« VorigeDoorgaan »
HELEN AGAIN TO PARIS.
Reason itself confounded,
BEAUTY, truth and rarity,
Truth and beauty buried be.
WHY should this a desart be,
For it is unpeopled ? No.
That shall civil sayings show.
Runs his erring pilgrimage,
Buckles in his sum of age. Some of violated vows
"Twixt the soul of friend and friend, But upon the fairest boughs,
Or at every sentence end Will I ROSALINDA write;
Teaching all that read to know, The quintessence of each sprite,
Heaven would in little show;
That one body should be fillid
Nature presently distillid
Helen's cheek, but not her heart,
CLEOPATRA's majesty ; ATALANTA's better part,
Sad LUCRETIA's modesty, Thus ROSALIND of many parts,
By heavenly synods was devis'd. Of many faces, eyes and hearts,
To have the touches dearest priz'd. Heaven would these gifts she should have, And I to live and die her slave.
THE VARIOUS OPINIONS OF
POEMS ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS.
SHAKESPEARE'S SONNETS were entered on the Stationers' books by Thomas Thorpe, May 20, 1609, and printed in quarto in the same year. They were, however, written many years before. The general style of these poems, and the numerous passages in them, which remind us of our author's plays, leave not the smallest doubt of their authenticity. As these Sonnets are in 154 stanzas, peculiar passages have been selected, under appropriate heads, which will be more acceptable to readers in general. Also, The PasSIONATE PILGRIM, being likewise of a miscellaneous nature, is given in the same manner : this was first published by William Jaggard, in small octavo, with our author's name, in 1599.
P. 1, 1. 5. Nativity once in the main of light. the great body of light. So the main of waters.
Ib. I. 8. His gift confound. To confound, in Shakespeare's age, generally meant to destroy. MALONE.
Ib. 1.9. Tinie doth transfix the flourish; i. e. The external decoration. MALONE.
Ib. 1. 10. And delves the parallels in beauty's brow ; i. e. Renders what was before even and smooth, rough and uneven.
Ib. 1. 16. Crush'd and o'er worn. The old copy reads ---chrusht. I suspect that our author wrote frush'd. STEEVENS. MALONE.
To frush is to bruise or batter. Malone.
P. 2, 1. 1. To age's steepy night. I once thought that the poet wrote sleepy night. But the word truvellid shows, I think, that the old copy is right, however incongruous the epithet steepy may appear. Were it not for the antithesis, which was certainly intended between morn and night, we might read--to age's steepy height. Malone.
P.3, 1. 1. Hou with this rage. Shakespeare, I believe, wrote--with his rage; i. e. with the rage of mortality.
Ib. 1. 8. Shall time's best jewel from time's chest lie hid ?
I once thought Shakespeare might have written ---from time's guest; but am now convinced that the old reading is right. “ Time's best jewel” is the person addressed, who, the author feared, would not be able to escape the devastation of time, but would fall a prey, however beautiful, to the all-subduing power.