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To undergo such maiden pilgrimage:
But earthlier happy is the rose distill'd,
Than that, which, withering on the virgin thorn,
Grows, lives, and dies, in single blessedness.
TRUE LOVE EVER CROSSED.
For aught that ever I could read,
Could ever hear by tale or history,
The course of true love never did run smooth:
But, either it was different in blood;
Or else misgraffed, in respect of years;
Or else it stood upon the choice of friends:
Or, if there were a sympathy in choice,
War, death, or sickness did lay siege to it;
Making it momentany* as a sound,
Swift as a shadow, short as any dream;
Brief as the lightning in the collied† night,
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
And ere a man hath power to say-Behold!
The jaws of darkness do devour it up:
So quick bright things come to confusion.
I swear to thee, by Cupid's strongest bow;
By his best arrow with the golden head;
By the simplicity of Venus' doves;
By that which knitteth souls, and prospers loves;
And by that fire which burn'd the Carthage queen,
When the false Trojan under sail was seen;
By all the vows that ever men have broke,
In number more than ever women spoke;-
In that same place thou hast appointed me,
To-morrow truly will I meet with thee.
When Phoebe doth behold
Her silver visage in the watry glass,
Decking with liquid pearl the bladed grass.
Things base and vile, holding no quantity, Love can transpose to form and dignity. Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind; Nor hath love's mind of any judgment taste; Wings, and no eyes, figure unheedy haste: And therefore is love said to be a child, Because in choice he is so oft beguil'd. As waggish boys in game themselves forswear, So the boy love is perjur'd every where.
I am that merry wanderer of the night.
I jest to Oberon, and make him smile,
When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile,
Neighing in likeness of a silly foal:
And sometime lurk I in the gossip's bowl,
In very likeness of a roasted crab;
And, when she drink, against her lips I bob,
And on her wither'd dew-lap pour the ale.
The wisest aunt telling the saddest tale,
Sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me;
Then slip I from her bum, down topples she,
And tailor cries, and falls into a cough;
And then the whole quire hold their hips and loffe; + Wild apple.
And waxen in their mirth, and neeze, and swear A merrier hour was never wasted there.
FAIRY JEALOUSY, AND THE EFFECTS OF IT.
These are the forgeries of jealousy:
since the middle summer's spring,
Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead,
By paved fountain, or by rushy brook,
Or on the beachy margent of the sea,
To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind,
But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport.
Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,
As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea
Contagious fogs; which falling in the land,
Have every pelting* river made so proud,
That they have overborne their continents;
The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain,
The ploughman lost his sweat; and the
Hath rotted, ere his youth attain❜d a beard:
The fold stands empty in the drowned field,
And crows are fatted with the murrain flock;
The nine men's morrist is fill'd up with mud;
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green,
For lack of tread, are undistinguishable;
The human mortals want their winter here;
No night is now with hymn or carol bless'd:-
Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
That rheumatic diseases do abound:
And thorough this distemperature, we see
The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose;
And on old Hyem's chin, and icy crown,
An odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
*Petty. + Banks which contain them. A game played by boys.
Is, as in mockery, set: The spring, the summer,
The childing* autumn, angry winter, change
Their wonted liveries; and the 'mazed world,
By their increaset, now knows not which is which.
LOVE IN IDLENESS.
Since once I sat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid, on a dolphin's back,
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
That the rude sea grew civil at her song;
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres,
To hear the seamaid's music.
That very time I saw, (but thou couldst not),
Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
Cupid all arm'd: a certain aim he took
At a fair vestal, throned by the west;
And loos'd his love-shaft smartly from his bow,
As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts:
But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft
Quench'd in the chaste beams of the wat'ry moon;
And the imperial vot'ress passed on,
In maiden meditation, fancy-freet.
Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell:
It fell upon a little western flower,-
Before, milk-white; now purple with love's wound--
And maidens call it, love-in-idleness.
I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows, Where ox-lips§, and the nodding violet grows; Quite over-canopied with lush|| woodbine,
* Autumn producing flowers unseasonably.
Exempt from love. § The greater cowslip. || Vigorous.
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine: There sleeps Titania, some time of the night, Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight.
Be kind and courteous to this gentleman; Hop in his walks, and gambol in his eyes; Feed him with apricocks and dewberries*, With purple grapes, green figs, and mulberries; The honey bags steal from the humble-bees, And, for night tapers, crop their waxen thighs, And light them at the fiery glowworm's eyes, To have my love to bed, and to arise; And pluck the wings from painted butterflies, To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes: Nod to him, elves, and do him courtesies.
Is all the counsel that we two have shar'd, The sisters' 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,
Have with our neelds‡ created 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 incorporate. So we grew together,
Like to a double cherry, seeming parted;
But yet a union in partition,
Two lovely berries moulded on one stem:
So, with two seeming bodies, but one heart;