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“But 0, what banquet wert thou to the taste,
Lest Jealousy, that sour unwelcome guest,
Once more the ruby-colour'd portal open'd,
Sorrow to shepherds, woe unto the birds,
This ill presage advisedly she marketh:
Or like the deadly bullet of a gun,
And at his look she flatly falleth down,
The silly boy, believing she is dead,
And all-amaz'd brake off his late intent,
For on the grass she lies as she were slain,
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
He kisses her; and she, by her good will,
The night of sorrow now is turn'd to day:
And as the bright sun glorifies the sky,
Whose beams upon his hairless face are fix’d,
But hers, which thro' the crystal tears gave light,
“0, where am I ?" quoth she, “in earth or heaven,
even? Do I delight to die, or life desire ?
But now I liv'd, and life was death's annoy ;
“O thou didst kill me ;–kill me once again :
• 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,
And these mine eyes, true leaders to their queen,
But for thy piteous lips no more had seen.
That the star-gazers, having writ on death,
May say the plague is banish'd by thy breath.
Which purchase if thou make, for fear of slips,
“ A thousand kisses buys my heart from me;
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,
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;
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;
Till, breathless, he disjoin'd, and backward drew
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,
Whose vulture thought doth pitch the price so high,
And having felt the sweetness of the spoil,
Planting oblivion, beating reason back,
Hot, faint, and weary, with her hard embracing,
He now obeys, and now no more resisteth,
What wax so frozen but dissolves with tempering,
Affection faints not like a pale-fac'd coward,
When he did frown, O, had she then gave over,
Were beauty under twenty locks kept fast,
For pity now she can no more detain him;
The which, by Cupid's bow she doth protest,
“Sweet boy,” she says, “ this night I 'll waste in sorrow,
He tells her, no; to-morrow he intends
“ The boar!" quoth she; whereat a sudden pale,
She sinketh down, still hanging by his neck,
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."