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Now is she in the very lists of love,
Her champion mounted for the hot encounter:
All is imaginary she doth prove,
He will not manage her, although he mount her;
That worse than Tantalus' is her annoy,
To clip Elysium, and to lack her joy.
Even as poor birds, deceiv'd with painted grapes,a
Do surfeit by the eye, and pine the maw,
Even so she languisheth in her mishaps,
As those poor birds that helpless berries saw:
The warm effects which she in him finds missing,
She seeks to kindle with continual kissing.
But all in vain; good queen, it will not be:
She hath assay'd as much as may be prov'd;
Her pleading hath deserv'd a greater fee;
She 's Love, she loves, and yet she is not lov’d.
" Fie, fie,” he says, "you crush me; let me go;
You have no reason to withhold me so.”
“Thou hadst been gone,” quoth she, “sweet boy, ere this,
But that thou told'st me thou wouldst hunt the boar,
O be advis'd! thou know'st not what it is
With javelin's point a churlish swine to gore,
Whose tushes never-sheath'd he whetteth still,
Like to a mortale butcher, bent to kill.
“ On his bow-back he hath a battle set
Of bristly pikes, that ever threat his foes;
His eyes like glowworms shine when he doth fret:
His snout digs sepulchres where'er he goes;
Being mov’d, he strikes whate'er is in his way,
And whom he strikes his cruel tushes slay.
• The allusion is to the picture of Zeuxis, mentioned by Pliny. We may observe that there was no English translation of Pliny so early as the date of this poem. • Helpless-that afford no help.
“ His brawny sides, with hairy bristles arm’d,
Are better proof than thy spear's point can enter;
His short thick neck cannot be easily harm'd;
Being ireful on the lion he will venture:
The thorny brambles and embracing bushes,
As fearful of him, part; through whom he rushes.
“ Alas! he nought esteems that face of thine,
To which Love's eyes pay tributary gazes;
Nor thy soft hands, sweet lips, and crystal eyne,
Whose full perfection all the world amazes ;
But having thee at vantage (wondrous dread!)
Would root these beauties as he roots the mead.
“0, let him keep his loathsome cabin still !
Beauty hath nought to do with such foul fiends :
Come not within his danger by thy will;
They that thrive well take counsel of their friends.
When thou didst name the boar, not to dissemble,
I fear'd thy fortune, and my joints did tremble.
“ Didst thou not mark my face? Was it not white?
Saw'st thou not signs of fear lurk in mine eye?
Grew I not faint? And fell I not downright?
Within my bosom, whereon thou dost lie,
My boding heart pants, beats, and takes no rest,
But, like an earthquake, shakes thee on my breast.
« For where Love reigns, disturbing Jealousy
Doth call himself Affection's sentinel;
Gives false alarms, suggesteth mutiny,
And in a peaceful hour doth cry, kill, kill!'
Distempering gentle Love in his desire,
As air and water do abate the fire,
• Danger-power of doing harm. So in "The Merchant of Venice, Act IV. Scene 1:
“ You stand within his danger." See Note on that passage.
· This sour informer, this bate-breeding a spy,
This canker that eats up love's tender spring,
This carry-tale, dissentious jealousy,
That sometime true news, sometime false doth bring,
Knocks at my heart, and whispers in mine ear,
That if I love thee I thy death should fear:
“And more than so, presenteth to mine eye
The picture of an angry-chafing boar,
Under whose sharp fangs on his back doth lie
An image like thyself, all stain'd with
Whose blood upon the fresh flowers being shed
Doth make them droop with grief, and hang the head.
" What should I do, seeing thee so indeed,
That tremble at the imagination ?
The thought of it doth make my faint heart bleed,
And fear doth teach it divination:
I prophesy thy death, my living sorrow,
If thou encounter with the boar to-morrow.
• But if thou needs wilt hunt, be rul'd by me;
Uncouple at the timorous flying hare,
Or at the fox, which lives by subtilty,
Or at the roe, which no encounter dare:
Pursue these fearful creatures o'er the downs,
And on thy well-breath'd horse keep with thy hounds.
“ And when thou hast on foot the purblind hare,
Mark the poor wretch, to overshoot his troubles,
How he outruns the wind, and with what care
He cranks d and crosses, with a thousand doubles:
The many musitse through the which he goes
Are like a labyrinth to amaze his foes.
* Bate signifies strife. Mrs. Quickly says that John Rugby is no breed-bate.
• Spring—bud or young shoot.
• Overshoot. The original editions read overshut. This reading is retained by
• Cranks—winds. So in · Henry IV., Part I.':-
“See how this river comes me cravking in." Musits. The term is explained in Markham's' Gentlemen's Academy,' 1595 :
“ Sometime he runs among a flock of sheep,
To make the cunning hounds mistake their smell,
And sometime where earth-delving conies keep,"
To stop the loud pursuers in their yell;
And sometime sorteth with a herd of deer;
Danger deviseth shifts; wit waits on fear:
" For there his smell with others being mingled,
The hot scent-snuffing hounds are driven to doubt,
Ceasing their clamorous cry till they have singled
With much ado the cold fault cleanly out;
Then do they spend their mouths: Echo replies,
As if another chase were in the skies.
By this, poor Wat, far off upon a hill,
Stands on his hinder legs with listening car,
To hearken if his foes pursue him still;
Anon their loud alarums he doth hear;
And now his grief may be compared well
To one sore sick that hears the passing-bell.
“ Then shalt thou see the dew-bedabbled wretch,
Turn and return, indenting with the way;
Each envious briar his weary legs doth scratch,
Each shadow makes him stop, cach murmur stay:
For misery is trodden on by many,
And being low never reliev'd by any.
“ Lie quietly, and hear a little more;
Nay, do not struggle, for thou shalt not rise:
To make thee hate the hunting of the boar,
Unlike myself thou hear'st me moralize,
Applying this to that, and so to so;
For love can comment upon every woe.
.." We term place where she (the hare] sitteth her form ; the place through which she goes to relief her musit.” Keep-dwell.
b Sorteth-consorteth. • Moralize-comment.
“Where did I leave?”_" No matter where,” quoth he
" Leave me, and then the story aptly ends :
The night is spent.”—“ Why, what of that ?" quoth she.
“ I am,” quoth he, “expected of my friends ;
And now 't is dark, and going I shall fall.”
“ In night,” quoth she, " desire sees best of all.
“But if thou fall, O then imagine this,
The earth in love with thee thy footing trips,
And all is but to rob thee of a kiss.
Rich preys make true men thieves; so do thy lips
Make modest Dian cloudy and forlorn,
Lest she should steal a kiss, and die forsworn.
“ Now of this dark night I perceive the reason:
Cynthia for shame obscures her silver shine,
Till forging nature be condemn’d of treason,
For stealing moulds from heaven that were divine,
Wherein she fram’d thee in high heaven's despite,
To shame the sun by day, and her by night.
And therefore hath she brib’d the Destinies,
To cross the curious workmanship of nature,
To mingle beauty with infirmities,
And pure perfection with impure defeature;
Making it subject to the tyranny
Of mad mischances and much misery;
“ As burning fevers, agues pale and faint,
Life-poisoning pestilence, and frenzies wood,
The marrow-eating sickness, whose attaint
Disorder breeds by heating of the blood :
Surfeits, imposthumes, grief, and damn’d despair,
Swear Nature's death for framing thee so fair.
And not the least of all these maladies,
But in one minute's fight brings beauty under: