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Both favour, savour, hue, and qualities,
Whereat the impartial gazer late did wonder,
Are on the sudden wasted, thaw'd, and done,
As mountain-snow melts with the midday sun.
“ Therefore, despite of fruitless chastity,
Love-lacking vestals, and self-loving nuns,
That on the earth would breed a scarcity
And barren dearth of daughters and of sons,
Be prodigal: the lamp that burns by night
his oil to lend the world his light.
“ What is thy body but a swallowing grave,
Seeming to bury that posterity
Which by the rights of time thou needs must have,
If thou destroy them not in dark obscurity ?
If so, the world will hold thee in disdain,
Sith in thy pride so fair a hope is slain.
“ So in thyself thyself art made away;
A mischief worse than civil home-bred strife,
Or theirs whose desperate hands themselves do slay,
Or butcher-sire, that reaves his son of life.
Foul cankering rust the hidden treasure frets,
But gold that 's put to use more gold begets.”
Nay, then," quoth Adon, "you will fall again
Into your idle over-handled theme;
The kiss I gave you is bestow'd in vain,
And all in vain you strive against the stream;
For by this black-fac'd night, desire's foul nurse,
Your treatise makes me like you worse and worse.
“ If love have lent you twenty thousand tongues,
And every tongue more moving than your own,
Bewitching like the wanton mermaid's songs,
Yet from mine ear the tempting tune is blown;
For know, my heart stands armed in mine ear,
And will not let a false sound enter there;
" Lest the deceiving harmony should run
Into the quiet closure of my breast;
And then my little heart were quite undone,
In his bedchamber to be barr'd of rest.
No, lady, no; my heart longs not to groan,
But soundly sleeps, while now it sleeps alone.
"What have you urg'd that I cannot reprove ?
The path is smooth that leadeth on to danger;
I hate not love, but your device in love,
That lends embracements unto every stranger.
You do it for increase ; O strange excuse !
When reason is the bawd to lust's abuse.
Call it not love, for love to heaven is fled,
Since sweating lust on earth usurp'd his name;
Under whose simple semblance he hath fed
Upon fresh beauty, blotting it with blame;
Which the hot tyrant stains, and soon bereaves,
As caterpillars do the tender leaves.
“Love comforteth like sunshine after rain,
But lust's effect is tempest after sun;
Love's gentle spring doth always fresh remain,
Lust's winter comes ere summer half be done.
Love surfeits not; lust like a glutton dies:
Love is all truth; lust full of forged lies.
More I could tell, but more I dare not say;
The text is old, the orator too green.
Therefore, in sadness, now I will away;
My face is full of shame, my heart of teen ;a
Mine ears that to your wanton talk attended
Do burn themselves for having so offended.”
With this he breaketh from the sweet embrace
Of those fair arms which bound him to her breast,
And homeward through the dark laund“ runs apace;
Leaves Love upon her back deeply distress'd.
Look how a bright star shooteth from the sky,
So glides he in the night from Venus' eye;
Which after him she darts, as one on shore
Gazing upon a late-embarked friend,
Till the wild waves will have him seen no more,
Whose ridges with the meeting clouds contend;
So did the merciless and pitchy night
Fold in the object that did feed her sight.
Whereat amaz’d, as one that unaware
Hath dropp'd a precious jewel in the flood,
Or 'stonish'd as night-wanderers often are,
Their light blown out in some mistrustful wood;
Even so confounded in the dark she lay,
Having lost the fair discovery of her way.
And now she beats her heart, whereat it groans,
That all the neighbour-caves, as seeming troubled,
Make verbal repetition of her moans;
Passion on passion deeply is redoubled :
“Ah me!" she cries, and twenty times, “woe, woe!"
And twenty echoes twenty times cry so.
She, marking them, begins a wailing note,
And sings extemp’rally a woeful ditty;
How love makes young men thrall, and old men dote;
How love is wise in folly, foolish-witty :
Her heavy anthem still concludes in woe,
And still the choir of echoes answerb so.
* Laund-lawn. Camden describes a lawn as a plain among trees, and the epithet dark confirms this explanation. We have such a scene in “Henry VI., Part III. Act III.;
“ Under this thick-grown brake we 'll shroud ourselves,
For through this laund anon the deer will come." Answer. So the original. Mr. Dyce, who is a careful collator of copies, prints
Her song was tedious, and outwore the night,
For lovers' hours are long, though seeming short:
If pleas'd themselves, others, they think, delight
In such like circumstance, with such like sport:
Their copious stories, oftentimes begun,
End without audience, and are never done.
For who hath she to spend the night withal,
But idle sounds, resembling parasites,
Like shrill-tongued tapsters answering every call,
Soothing the humour of fantastic wits?
She says, “'t is so :” they answer all, "'t is so;"
after her, if she said “no."
Lo! here the gentle lark, weary of rest,
From his moist cabinet mounts up on high,
And wakes the morning, from whose silver breast
The sun ariseth in his majesty;
Who doth the world so gloriously behold,
The cedar-tops and hills seem burnish'd gold.
Venus salutes him with this fair good morrow:
O thou clear god, and patron of all light,
From whom each lamp and shining star doth borrow
The beauteous influence that makes him bright,
There lives a son, that suck'd an earthly mother,
May lend thee light, as thou dost lend to other.”
This said, she hasteth to a myrtle grove,
Musing the morning is so much o'erworn,
And yet she hears no tidings of her love:
She hearkens for his hounds, and for his horn:
No doubt, according to the rules of modern construction, answers is more correct, and Malone talks of Shakspere having fallen into the error of “hasty writers, who are deceived by the noun immediately preceding the verb being in the plural number.” We bold that to be a false refinement which destroys the landmarks of an age's phraseology. Ben Jonson, in his • English Grammar,' lays down as a rule that “ nouns signifying a multitude, though they be of the singular number, require a verb plural.” The rule would appear still more reasonable when the plural is more apparently expressed in the noun of multitude, as in the form before us—“ the choir of echoes."
Anon she hears them chant it lustily,
And all in haste she coasteth a to the cry.
And as she runs, the bushes in the way
Some catch her by the neck, some kiss her face,
Some twine about her thigh to make her stay;
She wildly breaketh from their strict embrace,
Like a milch doe, whose swelling dugs do ache,
Hasting to feed her fawn, hid in some brake.
By this she hears the hounds are at a bay,
Whereat she starts, like one that spies an adder
Wreath'd up in fatal folds, just in his way,
The fear whereof doth make him shake and shudder;
Even so the timorous yelping of the hounds
Appals her senses, and her spright confounds.
For now she knows it is no gentle chase,
But the blunt boar, rough bear, or lion proud,
Because the cry remaineth in one place,
Where fearfully the dogs exclaim aloud :
Finding their enemy to be so curst,
They all strain court'sy who shall cope him first.
This dismal cry rings sadly in her ear,
Through which it enters to surprise her heart,
Who, overcome by doubt and bloodless fear,
With cold-pale weakness numbs each feeling part:
Like soldiers, when their captain once doth yield,
They basely fly, and dare not stay the field.
Thus stands she in a trembling ecstasy ;
Till, cheering up her senses sore-dismay'd,
She tells them 't is a causeless fantasy,
And childish error that they are afraid;
b Colu-pale. The hyphen denoting the compound adjective is marked in the original edition of 1593.
Sore-dismay'd. This is the reading of the edition of 1596. The original has all dismayed.