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From a Chorus in Julius Caesar.

THIS life of ours is like a rose,

Which, whilst it beauties rare array,
Doth then enjoy the least repose;
When, virgin-like, it blush we see,

Then is't of every hand the prey,
And by each wind is blown away;
Yea, though from violence 'scaped free,
Yet doth it languish and decay.

So, whilst the courage hottest boils,
And that our life seems best to be,
It is with danger compast still,
Of which, though none it chance to kill,
As nature fails the body falls.


From the Aurora.


Would to God a way were found,
That by some secret sympathy unknown,
My fair my fancy's depth might sound,
And know my state as clearly as her own!
Then blest, most blest were I,
No doubt, beneath the sky,

I were the happiest wight;
For if my state they knew,
It ruthless rocks would rue,
And mend me if they might.

The deepest rivers make least din,

The silent soul doth most abound in care, Then might my breast be read within,

A thousand volumes would be written there.

Might silence shew my mind,
Sighs tell how I were pin'd;
Or looks my woes relate,
Then any pregnant wit,
That well remarked it,

Would soon discern my state.

Oft those that do deserve disdain,
For forging fancies get the best reward;
When I, who feel what they do feign,
For too much love am had in no regard.
Behold, by proof we see,

The gallant living free,

His fancies doth extend;
Where he that is o'ercome,
Rein'd with respects, stands dumb,
Still fearing to offend.

Then since in vain I plaints impart
To scornful ears, in a contemned scroll,
And since my tongue betrays my heart,
And cannot tell the anguish of my soul,
Henceforth I'll hide my losses,

And not recount the crosses
That do my joys o'erthrow;

At least, to senseless things,

Mounts, vales, woods, floods, and springs,
I shall them only show.

Ah! unaffected lines,

True models of my heart;

The world may see that in you shines

The power of passion, more than art.



Prefixed to the Anatomy of Melancholy.

WHEN I go musing all alone,

Thinking of divers things foreknown,
When I build castles in the air,
Void of sorrow, and void of care,.
Pleasing myself with phantasms sweet,
Methinks the time runs very fleet;
All my joys to this are folly,
Nought so sweet as melancholy.
When I go walking, all alone,
Recounting what I have ill done,
My thoughts on me then tyrannize,
Fear and sorrow me surprise;
Whether I tarry still, or go,

Methinks the time moves very slow.
All my griefs to this are jolly,
Nought so sad as melancholy.

When to myself I act, and smile,
With pleasing thoughts the time beguile;
By a brook-side, or wood so green,
Unheard, unsought for, and unseen,
A thousand pleasures do me bless,
And crown my soul with happiness.
All my joys besides are folly,
None so sweet as melancholy.

When I lie, sit, or walk alone,
I sigh, I grieve, making great moan,
In a dark grove, or irksome den,
With discontents and furies, then....
A thousand miseries at onces
Mine heavy heart and foul ensconce

All my griefs to this are jolly,
None so sour as melancholy.

Methinks I hear, methinks I see,

Sweet music, wondrous melody,
Towns, palaces, and cities fine,

Here now, then there, the world is mine;
Rare beauties, gallant ladies shine,
Whate'er is lovely or divine.

All other joys to this are folly,
None so sweet as melancholy.


hear, methinks I see

Ghosts, goblins, fiends, my phantasie
Presents a thousand ugly shapes,
Headless bears, black men, and apes,
Doleful outcries, fearful sights,
My sad and dismal soul affrights.

All my griefs to this are jolly,
None so damn'd as melancholy.

Methinks I court, methinks I kiss,
Methinks I now embrace my miss;
O blessed days, O sweet content,
In paradise my time is spent!

Such thought may still my fancy move,
So may I ever be in love!

All my joys to this are folly,
Nought so sweet as melancholy.

When I recount love's many frights,
My sighs and tears, my waking nights,
My jealous fits; O mine hard fate
I now repent, but 'tis too late.
No torment is so had as love,
So bitter to my soul can prove.

All my griefs to this are jolly,
Nought so harsh as melancholy.

Friends and companions, get you gone: 'Tis my desire to be alone.

Ne'er well, but when my thoughts and I Do domineer in privacy.

No gem, no treasure like to this,
'Tis my delight, my crown, my bliss.

All my joys to this are folly,
Nought so sweet as melancholy.

'Tis my sole plague to be alone,
I am a beast, a monster grown,
I will no light nor company,
I find it now my misery.

The scene is turn'd, my joys are gone,
Fear, discontent, and sorrows come.
All my griefs to this are jolly,
Nought so fierce as melancholy.

I'll not change life with any king,
I ravish'd am! can the world bring
More joy, than still to laugh and smile,
In pleasant toys time to beguile ?
Do not, O do not trouble me,
So sweet content I feel and see.
All my joys to this are folly,
None so divine as melancholy.

I'll change my state with any wretch
Thou canst from jail or dunghill fetch.
My pain's past cure; another hell;
I cannot in this torment dwell;
Now, desperate, I hate my life:
Lend me a halter or a knife.

All my griefs to this are jolly,
Nought so damn'd as melancholy.

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