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And they would stand auspicious to the hour 4,
Even there he starts :-quoth he, I must deflower ;

The powers to whom I pray, abhor this fact,
How can they then assist me in the act ?

Then Love and Fortune be my gods, my guide!
My will is back'd with resolution :
Thoughts are but dreams till their effects be tried,
The blackest sin is clear'd with absolution ;
Against love's fire fear's frost hath dissolution.

The eye of heaven is out', and misty night
Covers the shame that follows sweet delight.

This said, his guilty hand pluck'd up the latch,
And with his knee the door he opens wide :
The dove sleeps fast that this night-owl will catch:
Thus treason works ere traitors be espy'd.
Who sees the lurking serpent, steps aside;

4 And THEY would stand auspicious to the hour.] This false concord perhaps owes its introduction to the rhyme. In the second line of the stanza one deity only is invoked ; in the fourth line he talks of more. We must therefore either acknowledge the want of grammar, or read : “And he would stand auspicious to the hour,” &c.

The same inaccuracy is found in King Richard III. :

“ Richard yet lives, hell's black intelligencer,
“Only reserv'd their factor, to buy souls,

And send them thither."
Again, in the same play, Act I. Sc. III. :

If heaven have any grievous plague in store,

“O, let them keep it, till thy sins be ripe." Malone. s The BLACKEST sin is clear'd with absolution ;] The octavo 1616, and the modern editions, read :

" Black sin is cleard with absolution." Our author has here rather prematurely made Tarquin a disciple of modern Rome. MALONE. *6 The EYE OF HEAVEN -] So, in King Richard II. :

“ All places that the eye of heaven visits.” Steevens. Again, in Romeo and Juliet:

“Now ere the sun advance his burning eye." MALONE.

But she, sound sleeping, fearing no such thing,
Lies at the mercy of his mortal sting.

Into the chamber wickedly he stalks",
And gazeth on her yet-unstained bed.
The curtains being close, about he walks,
Rolling his greedy eye-balls in his head :
By their high treason is his heart misled;
Which gives the watch-word to his hand full

To draw the cloud that hides the silver moon.

Look, as the fair and firy-pointed sun,
Rushing from forth a cloud, bereaves our sight;
Even so, the curtain drawn, his eyes begun
To wink, being blinded with a greater light:
Whether it is, that she reflects so bright,

7 Into the chamber wickedly he stalks,] That the poet meant by the word stalk to convey the notion, not of a boisterous, but quiet, movement, appears from a subsequent passage:

" For in the dreadful dark of deep midnight,
“ With shining falchion in my chamber came
A creeping creature, with a flaming light,

“ And softly cry'd—.”.
Thus also, in a preceding stanza:

“ Which drives the creeping thief to some regard." Again, in Cymbeline :

" -- Our Tarquin thus
“ Did softly press the rushes, ere he waken'd

“ The chastity he wounded.” A person apprehensive of being discovered, naturally takes long steps, the sooner to arrive at his point, whether he is approaching or retiring, and thus shorten the moments of danger. MalOnE.

8 Which gives the watch-word to his hand FULL soon,] The octavo 1616 reads-too soon. MALONE.

9 - FIRY-POINTED sun,] I would read-fire-ypointed. So, Milton :

“ Under a star-ypointing pyramid.” Steevens. I suppose the old reading to be right, because in Shakspeare's edition the word is spelt fierie-pointed. MALONE.

That dazzleth them, or else some shame sup

posed; But blind they are, and keep themselves enclosed.

O, had they in that darksome prison died,
Then had they seen the period of their ill!
Then Collatine again, by Lucrece' side,
In his clear bed might have reposed still :
But they must ope, this blessed league to kill ;

And holy-thoughted Lucrece to their sight
Must sell her joy, her life, her world's delight.

Her lily hand her rosy cheek lies under,
Cozening the pillow of a lawful kiss ? ;
Who, therefore angry, seems to part in sunder,

1- her rosy cheek lies under,] Thus the first copy. The edition of 1600, and the subsequent impressions, have cheeks.

MALONE. 2 Her lily hand her rosy cheek lies under, .

Cozening the pillow of a lawful kiss ;] Among the poems of Sir John Suckling, (who is said to have been a great admirer of our author,) is one entitled, A Supplement of an imperfect Copy of Verses of Mr. William Shakspeare; which begins with these lines, somewhat varied. We can hardly suppose that Suckling would have called a passage extracted from a regular poem “an imperfect copy of verses.” Perhaps Shakspeare had written the lines quoted below (of which Sir John might have had a manuscript copy) on some occasion previous to the publication of his Lucrece, and afterwards used them in this poem, with some variation. In a subsequent page the reader will find some verses that appear to have been written before Venus and Adonis was composed, of which, in like manner, the leading thoughts were afterwards employed in that poem. This supposed fragment is thus supplied by Suckling.-The variations are distinguished by Italick characters.

One of her hands one of her cheeks lay under,
“ Cozening the pillow of a lawful kiss;
Which therefore swelld, and seem'd to part asunder,
As angry to be robb'd of such a bliss :

The one look'd pale, and for revenge did long,
While ť other blush'd 'cause it had done the wrong.

Swelling on either side, to want his bliss ; : .
Between whose hills her head intombed is :
Where, like a virtuous monument, she lies“,
To be admir'd of lewd unhallow'd eyes.

Out of the bed the other fair hand was,
“ On a green sattin quilt ; whose perfect white
Look d like a daisy in a field of grass *,
" And shew'd like unmelt snow unto the sight:

“ There lay this pretty perdue, safe to keep
“ The rest o'the body that lay fast asleep.

“Her eyes (and therefore it was night) close laid
“ Strove to imprison beauty till the morn;
“ But yet the doors were of such fine stuff made,
“ That it broke through and shew'd itself in scorn; . .

“ Throwing a kind of light about the place,
“ Which turn'd to smiles, still as't came near her face.


“ Her beams, which some dull men call'd hair, divided
“ Part with her cheeks, part with her lips, did sport;
“ But these, as rude, her breath put by still; some t
“ Wiselier downward sought; but falling short,

“ Curl'd back in rings, and seem'd to turn again,
“ To bite the part so unkindly held them in." MALONE.

This description is given in England's Parnassus, p. 396, with only Shakspeare's name affixed to it; and Suckling might have met with it there, and not knowing from what poem it was taken, supposed it a fragment. BosWELL.

4 Where, like a virtuous MONUMENT, she lies,] On our ancient monuments the heads of the persons represented are commonly reposed on pillows. Our author has nearly the same image in Cymbeline:

“ And be her sense but as a monument,

“ Thus in a chapel lying." STEEVENS. Again, in All's Well that Ends Well :

“You are no woman, but a monument." MALONE.

* Thus far (says Suckling) Shakspeare. + Suckling probably wrote divide in the former line; and here

“ But these, as rude, by her breath put still aside,"

Without the bed her other fair hand was, .
On the green coverlet: whose perfect white
Show'd like an April daisy on the grass,
With pearly sweat, resembling dew of night 5.
Her eyes, like marigolds, had sheath'd their light;

And, canopied in darkness, sweetly layo,
Till they might open to adorn the day.

Her hair, like golden threads, play'd with her breath;
O modest wantons ! wanton modesty!
Showing life's triumph' in the map of death,
And death's dim look in life's mortality:
Each in her sleep themselves so beautify,

As if between them twain there were no strife,
But that life liv'd in death, and death in life.

Her breasts, like ivory globes circled with blue,
A pair of maiden worlds unconquered',
Save of their lord, no bearing yoke they knew,

s With pearly swBAT, resembling dew Of night.] So, Dryden : “ And sleeping flow'rs beneath the night-dew sweat."

STEEVENS. o Her Eyes, like marigolds, had sheath'd their light,

And, CANOPIED in darkness, sweetly lay, &c.] So, in Cym

beline :

" The flame o’the taper,
“ Bows toward her, and would underpeep her lids,
“ To see the enclosed lights, now canopied

“ Under these windows." MALONE. 9 Showing life's triumph-] The octavo 1616 reads Showring.


So, in

8. — in the map of death,] So, in King Richard II.;

“ Thou map of honour.” Steevens. 9 As if between them twain there were no STRIFE,

But that life liy'd in DEATH, and DEATH in life. Macbeth:

" That death and nature do contend about them,

" Whether they live or die." STEEVENS. Again, in All's Well that Ends Well :

“ - Nature and sickness
“ Debate it at their leisure." Malone.

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