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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, glaz’d with blinding tears, Divides one thing entire to many objects; Like perspectives,* which, rightly gaz'd upon, Show nothing but confusion; ey'd awry, Distinguish form.
I will despair, and be at enmity
PROGNOSTICS OF WAR.
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 fearsul 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 way:
Doing annoyance to the treacherous feet,
they from thy bosom pluck a flower,
SUN RISING AFTER A DARK NIGHT,
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, Save our deposed bodies to the ground? Our lands, our lives, and all are Bolingbroke's, And nothing can we call our own, but death; And that small model of the barren earth, Which serves as paste and cover to our bones. For heaven's sake, let us sit upon the ground, And tell sad stories of the death of kings: How some have been depos'd, some slain in war;' Some haunted by the ghosts they have depos'd; Some poison'd by their wives, some sleeping kill'd, All murder'd:-For within the hollow crown
That rounds, the mortal temples of a king,
MELANCHOLY STORIES. In winter's tedious nights, sit by the fire With good old folks; and let them tell thee tales Of woful ages, long ago betid:* And ere thou bid good night, to quitt their grief, Tell thou the lamentable fall of me, And send the hearers weeping to their beds
York. Then, as I said, the duke, great Boling.
broke, Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed, Which his aspiring rider seem'd to know,With slow, but stately pace, kept on his course, While all tongues cried-God save thee, Boling
broke! You would have thought the very windows spake, So many greedy looks of young and old Through casements darted their desiring eyes Upon his visage: and that all the walls, With painted imag'ry, had said at once, * Passed.
† Be even with them Tapestry hung from the windows.
Jesu preserve thee! welcome, Bolingbroke!
That had not God, for some strong purpose, steel'd The hearts of men, they must perforce have melted, And barbarism itself have pitied him.
SOLILOQUY IN PRISON.
Thoughts tending to content, flatter themselves, That they are not the first of fortune's slaves,
* Carelessly turned. † His own body
Nor shall not be the last; like silly beggars,
KING HENRY IV.
PEACE AFTER CIVIL WAR.
SO shaken as we are, so wan with care, Find we a time for frighted peace to paint, And breathe short-winded accents of new broils To be commenc'd in strands* afar remote. No more the thirsty Erinnyst of this soil Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood, No more shall trenching war channel her fields, Nor bruise her flow'rets with the armed hoofs Of hostile paces: those opposed eyes, Which-like the meteors of a troubled heaven, All of one nature, of one substance bred,Did lately meet in the intestine shock And furious close of civil butchery, Shall now, in mutual, well-beseeming ranks, * Strands, banks of the sea. The fury of discord