« AnteriorContinuar »
dearest affections, or of whatever else the amorous Spring-time gave his thoughts of contentment, then unvaluable; and he shall find that all the Art which his elder years have, can draw no other vapour out of these dissolutions than heavy, secret, and sad sighs. He shall find nothing remaining but those sorrows which grow up after our fast-springing youth, overtake it when it is at a stand, and overtop it utterly when it begins to wither; insomuch as looking back from the very instant time and from our now being, the poor, diseased, and captive creature hath as little sense of his former miseries and pains as he that is most blessed in common Opinion hath of his forepast pleasures and delights. For whatsoever is cast behind us is just nothing; and what is to come, deceitful hope hath it. Omnia quae ventura sunt in incerto jacent. Only those few black Swans I must except, who, having had the grace to value worldly vanities at no more than their own price, do, by retaining the comfortable memory of a well-acted life, behold death without dread, and the grave without fear, and embrace both as necessary guides to endless glory.1
EDMUND SPENSER (1553-1599)
Of Mutabilitie, and well it way!
1 From the preface to the History of the World.
And love of things so vaine to cast away:
SIR PHILIP SIDNEY (1554–1586) I
WOULD not change my joy for the empire of
the world. All things in my former life have been vain, vain,
FRANCIS BACON (1561-1626)
(VISCOUNT Sr. Albans)
Less than a span :
So to the tomb ;
Curst from the cradle, and brought up to years
With cares and fears.
Yet since with sorrow here we live
To dandle fools :
Of savage men:
Domestic cares afflict the husband's bed,
Or pains his head :
Or do things worse :
Or wish them gone:
Our own affections still at home to please
Is a disease :
Perils and toil :
We're worse in peace ;-
1 From “ Poems of Francis Bacon” (1870).
(1564-1616) [There are those who hold that all the sonnets of Shakespeare were dramatic, in the sense of giving voice to thoughts and emotions not his own. On the other hand, Wordsworth declared that in the sonnets the poet had “unlocked his heart”; and we find Dr. Dowden writing — “ With Wordsworth, Sir Henry Taylor, and Mr. Swinburne, with François Victor Hugo, with Kreyssig, Ulrici, Gervinus, and Herman Isaac, with Boaden, Armitage Brown, and Hallam, with Furnivall, Spalding, Rossetti, and Palgrave, I believe that Shakespeare's Sonnets express his own feelings in his own person.” In the following passages, therefore, Shakespeare may perhaps be giving utterance to his own views of Life and Death.]
IKE as the waves make towards the pebbled shore,
, Each changing place with that which goes before, In sequent toil all forwards do contend. Nativity, once in the main of light, Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown'd, Crooked eclipses 'gainst his glory fight, And Time that gave doth now his gift confound. Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth And delves the parallels in beauty's brow, Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth, And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow.l ...
1 From Sonnet lx.
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, Bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang,
This Life and the Dert
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
No, Time, thou shalt not boast that I do change :
To me are nothing novel, nothing strange;
This I do vow, and this shall ever be;
Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth, [Press’d by] these rebel powers that thee array, Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth, 1 From Sonnet lxxiii.
2 Sonnet cxxiii.