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Of murder's arms: this is the bloodiest shame,
The wildest savagery, the vilest stroke,
That ever wall-eyed wrath, or staring rage,
Presented to the tears of soft remorse.
I had a thing to say,-But let it go:
The sun is in the heaven, and the proud day,
Attended with the pleasures of the world,
Is all too wanton, and too full of gawds,*
To give me audience :-If the midnight bell
Did, with his iron tongue and brazen mouth,
Sound one unto the drowsy race of night;
If this same were a church-yard where we stand,
And thou possessed with a thousand wrongs;
Or if that surly spirit, melancholy,
Had baked thy blood, and made it heavy, thick
(Which, else, runs tickling up and down the veins,
Making that idiot, laughter, keep men's eyes,
And strain their cheeks to idle merriment,
A passion hateful to my purposes);
Or if that thou could'st see me without eyes,
Hear me without thine ears, and make reply
Without a tongue, using conceitt alone,
Without eyes, ears, and harmful sound of words;
Then, in despite of brooded watchful day,
I would into thy bosom pour my thoughts:
But ah, I will not.
The tyrannous and bloody act is done;
The most arch deed of piteous massacre,
That ever yet this land was guilty of.
Dighton and Forrest, whom I did suborn
To do this piece of ruthless‡ butchery,
Albeit they were flesh'd villains, bloody dogs,
Melting with tenderness and mild compassion,
Wept like two children, in their death's sad story.
O thus, quoth Dighton, lay the gentle babes,
Thus, thus, quoth Forrest, girdling one another
Within their alabaster innocent arms;
Their lips were four red roses on a stalk,
Which, in their summer beauty, kiss'd each other.
A book of prayers on their pillow lay:
Which once, quoth Forrest, almost changed my mind ;
But, O, the devil-there the villain stopp'd;
When Dighton thus told on,—we smothered
The most replenished sweet work of nature,
That, from the prime creation, e'er she framed.
See, how the blood is settled in his face!
Oft have I seen a timely-parted ghost,*
Of ashy semblance, meager, pale, and bloodless,
Being all descended to the labouring heart;
Who, in the conflict that it holds with death,
Attracts the same for aidance 'gainst the enemy;
Which with the heart there cools, and ne'er returneth
To blush and beautify the cheek again.
But, see, his face is black, and full of blood;
His eyeballs farther out than when he lived,
Staring full ghastly like a strangled man: [gling;
His hair uprear'd, his nostrils stretch'd with strug-
His hands abroad display'd, as one that grasp'd
And tugg'd for life, and was by strength subdued.
Look on the sheets, his hair, you see, is sticking;
His well-proportion'd beard made rough and rugged,
Like to the summer's corn by tempest lodged.
It cannot be, but he was murder'd.
I was born so high,
Our aiery buildeth in the cedar's top,
And dallies with the wind, and scorns the sun.
New honours come upon him
Like our strange garments; cleave not to their mould, But with the aid of use.
I have touch'd the highest point of all my greatness; And, from that full meridian of my glory,
* A body become inanimate in the common course of nature; to which violence has not brought a timeless end.
I haste now to my setting: I shall fall
Like a bright exhalation in the evening,
And no man see me more.
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
This many summers in a sea of glory;
But far beyond my depth: my high-blown pride
At length broke under me; and now has left me,
Weary, and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me.
Vain pomp, and glory of this world, I hate ye :
I feel my heart new open'd.
I know myself now; and I feel within me
A peace above all earthly dignities,
A still and quiet conscience.
Much attribute he hath; and much the reason
Why we ascribe it to him: yet all his virtues,—
Not virtuously on his own part beheld,—
Do, in our eyes, begin to lose their gloss;
Yea, like fair fruit in an unwholesome dish,
Are like to rot untasted.
His greatness was no guard
To bar heaven's shaft, but sin had his reward.
Though fortune's malice overthrow my state,
My mind* exceeds the compass of her wheel.
By treason's tooth bare-gnawn, and canker-bit.
* In his mind; as far as his own mind goes.
Though now this grain* face of mine be hid
In sap-consuming winter's drizzled snow,
And all the conduits of my blood froze up;
Yet hath my night of life some memory,
My wasting lamps some fading glimmer left,
My dull deaf ears a little use to hear.
Will purchase us a good opinion,
And buy men's voices to commend our deeds.
Time hath not yet so dried this blood of mine,
Nor age so eat up my invention,
Nor fortune made such havoc of my means,
Nor my bad life reft me so much of friends,
But they shall find, awaked in such a kind,
Both strength of limb, and policy of mind,
Ability in means, and choice of friends,
To quit me of them thoroughly.
A most poor man, made tame by fortune's blows:
Who, by the art of known and feelingt sorrows,
Am pregnant to good pity.
Poor old man, thou prun'st a rotten tree,
That cannot so much as a blossom yield,
In lieu of all thy pains and husbandry.
But I must also feel it as a man:
I cannot but remember such things were,
That were most precious to me.
† Felt. Sorrow known, not by relation, but by experience.
Famine is in thy cheeks,
Need and oppression starveth in thy eyes,
Upon thy back hangs ragged misery,
The world is not thy friend, nor the world's law.
My May of life Is fall'n into the sear, the yellow leaf: And that which should accompany old age, As honour, love, obedience, troops of friends, I must not look to have; but, in their stead, Curses, not loud, but deep, mouth-honour, breath, Which the poor heart would fain deny, but dare not. 15-v. 3.
My blood, my want of strength, my sick heart, shows
That I must yield my body to the earth,
And, by my fall, the conquest to my foe.
Thus yields the cedar to the axe's edge,
Whose arms gave shelter to the princely eagle,
Under whose shade the ramping lion slept;
Whose top-branch overpeer'd Jove's spreading tree,
And kept low shrubs from winter's powerful wind.
Thou wert better in thy grave, than to answer with thy uncovered body this extremity of the skies.-Is man no more than this? Consider him well: Thou owest the worm no silk, the beast no hide, the sheep no wool, the cat no perfume: unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art. 34-iii. 4.
Thou art e'en as just a man
As e'er my conversation coped withal.
Nay, do not think I flatter:
For what advancement may I hope from thee,
That no revenue hast, but thy good spirits,