« AnteriorContinua »
'Tis double death to drown in ken of shore;
He ten times pines, that pines beholding food;
To see the salve doth make the wound ake more;
Great grief grieves most at that would do it good;
Deep woes roll forward like a gentle flood,
Who being stopp'd, the bounding banks o'erflows :
Grief dallied with nor law nor limit knows.
You mocking birds, quoth she, your tunes entomb Within your
hollow-swelling feather'd breasts! And in my hearing be you mute and dumb ! (My restless discord loves no stops nor rests; A woeful hostess brooks not merry guests :) Relish your
nimble notes to pleasing ears ; Distress likes dumps when time is kept with tears.
Come Philomel that sing'st of ravishment,
Make thy fad grove
As the dank earth weeps at thy languishment,
So I at each fad strain will strain a tear,
And with deep groans the diapafon bear:
For burthen-wise I'll hum on Tarquin still,
While thou on Tereus descant'st, better skill.
And whiles against a thorn thou bear'st thy part,
To keep thy sharp woes waking, wretched I,
To imitate thee well, against my heart
Will fix a sharp knife, to affright mine eye ;
Who, if it wink, shall thereon fall and die.
These means, as frets upon an instrument,
Shall tune our heart-strings to true languishment.
And for, poor bird, thou sing'st not in the day,
As shaming any eye should thee behold,
Some dark deep desert, seated from the way,
That knows nor parching heat nor freezing cold,
Will we find out; and there we will unfold
To creatures stern sad tunes, to change their kinds :
Since men prove beasts, let beasts bear gentle minds.
As the poor frighted deer, that stands at gaze,
Wildly determining which way to fly,
Or one encompass’d with a winding maze,
That cannot tread the way out readily;
So with herself is she in mutiny,
To live or die which of the twain were better,
When life is sham'd, and Death Reproaches debtor.
To kill myself, quoth she, alack ! what were.it,
But with my body my poor soul's pollution?
They that lose half, with greater patience bear it,
Than they whose whole is swallow'd in confusion.
That mother tries a merciless conclusion,
Who, having two sweet babes, when death takes one,
Will flay the other, and be nurse to none.
My body or my soul, which was the dearer?
When the one pure, the other made divine.
Whose love of either to myself. were nearer?
When both were kept for heaven and Collatine.
Ah me! the bark peel'd from the lofty pine,
His leaves will wither, and his fap decay;
So must my soul, her bark being peel'd away.
Her house is fack'd, her quiet interrupted,
Her mansion batter'd by the enemy ;
Her sacred temple spotted, spoil'd, corrupted,
Grossly engirt with daring infamy:
Then let it not be call'd impiety,
If in this blemish'd fort I make some hole,
Through which I may convey this troubled soul.
Yet die I will not, till my
Have heard the cause of my untimely death ;
That he may vow, in that sad hour of mine,
Revenge on him that made me stop my breath.
My stained blood to Tarquin I'll bequeath,
Which by him tainted, shall for him be spent,
And as his due, writ in my testament.
My honour I'll bequeath unto the knife
That wounds my body so dishonoured.
'Tis honour to deprive dishonour'd life
The one will live, the other being dead :
So of shame's ashes shall my fame be bred;
For in my death I murder shameful scorn :
My shame so dead, mine honour is new-born.
Dear lord of that dear jewel I have lost,
What legacy shall I bequeath to thee ?
My resolution, Love, shall be thy boast,
By whose example thou reveng'd may'st be.
How Tarquin must be us’d, read it in me:
Myself, thy friend, will kill myself, thy foe,
And, for my fake, serve thou false Tarquin so.
This brief abridgment of my will I make :
My soul and body to the skies and ground;
My resolution, husband, do you take;
Mine honour be the knife's, that makes my
wound; My shame be his that did my fame confound;
And all my fame that lives, disbursed be
To those that live, and think no shame of me.
Thou, Collatine, shalt oversee this Will ;
How was I overseen that thou shalt see it!
My blood shall wash the slander of mine ill;
My life's foul deed, my life's fair end shall free it.
Faint not, faint heart, but stoutly say, so be it.
Yield to my hand; my hand shall conquer thee;
Thou dead, both die, and both shall vi&ors be.
This plot of death when fadly she had laid,
And wip'd the brinith pearl from her bright eyes,
With untun’d tongue the hoarsely callid her maid,
Whose swift obedience to her mistress hies;
For fleet-wing'd duty with thought's feathers flies.
Poor Lucrece' cheeks unto her maid seem so
As winter meads when fun doth melt their snow.
Her mistress she doth give demure good-morrow,
With soft-slow tongue, true mark of modesty,
And forts a sad look to her lady's forrow,
(For why? her face wore sorrow's livery ;)
But durst not ask of her audaciously
Why her two suns were cloud-eclipsed so,
Nor why her fair cheeks over-wash'd with woe.
But as the earth doth weep, the fun being set,
Each flower moisten'd like a melting eye ;
Even so the maid with swelling drops 'gan wet
Her circled eyne, enforc'd by sympathy
Of those fair suns, fet in her mistress’ sky,
Who in a falt-wav'd ocean quench their light,
Which makes the maid weep like the dewy night.
A pretty while these pretty creatures stand,
Like ivory conduits coral cisterns filling:
One justly weeps; the other takes in hand
No cause, but company, of her drops spilling:
Their gentle sex to weep are often willing ;
Grieving themselves to guess at others' smarts,
And then they drown their eyes, or break their hearts :
For men have marble, women waxen minds,
And therefore are they form'd as marble will ;
The weak oppress’d, the impression of strange kinds
Is form'd in them by force, by fraud, or skill:
Then call them not the authors of their ill,
No more than wax shall be accounted evil,
Wherein is stamp'd the semblance of a devil.
Their smoothness, like a goodly champaign plain,
Lays open all the little worms that creep;
In men, as in a rough-grown grove, remain
Cave-keeping evils that obscurely sleep:
Through crystal walls each little mote will peep:
Though men can cover crimes with bold stern looks,
Poor women's faces are their own faults' books.