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That makes him honour'd, or begets him hate;
For greatest scandal waits on greatest state. The moon being clouded presently is miss'd, But little stars may hide them when they list.
"The crow may bathe his coal-black wings in mire,
And unperceived fly with the filth away;
Gnats are unnoted wheresoe'er they fly,
But eagles gazed upon with every eye.
"Out, idle words, servants to shallow fools! Unprofitable sounds, weak arbitrators!
Busy yourselves in skill-contending schools, Debate where leisure serves with dull debaters; To trembling clients be you mediators :
I force not argument a straw,
Since that my case is past the help of law.
"In vain I rail at Opportunity,
At Time, at Tarquin, and uncheerful Night;
In vain I cavil with my infamy,
In vain I spurn at my confirm'd despite :
This helpless smoke of words doth me no right.
The remedy indeed to do me good,
Is to let forth my foul, defilèd blood.
"Poor hand, why quiver'st thou at this decree? Honour thyself to rid me of this shame;
For if I die, my honour lives in thee,
But if I live, thou liv'st in my defame :
This said, from her be-tumbled couch she starteth,
"In vain," quoth she, "I live, and seek in vain
So am I now :-O no, that cannot be ;
"O! that is gone for which I sought to live,
Poor helpless help, the treasure stolen away,
"Well, well, dear Collatine, thou shalt not know The stained taste of violated troth;
I will not wrong thy true affection so
"Nor shall he smile at thee in secret thought,
And with my trespass never will dispense,
"I will not poison thee with my attaint,
By this, lamenting Philomel had ended
Revealing day through every cranny spies, And seems to point her out where she sits weeping;
To whom she sobbing speaks: "O, eye of eyes, Why pry'st thou through my window? leave thy peeping;
Mock with thy tickling beams eyes that are sleeping:
Brand not my forehead with thy piercing light, For day hath nought to do what's done by night."
Thus cavils she with everything she sees:
Who wayward once, his mood with nought agrees.
Old woes, not infant sorrows, bear them mild; Continuance tames the one; the other wild,
Like an unpractised swimmer plunging still With too much labour drowns for want of skill.
So she, deep-drenched in a sea of care,
Sometime 'tis mad, and too much talk affords.
The little birds that tune their morning's joy
'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 ache
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'er
Grief dallied with nor law nor limit knows.
"You mocking birds," quoth she, "your tunes entomb
Within your hollow swelling feather'd breasts,
"Come, Philomel, that sing'st of ravishment,
"And whiles against a thorn thou bear'st thy part,
These means, as frets upon an instrument,
"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, We will 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."