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Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And, by opposing, end them-To die,—to sleep-
No more; and, by a sleep, to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to ;—'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die;-to sleep ;-
To sleep! perchance to dream,-aye, there's the rub :
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life:
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely.
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear
To groan and sweat under a weary life;
But that the dread of something after death—
(The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns) puzzles the will;
And makes us rather bear these ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all :
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn awry,
And lose the name ci action.
24. SOLILOQUY OF THE KING IN HAMLET.
O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven;
It hath the primal eldest curse upon't-
A brother's murder !-Pray can 1 not:
Though inclination be as sharp as will,
My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent:
And, like a man to double business bound,
I stand in pause where I shall first begin,
And both neglect. What if this cursed hand
Were thicker than itself with brother's blood?
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens,
To wash it white as snow? Whereto serves mercy,
But to confront the visage of offence?
And what's in prayer, but this two-fold force-
To be forestalléd, ere we come to fall,
Or pardon'd, being down? Then I'll look up;
My fault is past. But, O, what form of prayer
Can serve my turn? Forgive me my foul murder !—
That cannot be; since I am still possess'd
Of those effects for which I did the murder,
My crown, mine own ambition, and my queen.
May one be pardon'd and retain the offence?
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, and we ourselves compell'd
E'en 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 can not repent?
O wretched state! O bosom, black as death!
O limèd soul, that, struggling to be free,
Art more engaged! Help, angels! make assay!
Bow, stubborn knees! and, heart with strings of steel,
Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe;
Blow, blow, thou winter-wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude.
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
Thou dost not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot :
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friend remember'd not.
26. SONG: TAKE, OH TAKE. Take, oh take, those lips away,
That so sweetly were forsworn; And those eyes, the break of day, Lights that do mislead the mor my kisses bring again,
Seals of love, but sealed in vain.
Hide, oh hide those hills cf snow,
Which thy frozen bosom bears, On whose tops the pinks that grow, Are of those that April wears; But my poor heart first set free, Bound in those icy chains to thee.
27. LOVE AND THE BLOSSOM.
On a day, (alack the day!)
Love, whose month is ever May,
Spy'd a blossom passing fair,
Playing in the wanton air;
Through the velvet leaves the wind
All unseen 'gan passage find;
That the lover, sick to death,
Wish'd himself the heaven's breath.
Air (quoth he) thy cheeks may blow
Air, would I might triumph so!
But, alack! my hand is sworn,
Ne'er to pluck thee from thy thorn,
Vow, alack, for youth unmeet,
Youth so apt to pluck a sweet.
Do not call it sin in me
That I am forsworn for thee:
Thou for whom e'en Jove would swear
Juno but an Ethiop were;
And deny himself for Jove,
Turning mortal for thy love.
28. WINTER: A SONG.
When icicles hang on the wall,
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail;
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail;
When blood is nipt, and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl
Too-whit! too-whoo! a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
When all around the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw.
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly sings the staring owl
a merry note, While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
29. CONCEALED LOVE.
But let concealment like a worm i' the bud
Feed on her damask cheek: she pined in thought,
And, with a green-and-yellow melancholy,
She sat like Patience on a monument,
What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted?
Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just;
And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel,
Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.
Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing 'Twas mine, 'tis his; and has been slave to thousands. But he that filches from me my good name,
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
1 I am sure care's an enemy to life.
2 Love sought is good, but love unsought is better. Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win,
By fearing to attempt.
4 The miserable have no other medicine,
But only hope.
5 The sense of death is most in apprehension:
And the poor beetle that we tread upon,
In corporal sufferance feels a pang as great
As when a giant dies.
6 For there was never yet philosopher
That could endure the tooth-ache patiently.
7 Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind.
8 In maiden meditation fancy-free.
9 The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven,
And as imagination bodies forth
The form of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shape, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
10 A jest's prosperity lies in the ear
Of him that hears it, never in the tongue
Of him that makes it.
11 This fellow picks up wit as pigeons peas,
And utters it again when God doth please.
12 The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
13 What wouldst thou have a serpent sting thee twice? 14 The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, aud spoils.
15 And so from hour to hour we ripe and ripe: And so from hour to hour we rot and rot, And thereby hangs a tale.