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By aunswere did cutte off thaffections of his loue,
dayne? What way she seekes to goe, the same I seeke to runne, But she the path wherin I treade with spedy flight doth shunne. I cannot liue except that nere to her I be; She is ay best content when she is farthest of from me. Wherefore henceforth I will farre from her take my flight; Perhaps, mine eye once banished by absence from her sight, This fyre of myne, that by her pleasant eyne is fed, Shall little and little weare away, and quite at last be ded.”
But whilest he did decree this purpose still to kepe, A contrary repugnant thought sanke in his brest so depe, That doutefull is he now which of the twayne is best, In sighs, in teares, in plainte, in care, in sorrow and vnrest, He mones the daye, he wakes the long and wery night; So deepe hath loue, with pearcing hand, ygrau'd her bewty bright Within his brest, and hath so mastred quite his hart, That he of force must yeld as thrall;- no way is left to start. He cannot staye his steppe, but forth still must be ronne, He languisheth and melts awaye, as snowe against the sonne. His kyndred and alyes do wonder what he ayles, And eche of them in frendly wise his heauy hap bewayles. But one emong the rest, the trustiest of his feeres, Farre more than he with counsel fild, and ryper of his yeeres, Gan sharply him rebuke; suche loue to him he bare, That he was felow of his smart, and partner of his care. “ What meanst thou Romeus, quoth he, what doting rage Dooth make thee thus consume away the best parte of thine age, In seking her that scornes, and hydes her from thy sight, Not forsing all thy great expence, ne yet thy honor bright, Thy teares, thy wretched lyfe, ne thine vnspotted truth, in Which are of force, I weene, to moue the hardest hart to ruthe?
Now, for our frendships sake, and for thy health, I pray
sworne. Both yong thou art of yeres, and high in Fortunes grace: What man is better shapd than thou? who hath a swetter
face? By painfull studies meane great learning hast thou wonne, Thy parentes haue none other heyre, thou art theyr onely sonne, What greater griefe, trowst thou, what wofull dedly smart, Should so be able to distraine thy seely fathers hart, As in his age to see thee plonged deepe in vyce, When greatest hope he hath to heare thy vertues fame arise ? What shall thy kinsmen thinke, thou cause of all theyr ruthe? Thy dedly foes do laugh to skorne thy yll-employed youth. Wherefore my counsell is, that thou henceforth beginne To knowe and Aye the errour which to long thou liuedst in. Remoue the veale of loue that keepes thine eyes so blynde, That thou ne canst the ready path of thy forefathers fynde. But if ynto thy will so much in thrall thou art, Yet in some other place bestowe thy witles wandring hart. Choose out some worthy dame, her honor thou, and serue, Who will geue eare to thy complaint, and pitty ere thou sterue. But sow no more thy paynes in such a barrayne soyle As yeldes in haruest time no crop, in recompence of toyle. Ere long the townishe dames together will resort, Some one of bewty, favour, shape, and of so louely porte, With so fast fixed eye perhaps thou mayst beholde, That thou shalt quite forget thy loue and passions past of olde.”
The yong mans lystning eare receiude the holsome sounde, And reasons truth y-planted so, within his heade had grounde; That now with healthy coole y-tempred is the heate, And piece meale weares away the greefe that erst his heart dyd
freate. To his approued frend a solemne othe he plight, At euery feast y-kept by day, and banquet made by night, At pardons in the churche, at games in open streate, And euery where he would resort where ladies wont to meete; Eke should his sauage heart like all indifferently, For he would view and iudge them all with vnallured eye. How happy had he been, had he not been forsworne! But twyse as happy had he been, had he been neuer borne.
For ere the moone could thryse her wasted hornes renew, . False Fortune cast for him, poore wretch, a myschiefe newe to
brewe. The wery winter nightes restore the Christmas games, And now the season doth inuité to banquet townish dames. And fyrst in Capels house, the chiefe of all the kyn, Sparth for no cost, the wonted vse of banquets to begyn. No lady fayre or fowle was in Verona towne, No knight or gentleman of high or lowe renowne, But Capilet himselfe hath byd vnto his feast, Or, by his name in paper sent, appoynted as a geast. Yong damsels thether flocke, of bachelers a rowte, Not so much for the banquets sake, as bewties to searche out. · But not à Montagew would enter at his gate, (For, as you heard, the Capilets and they were at debate) . Saue Romeus, and he in maske, with hidden face, The supper done, with other fiue dyd prease into the place. When they had maskd a whyle with dames in courtly wisė, All did vnmaske; the rest dyd shew them to theyr ladies eyes; But bashfull Romeus with shamefast face forsooke The open prease, and him withdrew into the chambers nooke.' But brighter then the sunne the waxen torches shone, That, maugre what he could, he was espyd of euery one, . But of the women cheefe, theyr gasing eyes that threwe, To woonder at his sightly shape, and bewties spotles hewe ; With which the heauens him had and nature so bedect, That ladies, thought the fayrest dames, were fowle in his re
spect. And in theyr head beside an other woonder rose, How he durst put himselfe in throng among so many foes : Of courage stoute they thought his cumming to procede, And women loue án hardy hart, as I in stories rede. The Capilets disdayne the presence of theyr foe, Yet they suppresse theyr styrred yre; the cause I do not knowe: Perhaps toffend theyr gestes the courteous knights are loth; Perhaps they stay from sharpe reuenge, dreadyng the princes
wroth; Perhaps for that they shamd to exercise theyr rage Within their house, gainst one alone, and him of tender age. They vse no taunting talke, ne harme him by theyre deede, . They neyther say, what makst thou here, ne yet they say, God
speede. So that he freely might the ladies view at ease, And they also behelding him their chaunge of fansies please: Which Nature had him taught to doe with such a grace, That there was none but joyed at his being there in place.
With úpright beame he wayd the bewty of eche dame,
Yea he forgets himselfe, ne is the wretch so bolde
It booted not to striue. For why?-she wanted strength; .
beames, Eche of these louers gan by others lookes to knowe, That frendship in their brest had roote, and both would haue it
grow. When thus in both theyr harts had Cupide made his breache, And eche of them had sought the meane to end the warre by
speache, Dame Fortune did assent, theyr purpose to advaunce. With torch in hand a comly knight did fetch her foorth to
daunce; She quit herselfe so well and with so trim a grace That she the cheefe prase wan that night from all Verona race: The whilst our Romeus a place had warely wonne, Nye to the seate where she must sit, the daunce oncebėyng donne. Fayre Juliet tourned to her chayre with pleasant cheere, And glad she was her Romeus approched was so neere. At thone side of her chayre her louer Romeo, And on the other syde there sat one cald Mercutio ; A courtier that eche where was highly had in pryce, For he was courteous of his speche, and pleasant of deuise. Euen as a lyon would emong the lambes be bolde, Such was emong the bashfull maydes Mercutio to beholde. . With frendly gripe he ceasd fayre Juliets snowish hand : A gyft he had, that Nature gaue him in his swathing band, That frosen mountayne yse was neuer halfe so cold, As were his handes, though nere so neere the fire he dyd them
holde. As soone'as had the knight the vyrgins right hand raught, Within his trembling hand her left hath louing Romeus caught. For he wist well himselfe for her abode most payne, And well he wist she loued him best, vnles she list to fayne. Then she with tender hand his tender palme hath prest; What ioy, trow you, was graffed so in Romeus clouen brest?.. The sodain sweete delight had stopped quite his tong, Ne can he claime of her his right, ne craue redresse of wrong. But she espyd straight waye, by chaunging of his hewe From pale to red, from red to pale, and so from pale anewe, That vehment loue was cause why so his tong dyd stay, And so much more she longde to heare what Loue could teache