« 上一頁繼續 »
I hate she altered with an end, That followed it as gentle day Doth follow night, who like a fiend From heaven to hell is flown away. I hate from hate away she threw, And saved my life, saying-not you.-145. It is, however, strangely opposed to the theory of continuity; for it occurs between the Sonnet which first appeared in 'The Passionate Pilgrim'
"Two loves I have, of comfort and despair" and the magnificent lines beginning
"Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth." This sublime Sonnet Mr. Brown would also expunge. This is a hard sentence against it for being out of place. We shall endeavour to remove it to fitter company.
We have now very much reduced the number of stanzas which Mr. Brown assigns to the Sixth Poem, entitled by him, 'To his Mistress, on her Infidelity.' There are only twenty-six stanzas in this division of Mr. Brown's Six Poems; for he rejects the Sonnets numbered 153 and 154, as belonging "to nothing but themselves." They belong, indeed, to the same class of poems as constitute the bulk of those printed in 'The Passionate Pilgrim.' But, being printed in the collection of 1609, they offer very satisfactory evidence that "the begetter” of the Sonnets had no distinct principle of connection to work upon. He has printed, as already mentioned, two Sonnets which had previously appeared in 'The Passionate Pilgrim.' But, if they were taken out from the larger collection, no one could say that its continuity would be deranged. There are other Sonnets, properly so called, in 'The Passionate Pilgrim,' which, if they were to be added to the larger collection, there would be no difficulty in inserting them, so as to be as continuous as the two which are common to both works. We have no objection to proceed with our analytical classification without including the two Sonnets on "the little love-god;" because, if we were attempting here to present all Shakspere's loveverses which exist in print, not being in the plays, we should have to insert six other poems which are in 'The Passionate Pilgrim.'
What, then, have we left of the Sonnets from the 127th to the 152nd which may warrant those twenty-six stanzas being regarded (with two exceptions pointed out by Mr. Brown himself) as a continuous poem, to be entitled, "To his Mistress, on her Infidelity?' We have, indeed, a “leading idea," and a very distinct one, of some delusion, once cherished by the poet, against the power of which he struggles, and which his better reason finally rejects. But the complaint is not wholly that of the infidelity of a mistress; it is that the love which he bears towards her is incompatible with his sense of duty, and with that tranquillity of mind which belongs to a pure and lawful affection. This "leading idea" is expressed in ten stanzas, which we print in the order in which they occur. They are more or less strong and direct in their allusions: but, whether the situation which the poet describes be real or imaginary-whether he speak from the depth of his own feelings, or with his wonderful dramatic power-there are no verses in our language more expressive of the torments of a passion based upon unlawfulness. Throes such as these were somewhat uncommon amongst the gallants of the days of Elizabeth :—
The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
All this the world well knows; yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.-129
Thou blind fool, Love, what dost thou to mine
That they behold, and see not what they see? They know what beauty is, see where it lies, Yet, what the best is, take the worst to be.
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,
In things right true my heart and eyes have err'd,
And to this false plague are they now transferr'd.-137.
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;
Therefore I lie with her, and she with me, And in our faults by lies we flatter'd be.138.
In faith I do not love thee with mine eyes,
Who in despite of view is pleased to dote.
Nor tender feeling to base touches prone,
Only my plague thus far I count my gain, That she that makes me sin awards me pain.-141.
Love is my sin, and thy dear virtue hate,
And thou shalt find it merits not reproving;
Root pity in thy heart, that, when it grows,
If thou dost seek to have what thou dost hide,
By self-example mayst thou be denied!--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.
O me! what eyes hath love put in my head,
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?
To make me give the lie to my true sight, And swear that brightness doth not grace the day?
Whence hast thou this becoming of things ill, That in the very refuse of thy deeds
There is such strength and warrantise of skill,
The more I hear and see just cause of hate?
Love is too young to know what conscience is;
No want of conscience hold it that I call Her-love, for whose dear love I rise and fall.-151.
In loving thee thou know'st I am forsworn, But thou art twice forsworn, to me love swearing;
In act thy bed-vow broke, and new faith torn,
Oaths of thy love, thy truth, thy constancy; And, to enlighten thee, gave eyes to blindness, Or made them swear against the thing they
For I have sworn thee fair: more perjured I, To swear, against the truth, so foul a lie!-152.
We have only three Sonnets left, out of the twenty-six stanzas, in which we may find any allusion to the "infidelity" of the poet's "mistress." They are these:
Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to
For that deep wound it gives my friend and me!
Is 't not enough to torture me alone,
Me from myself thy cruel eye hath taken,
Who e'er keeps me, let my heart be his guard;
And yet thou wilt; for I, being pent in thee, Perforce am thine, and all that is in me.133.
So now I have confess'd that he is thine,
Him have I lost; thou hast both him and me;
Two loves I have of comfort and despair,
Yet this shall I ne'er know, but live in doubt,
Till my bad angel fire my good one out.
The 144th, we must again point out, was printed in 'The Passionate Pilgrim' in 1599. This Sonnet, then, referring, as it appears to
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
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,
To dry the rain on my storm-beaten face,
Nor can thy shame give physic to my grief;
And they are rich, and ransom all ill deeds. -34.
No more be grieved at that which thou hast done:
Roses have thorns, and silver fountains mud; Clouds and eclipses stain both moon and sun, And loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud.
All men make faults, and even I in this,
That I an accessory needs must be
Take all my loves, my love, yea, take them all; What hast thou then more than thou hadst
No love, my love, that thou mayst true love call;
All mine was thine before thou hadst this
Then if for my love thou my love receivest,
Those pretty wrongs that liberty commits,
Hers, by thy beauty tempting her to thee,
That thou hast her, it is not all my grief,
They that have power to hurt and will do none,
For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.-94.
How sweet and lovely dost thou make the shame,
Which, like a canker in the fragrant rose,
The hardest knife ill-used doth lose his edge.-95.
Some say, thy fault is youth, some wanton
Some say, thy grace is youth and gentle
Both grace and faults are loved of more and less :
Thou mak'st faults graces that to thee resort.
How many lambs might the stern wolf betray,
But do not so; I love thee in such sort,
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 unseen,
We sicken to shun sickness, when we purge; Even so, being full of your ne'er-cloying sweet
To bitter sauces did I frame my feeding,
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,
Whilst it hath thought itself so blessed never! How have mine eyes out of their spheres been fitted,
In the distraction of this madding fever!