth:
A smile recures the wounding of a frown,
But blessed bankrupt, that by love so thriveth!

The silly boy, believing she is dead,
Claps her pale cheek, till clapping makes it red;

And all-amaz'd brake off his late intent,
For sharply he did think to reprehend her,
Which cunning love did wittily prevent:
Fair fall the wit that can so well defend her!

For on the grass she lies as she were slain,
Till his breath breatheth life in her again.

He wrings her nose, he strikes her on the cheeks, He bends her fingers, holds her pulses hard;

a Flaws is here used in the sense of violent blasts.

He chafes her lips, a thousand ways he seeks
To mend the hurt that his unkindness marr'd;

He kisses her; and she, by her good will,
Will never rise so he will kiss her still.

The night of sorrow now is turn'd to day:
Her two blue windowsa faintly she upheaveth,
Like the fair sun, when in his fresh array
He cheers the morn, and all the world relieveth:

And as the bright sun glorifies the sky,
So is her face illumin'd with her eye;

Whose beams upon his hairless face are fix’d,
As if from thence they borrow'd all their shine.
Were never four such lamps together mix’d,
Had not his clouded with his brows' repine;'

But hers, which thro' the crystal tears gave light,
Shone like the moon in water seen by night.

“0, where am I ?" quoth she, “in earth or heaven,
Or in the ocean drench'd, or in the fire ?
What hour is this? or morn or weary

even? Do I delight to die, or life desire ?

But now I liv'd, and life was death's annoy ;
But now I died, and death was lively joy.

“O thou didst kill me ;–kill me once again :
Thy eyes' shrewd tutor, that hard heart of thine,
Hath taught them scornful tricks, and such disdain
That they have murder'd this poor heart of mine;

• The windows are doubtless the eyelids, but the epithet blue is somewhat startling. We must remember that Shakspere has described violets as

“Sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes." The propriety of this epithet is fully noticed by us in Cymbeline,' Act II. Scene 2.

b Repine-used as a substantive. Chaucer employs pine in the same manner.

• In Shakspere's early plays we frequently meet the same image that is found in these early poems. Thus in • Love's Labour 's Lost :

“ Nor shines the silver moon one half so bright

Through the transparent bosom of the deep,
As doth thy face through tears of mine give light;
Thou shin'st in every tear that I do weep."

And these mine eyes, true leaders to their queen,

But for thy piteous lips no more had seen.
"Long may they kiss each other, for this cure!
O never let their crimson liveries wear!
And as they last, their verdure still endure,
To drive infection from the dangerous year!

That the star-gazers, having writ on death,

May say the plague is banish'd by thy breath.
“Pure lips, sweet seals in my soft lips imprinted,
What bargains may I make, still to be sealing?
To sell myself I can be well contented,
So thou wilt buy, and pay, and use good dealing ;

Which purchase if thou make, for fear of slips,
Set thy seal-manual on my wax-red lips.

A thousand kisses buys my heart from me;
And pay them at thy leisure, one by one.
What is ten hundred touches unto thee?
Are they not quickly told, and quickly gone?

non-payment that the debt should double, i Is twenty hundred kisses such a trouble?”

“ Fair queen,” quoth he, “if any love you owe me,
Measure my strangeness with my unripe years;
Before I know myself seek not to know me;
No fisher but the ungrown fry forbears :

The mellow plum doth fall, the green sticks fast,

Or being early pluck'd is sour to taste. “Look, the world's comforter, with weary gait, His day's hot task hath ended in the west:

• The custom of strewing houses with fragrant herbs was universal at a period when the constant recurrence of the plague habituated families to the use of what they considered preventives. It was this cause which rendered Bucklersbury at simpling time such a crowded mart.

b Here is one of the many traces of Shakspere's legal studies—an allusion to the penalty for non-payment which formed the conditiou of a money-bond.

Strangeness-coyness or bashfulness.

The owl, night's herald, shrieks,—'t is very late;
The sheep are gone to fold, birds to their nest;

And coal-black clouds that shadow heaven's light

Do summon us to part, and bid good night. “Now let me say 'good night,' and so say you; If you will say so, you shall have a kiss.” “ Good night,” quoth she; and, ere he says “ adieu," The honey fee of parting tender'd is:

Her arms do lend his neck a sweet embrace;
Incorporate then they seem; face grows to face.

Till, breathless, he disjoin'd, and backward drew
The heavenly moisture, that sweet coral mouth,
Whose precious taste her thirsty lips well knew,
Whereon they surfeit yet complain on drouth:

He with her plenty press'd, she faint with dearth, (Their lips together glued,) fall to the earth.

Now quick Desire hath caught the yielding prey,
And glutton-like she feeds yet never filleth;
Her lips are conquerors, his lips obey,
Paying what ransom the insulter willeth;

Whose vulture thought doth pitch the price so high,
That she will draw his lips' rich treasure dry.

And having felt the sweetness of the spoil,
With blindfold fury she begins to forage ;
Her face doth reek and smoke, her blood doth boil,
And careless lust stirs up a desperate courage;

Planting oblivion, beating reason back,
Forgetting shame's pure blush, and honour's wrack.

Hot, faint, and weary, with her hard embracing,
Like a wild bird being tam'd with too much handling,
Or as the fleet-foot roe that 's tir'd with chasing,
Or like the froward infant still’d with dandling,

He now obeys, and now no more resisteth,
While she takes all she can, not all she listeth.

What wax so frozen but dissolves with tempering,
And yields at last to every light impression ?-
Things out of hope are compass'd oft with venturing,
Chiefly in love, whose leave" exceeds commission :

Affection faints not like a pale-fac'd coward,
But then woos best when most his choice is froward.

When he did frown, O, had she then gave over,
Such nectar from his lips she had not suck’d.
Foul words and frowns must not repel a lover;
What though the rose have prickles, yet 't is pluck’d:

Were beauty under twenty locks kept fast,
Yet love breaks through, and picks them all at last.

For pity now she can no more detain him;
The poor fool prays her that he may depart:
She is resolv'd no longer to restrain him;
Bids him farewell, and look well to her heart,

The which, by Cupid's bow she doth protest,
He carries thence incaged in his breast.

“Sweet boy,” she says, “ this night I 'll waste in sorrow,
For my sick heart commands mine eyes to watch.
Tell me, love's master, shall we meet to-morrow?
Say, shall we? shall we? wilt thou make the match?”

He tells her, no; to-morrow he intends
To hunt the boar with certain of his friends.

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“ The boar!" quoth she; whereat a sudden pale,
Like lawn being spread upon the blushing rose,
Usurps her cheeks; she trembles at his tale,
And on his neck her yoking arms she throws:

She sinketh down, still hanging by his neck,
He on her belly falls, she on her back.

The soft wax upon which the seal attached to a legal instrument was impressed required to be tempered before the impression was made upon it. So Falstaff sa y8 of Justice Shallow—“ I have bim alieady tempering between my finger and my thumb, and shortly will I seal with him.”

b Leare-licence. c No reader of Shakspere can forget the pathos with which he has employed this expression in another place—“And my poor fool is hanged."

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