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Youth is full of pleasance,
Age is full of care:
Age like winter weather;
Age like winter bare.
Youth is nimble, age is lame;
Youth is wild, and age is tame.
O, my love, my love is young;
faded, Pluck’d in the bud, and faded in the spring!
fabled deities were supposed to enjoy a perpetuity of health, life, and pleasure, I am unwilling to admit that the laughter-loving dame disliked her husband on any other account than his ungraceful form and his lameness. He who could forge the thunderbolts of Jove, was surely in full strength, and equal to the task of discharging the highest claims and most terrifying exactions even of Venus herself. I do not, in short, perceive how this little poem could have been put, with any singular propriety, into the mouth of the queen of Love, if due regard were paid to the classical situation of her and her husband. Steevens.
3 Age, I do defy thee;] I despise or reject thee. So, in Romeo and Juliet:
“I do defy thy conjuration." Malone. 4- thou stay'st too long.) In the Garland of Good-Will there are thirty more lines added: but, as they are worthless, I have not thought it worth while to reprint them. Bos WELL.
s Sweet rose, &c.] This seems to have been intended for a dirge to be sung by Venus on the death of Adonis. Malone.
Bright orient pearl, alack! too timely shaded !
Like a green plumb that hangs upon a tree,
I weep for thee, and yet no cause I have;
O yes, dear friend, I pardon crave of thee:
A lily pale ®, with damask die to grace her,
This note shows how the clearest head may be led away by a favourite hypothesis. Unless the poet had completely altered the whole subject of his poem on Venus and Adonis, which is principally occupied by the entreaties of the goddess to the insensible swain, how could she be represented as saying, “ I craved nothing of thee still.” The greater part of it is employed in describing her craving. Boswell.
6 - faded in the spring!] The verb fade throughout these little fragments, &c. is always spelt vaded, either in compliance with ancient pronunciation, or in consequence of a primitive which perhaps modern lexicographers may feel some reluctance to acknowledge. They tell us that we owe this word to the French fade ; but I see no reason why we may not as well impute its origin to the Latin vado, which equally serves to indicate departure, motion, and evanescence. Steevens. 7 Brighter than glass, and yet, as glass is, brittle,]
Quam digna inscribi vitro, cum lubrica, lævis,
Pellucens, fragilis, vitrea tota nites !
8 A lily pale, with damask die to grace her,] So, in Venus and Adonis :
Her lips to mine how often hath she join'd, .
Yet in the midst of all her pure protestings,
She burn'd with love, as straw with fire flameth;
Was this a lover, or a lecher whether ?
Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee :
Thy grace being gain'd, cures all disgrace in me.
“ a sudden pale,
“ Like lawn being laid upon the blushing rose.” Again, in The Rape of Lucrece :
“ This silent war of lilies and of roses—," MALONE. 9 She burn'd out love, as soon as straw out-burneth ;] So, in King Henry IV. Part I. :
“- rash havin wits,
“ Soon kindled and soon burnt." Steevens. 1 - Cannot hold argument,] This is the reading in Love's Labour's Lost, where this Sonnet is also found. The Passionate Pilgrim has-could not hold argument. Malone.
? - Which on my earth post shine,] Such is the reading in Love's Labour's Lost. The Passionate Pilgrim reads :
Exhalst this vapour vow; in thee it is :
If by me broke, what fool is not so wise
prove; Those thoughts, to me like oaks, to thee like osiers
bow'd. Study his bias leaves, and makes his book thine
eyes, Where all those pleasures live, that art can com
prehend. . If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall
suffice; Well learned is that tongue that well can thee
. commend; All ignorant that soul that sees thee without wonder; Which is to me some praise, that I thy parts admire: Thine eye Jove's lightning seems, thy voice his
dreadful thunder, Which (not to anger bent) is musick and sweet fire'.
4 — that on this earth doth shine,
“ Exhale this vapour," &c. Malone.
“ It is some meteor that the sun exhales.” Steevens. 8 To break an oath, to win a paradise ?] So, in Love's Lapour's Lost:
“ It is religion, to be thus forsworn." STEEVENS. ! — makes his book thine eyes, ] So, in Love's Labour's Lost:
“ From women's eyes this doctrine I derive," &c.
“ women's eyes
Celestial as thou art, O do not love that wrong, To sing the heavens' praise with such an earthly
Beauty is but a vain and doubtful good,
A doubtful good, a gloss, a glass, a flower,
And as good lost are seld or never found,
1- thy voice his dreadful Thunder,
Which (not to anger bent) is MUSICK and sweet fire. So, in Antony and Cleopatra :
“ — his voice was property'd
“ He was as rattling thunder.” Steevens. ? To sing the heavens' praise with such an earthly tongue.] This Sonnet is likewise found in Love's Labour's Lost, with some slight alterations. The last couplet there stands thus :
“ Celestial as thou art, oh pardon, love, this wrong,
“ That sings the heavens praise," &c. Malone, 3 As faded gloss no rubbing will REFRESH,] A copy of this poem said to be printed from an ancient MS. and published in the Gentleman's Magazine, vol. xxix. p. 39, reads :
“As faded gloss no rubbing will excite," and in the corresponding line:
“As broken glass no cement can unite." Malone. Read the first of these lines how we will, it is founded on a false position. Every one knows that the gloss or polish on all works of art may be restored, and that rubbing is the means of restoring it. STEEVENS.
Shakspeare, I believe, alludes to faded silk, of which the colour, when once faded, cannot be restored but by a second dying. MALONE.