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The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
Had he thy reason, would he skip and play ?
Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flow'ry food,
And licks the hand uprais'd to shed his blood.
Me, let the tender office long engage
To rock the cradle of reposing age;
With lenient art extend a mother's breath,
Make languor smile, and smooth the bed of death,
Explore the thought, explain the asking eye,
And save awhile one parent from the sky.
Anne dapes quem jám poscunt, epulæque parandæ,
Provida si fuerit mens sibi, ludat ovis ? Lætus ad extremum florentia pabula carpit,
Lambit et armatas in sua colla manus.
Sit pia cura mihi longùm invigilare senectæ,
Et matri somnos conciliare leves ; Quâ possim eluctantem animam leni arte morari,
Et dulci alloquio fallere mortis iter. Explorare velit quid mens incerta, cavere In coelum ut redeat serior una parens.
Claud. Ay, but to die and go we know not where;
To lie in cold obstruction, and to rot;
This sensible warm motion to become
A kneaded clod; and the delighted spirit
To bathe in fiery floods, or to reside
In thrilling regions of thick-ribbed ice:
To be imprison’d in the viewless winds
And blown with restless violence round about
The pendent world; or to be worse than worst
Of those that lawless and incertain thoughts
Imagine howling ! 'tis too horrible!
The weariest and most loathed worldly life
Which age, ach, penury, and imprisonment
Can lay on nature, is a paradise
To what we fear of death.
Measure for Measure. Act iii.
Attamen, heu! quam triste mori! nec quo sit eundum
Scire prius-positum clausâ putrescere in arcâ ;
Membrorum sisti motus, alacremque vigorem
In luteam solvi molem-quam triste ! capacem
Lætitiæque jocique animam torrentibus uri
Ignibus, aut montis* claudi glacialis in alveo;
Suspensumve dari ventis, noctesque diesque
Hùc illùc, invisâ vi, turbantibus orbem.
Aut graviora pati, quam, quos cruciatibus actos
Tartareas implere feris ululatibus umbras,
Anxia mens hominum, mirum et miserabile! finxit,
Horrendum ! quodcunque mali ferat ægra senectus,
Pauperiesve dolorve gravis, tractæve catenæ,
Omnia quæ possunt infestam reddere vitam,
Esse voluptates lætæ Elysiumque videntur
Spectanti mortem propè, venturamque timenti.
H. H. * An iceberg
Hamlet's Soliloquy on Life and Death.
To be, or not to be, that is the question;
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind, to suffer
The stings and arrows of outrageous fortune;
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-ach, 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; ay, 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,
Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despis'd 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 grunt 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 those 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 of action.
Hamlet. Act iii.