« AnteriorContinuar »
To ride in the air
When the moon shines fair,
Or cannon's throat our height can reach. [Voice above.] No ring of bells, &c.
Fire. Well, mother, I thank your kindness: you must be gambolling i' th' air, and leave me to walk here, like a fool and a mortal.
THE CHRISTIAN LADY AND THE ANGEL.
An ANGEL, in the guise of a Page, attends on DOROTHEA.
Dor. My book and taper
Here, most holy mistress.
Ang. No, my dear lady; I could weary stars,
Be nigh me still then.
This little, pretty body, when I, coming
Ang. Proud am 1, that my lady's modest eye
I have offer'd
I am not: I did never
O blessed day!
DOROTHEA is executed; and the ANGEL visits THEOPHILUS, the Judge
that condemned her.
This Christian slut was well,
Are you amazed, sir ?
Theoph. How cam’st thou in? to whom thy business?
Ang. To you.
Whither she knew she went, and where, now happy,
Theoph. Cannot I see this garden ?
Yes, if the master
(He vanishes.) Theoph.
'Tis a tempting fruit,
Both. My lord.
Saw you not A boy? Jul. Where?
Theoph. Here he enter'd, a young lad; A thousand blessings danc'd
Geta. No, sir.
A fine sweet earthquake, gently mov'd
APRIL AND WOMEN'S TEARS.
Trust not a woman when she cries,
There's a lean fellow beats all conquerors.
Duke. What comfort do you find in being so calm ?
Candido. That which green wounds receive from sovereign balm. Patience, my lord! why, 't is the soul of peace ; Of all the virtues 't is nearest kin to heaven; It makes men look like gods. The best of men That e'er wore earth about him was a sufferer, A soft, meek, patient, humble, tranquil spirit, The first true gentleman that ever breath’d. The stock of patience then cannot be poor; All it desires, it has; what award more? It is the greatest enemy to law That can be, for it doth embrace all wrongs, And so chains up lawyer's and women's tongues : 'Tis the perpetual prisoner's liberty, His walks and orchards: 't is the bond-slave's freedom, And makes him seem proud of his iron chain, As though he wore it more for state than pain: It is the beggar's music, and thus sings,
Although their bodies beg, their souls are kings.
I had a doubt whether to put this exquisite passage into the present volume, or to reserve it for one of Contemplative poetry; but the imagination, which few will not think predominant in it, together with a great admiration of the sentiments, of the thoughtful, good-natured alternation of jest and earnest, and of the sweetness of the versification, increased by a certain wild mixture of rhyme and blank verse, determined me to indulge the impulse. Perhaps Decker, who had experienced the worst troubles of poverty, not excepting loss of liberty, drew his patient man from himself, half-jesting over the portrait, in order to reconcile his praises of the virtue in the abstract, with a modest sense of it in his own person. To the strain in it of a “higher mood,” I cannot but append what Mr. Hazlitt has said in his Lectures on the Literature of the Age of Elizabeth (Templeman's edition, p. 21). “There have been persons who, being sceptics as to the divine mission of Christ, have taken an unaccountable prejudice to his doctrines, and have been disposed to deny the merit of his character; but this was not the feeling of the great men in the age of Elizabeth (whatever might be their belief), one of whom says of him, with a boldness equal to its piety, “The best of men,'” &c. (Here the lecturer quotes the verses alluded to and adds), “ This was honest old Decker; and the lines ought to embalm his memory to every one who has a sense either of religion, or philosophy, or humanity, or true
A WICKED DREAM.
Vittoria Corombona. To pass away the time I'll tell your grace A dream I had last night.