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The seasons' difference; as the icy phang,
And churlish chiding of the winter's wind;
Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even till I shrink with cold, I smile, and say,
"This is no flattery;" these are counsellors,
That feelingly persuade me what I am.
Sweet are the uses of Adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head :
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.
GRATITUDE in an OLD SERVANT.
BUT do not so: I have five hundred crowns,
The thrifty hire I sav'd under your father,
Which I did store to be my foster-nurse
When service should in my old limbs lie lame,.
And unregarded age in corners thrown:
Take that; and he that doth the ravens feed,
Yea, providently caters for the sparrow,
Be comfort to my age! here is the gold;
All this I give you, let me be your servant:
Tho' I look old, yet I am strong and lusty;
For in my youth I never did apply
Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood:
Nor did I with unbashful forehead woo
The means of weakness and debility :
Therefore my age is as a lusty winter,
Frosty but kindly; let me go with you,
I'll do the service of a younger man
In all your business and necessities.
A MERRY MAN.
Within the limit of becoming mirth,
I never spent an hour's talk withal.
His eye begets occasion for his wit,
For every object that the one doth catch
The other turns to a mirth-moving jest ;
Which his fair tongue (conceit's expositor)
Delivers in such apt and gracious words,
That aged ears play truant at his tales;
And younger hearings are quite ravish'd;
So sweet and voluble is his discourse.
VIRTUE GIVEN to be EXERTED.
HEAV'N doth with us as we with torches do,
Not light them for themselves: for if our virtues
Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike
As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely touch'd,
But to fine issues: nor nature never lends
The smallest scruple of her excellence,
But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines
Herself the glory of a creditor,
I TELL thee what, Antonio,
There are a sort of men whose visages
Do cream and mantle like a standing pond;
And do a wilful stillness entertain,
With purpose to be drest in an opinion
Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit;
As who should say, I am Sir Oracle,
And when I ope my lips, let no dog bark.
O, my Antonio, I do know of those,
That therefore only are reputed wise,
For saying nothing.-
The DECEIT of ORNAMENT or APPEARANCES.
THE world is still deceiv'd with ornament.
In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt,
But being season'd with a gracious voice,
Obscures the shew of evil? In religion,
What damned error, but some sober brow
Will bless it, and approve it with a text,
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?
There is no vice so simple, but assumes
Some mark of virtue on its outward parts.
How many cowards, whose hearts are all as false
As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins
The beards of Hercules, and frowning Mars;
Who, inward search'd, have livers white as milk!
And these assume but valour's excrement,
To render them redoubted. Look on beauty,
And you shall see, 'tis purchas'd by the weight,
Which therein works a miracle in nature,
Making them lightest, that wear most of it.
So are those crisped, snaky, golden locks,
Which make such wanton gambols with the wind
Upon supposed fairness, often known
To be the dowry of a second head,
The skull that bied them in the sepulchre.
Thus ornament is but the guiled shore
To a most dangerous sea; the beauteous scarf
Veiling an Indian beauty; in a word,
The seeming truth which cunning time puts on
T'entrap the wisest.-
Is all the council that we two have shar'd,
The sister-vows, the hours that we have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time
For parting us: O! and is all forgot?
All school-days' friendship, childhood-innocence!
We, Hermia, like two artificial gods,
Created with our needles both one flower,
Both on one sampler, sitting on one cushion;
Both warbling of one song, both in one key;
As if our hands, our sides, voices and minds
Had been incorp'rate. So we grew together,
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted,
But yet an union in partition.
MODEST DUTY ALWAYS ACCEPTABLE.
WHERE I have come, great clerks have purposed
To greet me with premeditated welcomes
Where I have seen them shiver and look pale,
Make periods in the midst of sentences,
Throttle their practis'd accents in their fears,
And, in conclusion, dumbly have broke off,
Nor paying me a welcome; trust me, sweet,
Out of this silence, yet I pick'd a welcome :
And in the modesty of fearful duty
I read as much as from the rattling tongue
Of saucy and audacious eloquence.
Two lads, that thought there was no more behind,
But such a day to-morrow as to-day,
We were as twinn'd lambs, that did frisk i' th' sun,
And bleat the one at th' other: what we chang'd,
Was innocence for innocence; we knew not
The doctrine of ill-doing: no, nor dream'd,
That any did: had we pursu'd that life,
And our weak spirits ne'er had been higher rear'd
With stronger blood, we should have answer'd heav'n
Boldly, not guilty.
Part of the KING's despairing SOLILOQUY in
IN the corrupted currents of this world,
Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice;
And oft 'tis seen the wicked prize itself
Buys out the law: but 'tis not so above;
There is no shuffling, there the action lies
In its true nature, we ourselves compell'd,
Ev'n to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To give in evidence. What then? what rests'
Try what repentance can; what can it not?
Yet what can it, when one cannot repent?
O, wretched state! O bosom black as death!
, timed soul! that, struggling to be free,
Art more engag'd! Help, angels, make assay;
Bow, stubborn knees; and heart, with strings of steel,
Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe;
-GIVE me the cup,
And let the kettle to the trumpets speak,
The trumpets to the cannoneer without,
The cannons to the heavens, the heavens to earth;
Now the king drinks to Hamlet.
REFLECTIONS on a CROWN.
O POLISH'D perturbation! golden care!
That keep'st the ports of slumber open'd wide
To many a watchful night: sleep with it now!
Yet not so sound, and half so deeply sweet,
As he, whose brow with homely biggen bound,
Snores out the watch of night. O Majesty!
When thou dost pinch thy bearer, thou dost sit
Like a rich armour, worn in heat of day,
That scalds with safety.
The M SERIES of ROYALTY.
O HARD condition, and twin-born with greatness!
Subject to breath of ev'ry fool, whose sense
No more can feel but his own wringing.
What infinite heart-ease must kings neglect,
That private men enjoy? And what have kings,
That private have not too,- save ceremony?-
Save gen'ral ceremony?
And what art thou, thou idle ceremony?
What kind of God art thou, that suffer st more
Of mortal griefs, than do thy worshippers?
What are thy rents? What are thy comings-in?
O ceremony, shew me but thy worth:
What is the soul of adoration?
Art thou aught else but place, degree, and form,
Creating awe and fear in other men?
Wherein thou art less happy, being fear'd,
Than they in fearing.
What drink'st thou oft, instead of homage sweet,
But poison'd flatt'ry? O be sick, great greatness,