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DESCRIPTION OF A MELANCHOLY VALLEY.
A barren detested vale, you see, it is : The trees, though summer, yet forlorn and lean, O’ercome with moss, and baleful misletoe. Here never shines the sun; here nothing breeds, Unless the nightly owl, or fatal raven. And, when they show'd me this abhorred pit, They told me, here, at dead time of night, A thousand fiends, a thousand hissing snakes, Ten thousand swelling toads, as many urchins *, Would make such fearful and confused cries, As any mortal body, hearing it, Should straight fall mad, or else die suddenly.
DESCRIPTION OF A RING, Upon his bloody finger he doth wear A precious ring, that lightens all the hole, Which, like a taper in some monument, Doth shine upon the dead man's earthy cheeks, And shows the ragged entrails of this pit.
LAVINIA AT HER LUTE. Fair Philomela, she but lost her tongue, And in a tedious sampler sew'd her mind : But, lovely niece, that mean is cut from thee; A craftier Tereus hast thou met withal, And he hath cut those pretty fingers off, That could have better sew'd than Philomel. 0, had the monster seen those lily hands Tremble, like aspen leaves, upon a lute, And make the silken strings delight to kiss them; He would not then have touch'd them for his life: Or, had he heard the heavenly harmony, Which that sweet tongue hath made, He would have dropp'd his knife, and fell asleep, As Cerberus at the Thracian poet'st feet.
When I did name her brothers, then fresh tears Stood on her cheeks; as doth the honey dew Upon a gather'd lily almost wither’d.
CRUELTY TO INSECTS.
Mar. Alas, my lord, I have but kill'd a fly.
Tit. But how, if that fly had a father and mother?
Lo, by thy side where Rape, and Murder, stands;
To bale thy vengeful waggon swift away,
Troilus and Cressida.
Take but degree away, untune that string,
Call here my varlet*, I'll unarm again:
The Greeks are strong, and skilful to their strength,
O Pandarus! I tell thee, Pandarus, When I do tell thee, There my hopes lie drown'd, Reply not in how many fathoms deep They lie indrench’d. I tell thee, I am mad In Cressid's love: Thou answer'st, She is fair; Pour'st in the open ulcer of my heart Her eyes, her hair, her cheek, her gait, her voice; Handlest in thy discourse, O, that her hand,
* A servant to a knight. + Weaker,
In whose comparison all whites are ink,
SUCCESS NOT EQUAL TO OUR HOPES.
The ample proposition, that hope makes In all designs begun on earth below, Fails in the promis'd largeness: checks and disasters Grow in the veins of actions highest rear'd: As knots, by the conflux of meeting sap, Infect the sound pine, and divert his grain Tortive and errant* from his course of growth.
ADVERSITY THE TRIAL OF MAN.
Why then, you princes, Do you with cheeks abash'd behold our works; And think them shames, which are, indeed, nought But the protractive trials of great Jove,
[else To find persistive constancy in men? The fineness of which metal is not found In fortune's love: for, the bold and coward, The wise and fool, the artist and unread, The hard and soft, scem all affin'dt and kin: But, in the wind and tempest of her frown, Distinction, with a broad and powerful fan, Puffing at all, winnows the light away; And what hath mass, or matter, by itself Lies, rich in virtue, and unmingled.
ACHILLES DESCRIBED BY ULYSSES. The great Achilles,—whom opinion crowns The sinew and the forehand of our liost, Having his ear full of his airy fame,
* Twisted and rambling.
+ Joined by affinity.