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Let the bird of loudest lay,
On the sole Arabian tree,1
Herald sad and trumpet be,
To whose sound chaste wings obey.
But thou, shrieking harbinger,
1 There is a curious coincidence in a passage in The Ternpest: —
"Now I will believe
From this session interdict
Let the priest in surplice white
And thou, treble-dated crow,
Here the anthem doth commence •
So they loved, as love in twain
Hearts remote, yet not asunder;
So between them love did shine,
1 Can, knows.
Property was thus appalled,
Reason, in itself confounded,
That it cried how true a twain
Whereupon it made this threne'
Beauty, truth, and rarity,
Death is now the phoenix' nest;
Leaving no posterity : —
1 Threne, funereal song.
Troth may seem,bat cannot be;
A. LOVER'S COMPLAINT, THE PASSIONATE PILGRIM, &c.
A Lover's Complaint was first printed with the Sonnets in 1609. It was reprinted in 1640, in that collection called Shakspeare's Poems, in which the original order of the Sonnets was entirely disregarded, some were omitted, and this poem was thrust in amidst translations from Ovid which had been previously claimed by another writer. Of these we shall have presently to speak. There can be no doubt of the genuineness of A Lover's Complaint. It is distinguished by that condensation of thought and outpouring of imagery which are the characteristics of Shakspcare's poems. The effect consequent upon these qualities is, that the language is sometimes obscure, and the metaphors occasionally appear strango and forced. It is very different from any production of Shakspcare's contemporaries. As in the case of the Venus and Adonis, and the Lucrccc, we feel that the power of the writer is in perfect subjection to his art. He is never carried away by the force of his own conceptions. We mention these attributes merely with reference to the undoubted character of the poem as belonging to the Shakspcarian system: we shall have occasion to notice it again.