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Triumph, my Britain, thou hast one to show To whom all scenes of Europe homage owe.
face 65 Lives in his issue, even so the race Of Shakespeare's mind and manners
brightly shines In his well turned and true filed3 lines,
Thames, That so did take4 Eliza5 and our James!
mourned like night, And despairs day, but for thy volume's
* plans.'polished.• Queen Elizabeth.From A PINDARIC ODE
It is not growing like a tree
To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sear:
AN EPITAPH ON SALATHIEL PAVY
Weep with me all you that read
This little story;
Death's self is sorry.
In grace and feature,
Which owned the creature.
When fates turned cruel, 10 Yet three filled zodiacs6 had he been
The stage's jewel;
Old men so duly, As, sooth, the Parcae7 thought him one, 15
He played so truly.
They all consented,
They have repented; 20 And have sought, to give new birth,
In baths to steep him;
Heaven vows to keep him.
JOHN DONNE (1673-1631)
Go and catch a falling star,
Tell me where all past years are,
1 the Fates.
Teach me to hear mermaids singing, 5 Or to keep off envy's stinging,
If thou be'st born to strange sights, 10
Things invisible go see,
Till Age snow white hairs on thee;
If thou find'st one, let me know;
Such a pilgrimage were sweet. 20 Yet do not; I would not go,
Though at next door we might meet. Though she were true when you met her, And last till you write your letter,
Yet she 25 Will be False, ere I come, to two or three.
I long to talk with some old lover's ghost
Sure, they which made him god, meant not so much, Nor he in his young godhead practiced it. But when an even flame two hearts did touch, 10
His office was indulgently to fit Actives to passives. Correspondency Only his subject was; it cannot be Love, till I love her who loves me.
But every modern god will now extend 15 His vast prerogative as far as Jove:
To rage, to lust, to write to, to commend, All is the purlieu of the god of love.
O! were we wakened by this tyranny
Rebel and atheist too, why murmur I,
SWEETEST LOVE, I DO NOT GO
Sweetest love, I do not go
For weariness of thee,
A fitter love for me;
But since that I 5 At the last must part, 'tis best Thus to use myself in jest,
By feigned deaths to die.
Yesternight the sun went hence,
He hath no desire nor sense,
But believe that I shall make
Speedier journeys, since I take 15 More wings and spurs than he.
O how feeble is man's power,
That, if good fortune fall, Cannot add another hour,
Nor a lost hour recall; 20 But come bad chance, And we join to it our strength, And we teach it art and length,
Itself o'er us to advance.
When thou sigh'st, thou sigh'st not wind,
When thou weep'st, unkindly kind,
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so; For those whom thou think'st thou dost
overthrow Die not, poor Death; nor yet canst thou kill me. From rest and sleep, which but thy picture be, 5 Much pleasure, then from thee much more must flow; And soonest our best men with thee do
goRest of their bones and souls' delivery! Thou'rt slave to Fate, chance, kings, and
desperate men, And dost with poison, war, and sickness
dwell, 10 And poppy or charms can make us sleep as
well, And better than thy stroke; why swell'st
thou then? One short sleep past, we wake eternally, And death shall be no more: Death, thou
FRANCIS BEAUMONT (1684-1616) EVEN SUCH IS MAN
Like to the falling of a star, Or as the flights of eagles are, Or like the fresh spring's gaudy hue, Or silver drops of morning dew, Or like a wind that chafes the flood, 5 Or bubbles which on water stood:
Even such is man, whose borrowed light
ON THE TOMBS IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY
Mortality, behold and fear! What a change of flesh is here!Think how many royal bones Sleep within this heap of stones; Here they lie had realms and lands, 5 Who now want strength to stir their hands; Where from their pulpits sealed with dust They preach, "In greatness is no trust." Here's an acre sown indeed With the richest, royal'st seed 10 That the earth did e'er suck in Since the first man died for sin; Here the bones of birth have cried, "Though gods they were, as men they died."
Dropt from the ruined sides of kings.
JOHN FLETCHER (1679-1626)
Hence, all you vain delights,
Wherein you spend your folly!
But only melancholy;
0 sweetest melancholy!
Welcome, folded arms and fixed eyes,
A midnight bell, a parting groan, 16 These are the sounds we feed upon. Then stretch our bones in a still gloomy valley; Nothing's so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy.
Care-charming Sleep, thou easer of all woes,
SONG TO BACCHUS
God Lyaeus, ever young,
Ever honored, ever sung,
Stained with blood of lusty grapes,
In a thousand lusty shapes,
Dance upon the mazer's1 brim, 5
In the crimson liquor swim;
From thy plenteous hand divine
Let a river run with wine;
God of youth, let this day here
Enter neither care nor fear! 10
JOHN WEBSTER (16807-1625?)
Call for the robin-redbreast and the wren,
warm, And. when gay tombs are robbed, sustain no harm;But keep the wolf far thence, that's foe to men, 0
For with his nails he'll dig them up again.
HARK, NOW EVERYTHING IS STILL
Hark, now everything is still,
The screech-owl and the whistler2 shrill,
Call upon our dame aloud,
And bid her quickly don her shroud.
Much you had of land and rent,— 5
Your length in clay's now competent;
A long war disturbed your mind,—
Here your perfect peace is signed.
Of what is't fools make such vain keeping?
Sin their conception, their birth weeping, 10
Their life a general mist of error,
Their death a hideous storm of terror.
Strew your hair with powders sweet,
Don clean linen, bathe your feet,
And—the foul fiend more to check— 15
A crucifix let bless your neck.
'Tis now full tide 'tween night and day;
End your groan, and come away.
WILLIAM BROWNE (1691-1643?)
ON THE COUNTESS DOWAGER OF
Underneath this sable herse3
ELIZABETHAN PROSE SIR THOMAS NORTH (1635?-1601?)
THE DEATH OF CESAR
From THE LITE OF JULIUS C^SAR
The Romans inclining to Caesar's prosperity, and taking the bit in the mouth, supposing that to be ruled by one man alone, it would be a good mean for them to take breath a little, after so many troubles and miseries as they had abidden in these civil wars, they chose him perpetual Dictator. This was a plain tyranny: for to this absolute power of Dictator they added this, never to be [10 afraid to be deposed. Cicero propounded before the Senate that they should give him such honors as were meet for a man; howbeit others afterwards added to, honors beyond all reason. For, men striving who should most honor him, they made him hateful and troublesome to themselves that most favored him, by reason of the unmeasurable greatness and honors which they gave him. There- [20 upon it is reported that even they that most hated him were no less favorers and furtherers of his honors than they that most flattered him; because they might have greater occasions to rise, and that it might appear they had just cause and color to attempt that they did against him.
And now for himself, after he had ended his civil wars he did so honor- [30 ably behave himself that there was no fault to be found in him; and therefore, methinks, amongst other honors they gave him, he rightly deserved this, that they should build him a temple of clemency, to thank him for his courtesy he had used unto them in his victory. For he pardoned many of them that had borne arms against him, and, furthermore, did prefer some of them to honor and [40 office in the commonwealth: as, amongst others, Cassius and Brutus, both the which were made Praetors. And where Pompey's images had been thrown down, he caused them to be set up again; whereupon Cicero said then, That Caesar setting up Pompey's images again, he made his own to stand the surer. And when some of his friends did counsel him to have a guard for the safety of his person, and [50 some also did offer themselves to serve him, he would never consent to it, but said, It was better to die once, than always to be afraid of death.
But his enemies that envied his greatness did not stick to find fault withal. As Cicero the orator, when one said, Tomorrow the star Lyra will rise: Yea, said he, at the commandment of Caesar, as if men were compelled to say and think by [60 Caesar's edict. But the chiefest cause that made him mortally hated was the covetous desire he had to be called king: which first gave the people just cause, and next
his secret enemies honest color, to bear him ill-will.
The people went straight unto Marcus Brutus, who from his father came of the first Brutus, and by his mother, of the house of the Servilians, a noble house [70 as any was in Rome, and was also nephew and son-in-law of Marcus Cato. Notwithstanding, the great honors and favors Caesar showed unto him kept him back, that of himself alone he did not conspire nor consent to depose him of his kingdom. For Caesar did not only save his life after the battle of Pharsalia when Pompey fled, and did at his request also save many more of his friends beside, but further- [80 more he put a marvellous confidence in him. For he had already preferred him to the Praetorship for that year, and furthermore was appointed to be Consul the fourth year after that, having through Caesar's friendship obtained it before Cassius, who likewise made suit for the same; and Caesar also, as it is reported, said in this contention, Indeed Cassius hath alleged best reason, but yet shall [90 he not be chosen before Brutus. Some one day accusing Brutus while he practised this conspiracy, Caesar would not hear of it, but clapping his hand on his body, told them, Brutus will look for this skin: meaning thereby that Brutus for his virtue deserved to rule after him, but yet that for ambition's sake he would not show himself unthankful or dishonorable.
Now they that desired change, and [100 wished Brutus only their prince and governor above all other, they durst not come to him themselves to tell him what they would have him to do, but in the night did cast sundry papers into the Praetor's seat where he gave audience, and the most of them to this effect: Thou sleepest, Brutus, and art not Brutus indeed. Cassius, finding Brutus' ambition stirred up the more by these ambitious bills, did [no prick him forward, and egg him on the more, for a private quarrel he had conceived against Caesar, the circumstance whereof we have set down more at large in Brutus' life. Caesar also had Cassius in great jealousy, and suspected him