ePub 版
[ocr errors]

I hate she altered with an end,

What, then, have we left of the Sonnets That followed it as gentle day

from the 127th to the 152nd which may Doth follow night, who like a fiend

warrant those twenty-six stanzas being From heaven to hell is flown away.

regarded (with two exceptions pointed out I hate from hate away she threw,

by Mr. Brown himself) as a continuous poem, And saved my life, sayingnot you.—145.

to be entitled, "To his Mistress, on her It is, however, strangely opposed to the Infidelity?' We have, indeed, a "leading theory of continuity; for it occurs between idea," and a very distinct one, of some dethe Sonnet which first appeared in The lusion, once cherished by the poet, against Passionate Pilgrim'

the power of which he struggles, and which “Two loves I have, of comfort and despair”— his better reason finally rejects. But the

complaint is not wholly that of the infidelity and the magnificent lines beginning

of a mistress ; it is that the love which he “Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth."

bears towards her is incompatible with his This sublime Sonnet Mr. Brown would also

sense of duty, and with that tranquillity of expunge. This is a hard sentence against mind which belongs to a pure and lawful it for being out of place. We shall en- affection. This “leading idea” is expressed deavour to remove it to fitter company. in ten stanzas, which we print in the order

We have now very much reduced the in which they occur. They are more or less number of stanzas which Mr. Brown assigns strong and direct in their allusions : but, to the Sixth Poem, entitled by him, “To his whether the situation which the poet deMistress, on her Infidelity. There are only scribes be real or imaginary-whether he twenty-six stanzas in this division of Mr. speak from the depth of his own feelings, or Brown's Six Poems ; for he rejects the Son- with his wonderful dramatic power—there nets numbered 153 and 154, as belonging are no verses in our language more expressive “to nothing but themselves.” They belong, of the torments of a passion based upon indeed, to the same class of poems as con- unlawfulness. Throes such as these were stitute the bulk of those printed in "The somewhat uncommon amongst the gallants Passionate Pilgrim.' But, being printed in of the days of Elizabeth :the collection of 1609, they offer very satisfactory evidence that "the begetter” of the

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame Sonnets had no distinct principle of connec- Is lust in action; and till action, lust tion to work upon. He has printed, as al- Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame; ready mentioned, two Sonnets which had Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust; previously appeared in "The Passionate Pil- Enjoy'd no sooner, but despised straight; grim.' But, if they were taken out from the Past reason hunted; and no sooner had, larger collection, no one could say that its Past reason hated, as a swallow'd bait, continuity would be deranged. There are

On purpose laid to make the taker mad : other Sonnets, properly so called, in The

Mad in pursuit, and in possession so; Passionate Pilgrim,' which, if they were to

Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme; be added to the larger collection, there would

A bliss in proof,—and proved, a very woe; be no difficulty in inserting them, so as to be

Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream;

All this the world well knows; yet none as continuous as the two which are common

knows well to both works. We have no objection to

To shun the heaven that leads men to this proceed with our analytical classification

hell.-129 without including the two Sonnets on “the little love-god ;” because, if we were attempt

Thou blind fool, Love, what dost thou to mine ing here to present all Shakspere's love

eyes, verses which exist in print, not being in the That they behold, and see not what they see? plays, we should have to insert six other They know what beauty is, see where it lies, poems which are in "The Passionate Pilgrim.' Yet, what the best is, take the worst to be.


[ocr errors]

If eyes, corrupt by over-partial looks,
Be anchor'd in the bay where all men ride,
Why of eyes' falsehood hast thou forged hooks,
Whereto the judgment of my heart is tied ?
Why should my heart think that a several

plot, Which my heart knows the wide world's

common place? Or mine eyes, seeing this, say this is not, To put fair truth upon so foul a face? In things right true my heart and eyes have

err’d, And to this false plague are they now


When my love swears that she is made of

truth, I do believe her, though I know she lies; That she might think me some untutor'd

youth, Unlearned in the world's false subtleties. Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me

young, Although she knows my days are past the

best, Simply I credit her false-speaking tongue; On both sides thus is simple truth suppress'd. But wherefore says she not she is unjust? And wherefore say not I that I am old ? 0, love's best habit is in seeming trust, And age in love loves not to have years

told : Therefore I lie with her, and she with me, And in our faults by lies we flatter'd be.


Love is my sin, and thy dear virtue hate, Hate of my sin, grounded on sinful loving : 0, but with mine compare thou thine own

state, And thou shalt find it merits not reproving; Or if it do, not from those lips of thine, That have profaned their scarlet ornaments, And seal'd false bonds of love as oft as mine; Robb’d others' beds' revenues of their rents. Be it lawful I love thee, as thou lov'st those Whom thine eyes woo as mine importune

thee : Root pity in thy heart, that, when it grows, Thy pity may deserve to pitied be. If thou dost seek to have what thou dost

hide, By self-example mayst thou bedenied !-142. My love is as a fever, longing still For that which longer nurseth the disease ; Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill, The uncertain sickly appetite to please. My reason, the physician to my love, Angry that his prescriptions are not kept, Hath left me, and I desperate now approve, Desire is death, which physic did except. Past cure I am, now reason is past care, And frantic mad with evermore unrest; My thoughts and my discourse as mad men's

are, At random from the truth vainly express'd ; For I have sworn thee fair, and thought

thee bright, Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.

--147. O me! what eyes hath love put in my head, Which have no correspondence with true sight? Or, if they have, where is my judgment fled, That censures falsely what they see aright? If that be fair whereon my false eyes dote, What means the world to say it is not so? If it be not, then love doth well denote Love's eye is not so true as atl men's : no, How can it? O how can Love's eye be true, That is so vex'd with watching and with tears? No marvel then though I mistake my view; The sun itself sees not till heaven clears. O cunning Love ! with tears thou keep'st

me blind, Lest eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should

find.-148. O, from what power hast thou this powerful

might, With insufficiency my heart to sway?

In faith I do not love thee with mine eyes,
For they in thee a thousand errors note;
But 't is my heart that loves what they de.

spise, Who in despite of view is pleased to dote. Nor are mine ears with thy tongue's tune

delighted; Nor tender feeling to base touches prone, Nor taste nor smell, desire to be invited To any sensual feast with thee alone : But my five wits, nor my five senses can Dissuade one foolish heart from serving thee, Who leaves unsway'd the likeness of a man, Thy proud heart's slave and vassal wretch

to be: Only my plague thus far I count my gain, That she that makes me sin awards me


To make me give the lie to my true sight, Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to And swear that brightness doth not grace the

groan day?

For that deep wound it gives my friend and Whence hast thou this becoming of things ill,

me ! That in the very refuse of thy deeds

Is 't not enough to torture me alone, There is such strength and warrantise of skill, But slave to slavery my sweet'st friend must That in my mind thy worst all best exceeds ?

be? Who taught thee how to make me love thee Me from myself thy cruel eye hath taken, more,

And my next self thou harder hast engross'd; The more I hear and see just cause of hate? Of him, myself, and thee, I am forsaken; 0, though I love what others do abhor,

A torment thrice three-fold thus to be cross'd. With others thou shouldst not abhor my state; Prison my heart in thy steel bosom's ward,

If thy unworthiness raised love in me, But then my friend's heart let my poor heart More worthy I to be beloved of thee.—150. bail ;

Who e'er keeps me, let my heart be his guard; Love is too young to know what conscience is; Thou canst not then use rigour in my jail : Yet who knows not conscience is born of love?

And yet thou wilt; for I, being pent in thee, Then, gentle cheater, urge not my amiss,

Perforce am thine, and all that is in me.Lest guilty of my faults thy sweet self prove.

133. For thou betraying me, I do betray

So now I have confess'd that he is thine, My nobler part to my gross body's treason; And I myself am mortgaged to thy will; My soul doth tell my body that he may Myself I'll forfeit, so that other mine Triumph in love; flesh stays no farther reason, Thou wilt restore, to be my comfort still: But, rising at thy name, doth point out thee But thou wilt not, nor he will not be free, As his triumphant prize. Proud of this pride, For thou art covetous, and he is kind; He is contented thy poor drudge to be,

He learn'd but, surety-like, to write for me, To stand in thy affairs, fall by thy side.

Under that bond that him as fast doth bind. No want of conscience hold it that I call

The statute of thy beauty thou wilt take, Her-love, for whose dear love I rise and

Thou usurer, that putt'st forth all to use, fall.-151.

And sue a friend, came debtor for my sake;

So him I lose through my unkind abuse. In loving thee thou know'st I am forsworn,

Him have I lost; thou hast both him and me; But thou art twice forsworn, to me love

He pays the whole, and yet am I not free.swearing;

134. In act thy bed-vow broke, and new faith torn,

Two loves I have of comfort and despair, In vowing new hate after new love bearing.

Which like two spirits do suggest me still; But why of two oaths' breach do I accuse thee,

The better angel is a man right fair, When I break twenty? I am perjured most;

The worser spirit a woman, colourd ill. For all my vows are oaths but to misuse thee,

To win me soon to hell, my female evil And all my honest faith in thee is lost :

Tempteth my better angel from my side, For I have sworn deep oaths of thy deep kind

And would corrupt my saint to be a devil, ness,

Wooing his purity with her foul pride. Oaths of thy love, thy truth, thy constancy; And whether that my angel be turn'd fiend, And, to enlighten thee, gave eyes to blindness,

Suspect I may, but not directly tell; Or made them swear against the thing they

But being both from me, both to each friend, see;

guess one angel in another's hell. For I have sworn thee fair: more perjured I,

Yet this shall I ne'er know, but live in To swear, against the truth, so foul a

doubt, lie !-152.

Till my bad angel fire my good one out. —

144. We have only three Sonnets left, out of the twenty-six stanzas, in which we may find any The 144th, we must again point out, was allusion to the “infidelity” of the poet's printed in ‘The Passionate Pilgrim'in 1599. "mistress.” They are these :

This Sonnet, then, referring, as it appears to

All men make faults, and even I in this,
Authorizing thy trespass with compare,
Myself corrupting, salving thy amiss,
Excusing thy sins more than thy sins are:
For to thy sensual fault I bring in sense,
(Thy adverse party is thy advocate,)
And 'gainst myself a lawful plea commence:
Such civil war is in my love and hate,

That I an accessory needs must be
To that sweet thief which sourly robs from


do, to private circumstances of considerable delicacy, was public enough to fall into the hands of a piratical bookseller, ten years before the larger collection in which it a second time appears was printed. But in that larger collection the poet accuses the friend as well as the mistress. We have no means of knowing whether the six Sonnets, in which this accusation appears, existed in 1599, or what was the extent of their publicity ; but by their publication in 1609 we are enabled to compare “the better angel" with “ the worser spirit :"

Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchymy;
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
With ugly rack on his celestial face,
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace :
Even so my sun one early morn did shine,
With all triumphant splendour on my brow;
But out! alack! he was but one hour mine,
The region cloud hath mask'd him from me

Take all my loves, my love, yea, take them all; What hast thou then more than thou hadst

before? No love, my love, that thou mayst true love


All mine was thine before thou hadst this

more. Then if for my love thou my love receivest, I cannot blame thee, for my love thou usest; But yet be blamed, if thou thyself deceivest By wilful taste of what thyself refusest. I do forgive thy robbery, gentle thief, Although thou steal thee all my poverty; And yet, love knows, it is a greater grief To bear love's wrong than hate's known injury.

Lascivious grace, in whom all ill well shows, Kill me with spites; yet we must not be



Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth; Suns of the world may stain, when heaven's

sun staineth.-33. Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day, And make me travel forth without my cloak, To let base clouds o'ertake me in my way, Hiding thy bravery in their rotten smoke? 'T is not enough that through the cloud thou

break, To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face, For no man well of such a salve can speak, That heals the wound, and cures not the dis

grace: Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief; Though thou repent, yet I have still the loss : The offender's sorrow lends but weak relief To him that bears the strong offence's cross. Ah! but those tears are pearl which thy love

sheds, And they are rich, and ransom all ill deeds.

-34. No more be grieved at that which thou hast

Those pretty wrongs that liberty commits,
When I am sometime absent from thy heart,
Thy beauty and thy years full well befits,
For still temptation follows where thou art.
Gentle thou art, and therefore to be won ;
Beauteous thou art, therefore to be assail'd;
And, when a woman woos, what woman's son
Will sourly leave her till she have prevaild?
Ah me! but yet thou mightst my seat forbear,
And chide thy beauty and thy straying youth,
Who lead thee in their riot even there
Where thou art forced to break a twofold

[blocks in formation]

done :

That thou hast her, it is not all my grief,
And yet it may be said I loved her dearly;
That she hath thee, is of my wailing chief,
A loss in love that touches me more nearly.
Loving offenders, thus I will excuse ye :
Thou dost love her, because thou knew'st I

love her;

Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud; Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun, And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.

Both grace and faults are loved of more and

less : Thou mak'st faults graces that to thee resort. As on the finger of a throned queen The basest jewel will be well esteem'd; So are those errors that in thee are seen To truths translated, and for true things

deem'd. How many lambs might the stern wolf betray, If like a lamb he could his looks translate ! How many gazers mightst thou lead away, If thou wouldst use the strength of all thy

state! But do not so; I love thee in such sort, As, thou being mine, mine is thy good


[ocr errors]

And for my sake even so doth she abuse me, Suffering my friend for my sake to approve

her. If I lose thee, my loss is my love's gain, And losing her, my friend hath found that

loss; Both find each other, and I lose both twain, And both for my sake lay on me this cross: But here's the joy; my friend and I are

one; Sweet flattery! then she loves but me

alone.-42. It is probably to the same friend that the following mild reflections upon the general faults of his character are addressed :

They that have power to hurt and will do none,
That do not do the thing they most do show,
Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,
Unmoved, cold and to temptation slow;
They rightly do inherit heaven's graces,
And husband nature's riches from expense;
They are the lords and owners of their faces,
Others but stewards of their excellence.
The summer's flower is to the summer sweet,
Though to itself it only live and die;
But, if that flower with base infection meet,
The basest weed outbraves his dignity:
For sweetest things turn sourest by their

But the poet, true to his general principle of morals, holds that forgiveness should follow upon repented transgressions :

Like as, to make our appetites more keen,
With eager compounds we our palate urge:
As, to prevent our maladies unscen,
We sicken to shun sickness, when we purge;
Even so, being full of your ne'er-cloying sweet-

ness, To bitter sauces did I frame my feeding, And, sick of welfare, found a kind of meet


To be diseased ere that there was true needing.
Thus policy in love, to anticipate
The ills that were not, grew to faults assured,
And brought to medicine a healthful state,
Which, rank of goodness, would by ill be

cured. But thence I learn, and find the lesson truc, Drugs poison him that so fell sick of you.

-118. What potions have I drunk of Siren tears, Distill'd from limbecs foul as hell within, Applying fears to hopes, and hopes to fears, Still losing when I saw myself to win! What wretched errors hath my heart com

deeds; Lilies that fester smell far worse than

How sweet and lovely dost thou make the

Which, like a canker in the fragrant rose,
Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name!
0, in what sweets dost thou thy sins enclose!
That tongue that tells the story of thy days,
Making lascivious comments on thy sport,
Cannot dispraise but in a kind of praise;
Naming thy name blesses an ill report.
O what a mansion have those vices got,
Which for their habitation chose out thee!
Where beauty's veil doth cover every blot,
And all things turn to fair that eyes can see!
Take heed, dear heart, of this large privi.

The hardest knife ill-used doth lose his

cdge.-95. Some say, thy fault is youth, some wanton

ness; Some say, thy grace is youth and gentle


Whilst it hath thought itself so blessed never!
How have mine eyes out of their spheres been

In the distraction of this madding fever!
O benefit of ill! now I find true
That better is by evil still made better;
And ruin'd love, when it is built anew,
Grows fairer than at first, more strong, far


« 上一頁繼續 »