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Upon a parchment; and against this fire
Do I shrink up,
Poison'd, ill-fare:-dead, forsook, cast off:
And none of you will bid the winter come,
To thrust his icy fingers in my maw;
Nor let my kingdom's rivers take their course
Through my burn'd bosom; nor entreat the north
To make his bleak winds kiss my parched lips,
And comfort me with cold.
ENGLAND INVINCIBLE IF UNANIMOUS.
England never did (nor never shall) Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror, But when it first did help to wound itself. Now these her princes are come home again, Come the three corners of the world in arms, And we shall shock them: Nought shall make us If England to itself do rest but true.
THE purest treasure mortal times afford,
Is-spotless reputation; that away,
Men are but gilded loam, or painted clay.
That which in mean men we entitle-patience, Is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts.
CONSOLATION UNDER BANISHMENT.
All places that the eye of heaven visits,
Are to a wise man ports and happy havens:
Teach thy necessity to reason thus;
There is no virtue like necessity.
Think not, the king did banish thee;
But thou the king: Woe doth the heavier sit,
Where it perceives it is but faintly borne.
Go, say-I sent thee forth to purchase honour,
And not-the king exiled thee: or suppose
Devouring pestilence hangs in our air,
And thou art flying to a fresher clime.
Look, what thy soul holds dear, imagine it
To lie that way thou go'st, not whence thou com'st:
Suppose the singing birds, musicians; [strew'd;
The grass whereon thou tread'st, the presence*
The flowers, fair ladies; and thy steps, no more
Than a delightful measure, or a dance:
For gnarling sorrow hath less power to bite
The man that mocks at it, and sets it light.
THOUGHTS INEFFECTUAL TO MODERATE AFFLICTION.
O, who can hold a fire in his hand,
By thinking on the frosty Caucasus ?
Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite,
By bare imagination of a feast?
Or wallow naked in December snow,
By thinking on fantastic summer's heat?
O, no! the apprehension of the good,
Gives but the greater feeling to the worse:
Fell sorrow's tooth doth never rankle more,
Than when it bites, but lanceth not the sore.
Ourself, and Bushy, Bagot here, and Green,
*Presence-chamber at court.
Observ'd his courtship to the common people:
How he did seem to dive into their hearts,
With humble and familiar courtesy;
What reverence he did throw away on slaves;
Wooing poor craftsmen, with the craft of smiles,
And patient underbearing of his fortune,
As 'twere, to banish their affects with him.
Off goes his bonnet to an oyster wench;
A brace of draymen bid-God speed him well,
And had the tribute of his supple knee,
With-Thanks, my countrymen, my loving friends;--
As were our England in reversion his,
And he our subjects' next degree in hope.
ENGLAND PATHETICALLY DESCRIBED.
This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise;
This fortress, built by nature for herself,
Against infection, and the hand of war;
This happy breed of men, this little world;
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands.
England, bound in with the triumphant sea, Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame, With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds; That England, that was wont to conquer others, Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
Each substance of a grief hath twenty shadows, Which show like grief itself, but are not so: For sorrow's eye, glazed with blinding tears, Divides one thing entire to many objects; Like perspectives*, which, rightly gaz'd upon, Show nothing but confusion; eyed awry, Distinguish form.
I will despair, and be at enmity
With cozening hope; he is a flatterer,
A parasite, a keeper back of death,
Who gently would dissolve the bands of life,
Which false hope lingers in extremity.
The bay-trees in our country are all wither'd, And meteors fright the fixed stars of heaven; The pale-fac'd moon looks bloody on the earth, And lean-look'd prophets whisper fearful change; Rich men look sad, and ruffians dance and leap.
APOSTROPHE TO ENGLAND.
As a long parted mother with her child Plays fondly with her tears, and smiles in meeting; So weeping, smiling, greet I thee, my earth, And do thee favour with my royal hands. Feed not thy sovereign's foe, my gentle earth,
Nor with thy sweets comfort his rav'nous sense:
But let thy spiders, that suck up thy venom,
And heavy gaited toads, lie in their
Doing annoyance to the treacherous feet,
Which with usurping steps do trample thee.
Yield stinging nettles to mine enemies:
And when they from thy bosom pluck a flower,
Guard it, I pray thee, with a lurking adder;
Whose double tongue may with a mortal touch
Throw death upon thy sovereign's enemies.—
Mock not my senseless conjuration, lords;
This earth shall have a feeling, and these stones
Prove armed soldiers, ere her native king
Shall falter under foul rebellious arms.
SUN RISING AFTER A DARK NIGHT.
Know'st thou not,
That when the searching eye of heaven is hid
Behind the globe, and lights the lower world,
Then thieves and robbers range abroad unseen,
In murders and in outrage, bloody here;
But when, from under this terrestrial ball,
He fires the proud tops of the eastern pines,
And darts his light through every guilty hole,
Then murders, treasons, and detested sins,
The cloak of night being pluck'd from off their backs,
Stand bare and naked, trembling at themselves.
VANITY OF POWER AND MISERY OF KINGS. No matter where; of comfort no man speak: Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs; Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth. Let's choose executors, and talk of wills: And yet not so, for what can we bequeath,