« AnteriorContinua »
The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind,
And make a chequer'd shadow on the ground:
Under their sweet shade, Aaron, let us fit,
And whilst the babbling echo mocks the hounds,
Replying shrilly to the well-tun'd horns,
As if a double hunt were heard at once,
Let us sit down and mark their yelling noise:
And after conflict, such as was suppos'd
The wand'ring prince and Dido once enjoy'd,
When with a happy storm they were surpriz’d,
And curtain'd with a counsel-keeping cave;
each wreathed in the other's arms, (Our pastime done) possess a golden slumber; Whilst hounds and horns, and sweet melodious birds Be unto us, as is a nurse's song Of lullaby, to bring her babe asleep. SCENE V. Vale, a dark and melancholy one described.
(3) A barren and detested vale, you fee, it is.
The trees, tho' summer, yet forlorn and lean,
O’ercome with moss, and baleful miffeltoe.
Here never shines the sun: here nothing breeds
Unless the nightly owl, or fatal raven,
And whesi they shew'd me this abhorred pit,
They told me, here at dead time of the night,
(3) Earren, &c.]
Non bac autumino hilus viret; aut alit berbas
Ceff:le laetus azer: non verno persona carti
Lollia difeordi ftrepitu virgulia loquuntur :
Sed chaos, & nigro squallentia pumice saxa
Gaudeni, ferali circum tumulaia cuprillit.
No autunın here e'er cloaths herself with green,
Nor joyful spring the languid herbage cheers;
Nor feather'd warblers chant their pleasing sirains,
In vernal concert to the rustling bouglis :
But chaos reigns, and ragged rocks around,
With nought but baleful cypress are adorn'd.
Penro. Arbit. rrexsland by Baker.
A thousand fiends, a thoufand hiffing snakes,
Ten thousand swelling toads, as many urchins,
Would make such fearful and confused cries,
As any mortal body, hearing it,
Should strait fall mad, or else die suddenly.
SCENE VII. Ring, in a dark Pit.
(4) 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 checks,
And thews the ragged entrails of this pit.
Young Lady playing on the Lute and singing.
Fair Philomela, the 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 has thou met withal,
And he hath cut those pretty fingers off,
That could have better sew'd than Philomel.
Oh, had the monster seen thofe lily hands
Tremble, like aspen leaves, upon a lute
And make the filken strings delight to kiss them?
He would not then have touch'd them for his life,
(4) Upon, &c.] We may suppose the light thrown into the pit by this ring, Tomething of that kind Milton speaks of, in the first book of Paradise Loft.
A dungeon horrible on all sides round,
As one great furnace fam'd: yet from thosc flarnes
No light, but rather darkness visible
Serv'd only to discover fights of woe, &'c. P.61.
The seat of defolation void of light,
Save what the glimmering of these livid flames,
Casts pale and dreadful,
(5) Or had he heard the heav'nly harmony,
Which that tweet tongue hath made :
He would have dropt his knife, and fell asleep,
As Cerverus at the Thracian poet's feet.
O, that delightful engine of her thoughts,
That blabb'd them with Tuch pleasing eloquence,
Is torn from forth that pretty hollow cage,
Where, like a sweet melodious bird, it fung
Sweet various notes, inchanting every ear!
(5) Or, &c.] This puts me in mind of that most excellent pallage in Milton's Comus, where upon the lady's singing, Comus observes,
Can any mortal mixture of earth's mould
Breathe such divine inchanting ravishment?
Sure something holy lodges in that breast,
And with these rapturès moves the vocal air
To testify his hidden residence :
How sweetly did they float upon the wings
Of silence, thro' the empty vaulted night,
At every fall smoothing the raven down
Of darkness, till it smil'd! I have oft heard
My mother Circe, with the Syrens three
Amidst the flow'ry-kirtled Naiades
Culling their potent herbs and baleful drugs,
Who, as they sung, would take the prison's foul
And lap it in Elysiuni: Scylla wept,
And chid her barking waves into attention,
And fell Charibdis murmur'd soft applause :
Yet they in pleasing flumber lull'd the sense
And in sweet madness robb'd it of itself.
But such a sạcred and home-felt delight,
Such sober certainty of waking bliss,
I never heard till now.
A Perfon in Despair, compard to one on a Rock, &c.
For now I stand as one upon a rock,
Environ'd with a wilderness of sea,
Who marks the waxing tide grow wave by wave;
Expecting ever when some envious surge
Will in his brinish bowels swallow him.
Tears compar'd to Dew on a Lily.
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.
Refleétions on killing a Fly. Mar. (6) Alas, my lord, I have but kill'd a fli! Tit. But?how if that fly had a father and mother?
(6) Alas.] The mind of Titus is wholly taken up with a reflection on his mistortunes, and his miseries as a parent : His brother Marcus killing a fly, lie reprehends him for his cruelty ; for, says he,
Mine eyes are cloyd with view of tyranny :
A deed of death done on the innocent
Becomes not Titus' brother. And he further reflects upon it, and brings it to himself : « Iloi,. (says he,) if this poor fly had a father and mother---how: what--would he hans, &c. .The Reader must see the impresa priety; for surely, he would add, “ how would they, (the father and the mother,] for the loss, hang their slender, gilled wings, and buz-lamenting doings in the air?" so that doubtless we Thould read,
How wou'd they hang their slender, gilded wings,
And buz-lamenting doings in the air?. For the fly after being kill'd, could not hang his wings himself, nor buz-lamenting doings; which word, though perhaps not altogether to exprestive, feems to me the true one; it is frequently 02.
How would they hang their slender, gilded wings,
And buz-lamenting dolings in the air?
Poor harmless fly,
That with his pretty buzzing melody,
Came here to make us merry ;
And thou hast kill'd him.
Lo, by thy fide where rape and murder stands ;
Now give fome surance that thou art revenge:
Stab them, or tear them on thy chariot wheels ;
And then I'll come and be thy waggoner,
And whirl along with thee about the globe ;
Provide two proper palfries black as jet,
To hale thy vengeful waggon swift away,
And find out murders in their guilty caves.
And when thy car is loaden with their heads,
I will dismount, and by thy waggon-wheel
Trot like a servile footman all day long ;
Even from Hyperion's rising in the east,
Until his very downfal in the fea,
used for an action, a thing done : Mr. Theobald proposes,
Lamenting delings. Though he was conscious of the similarity between the word and the epithet ; notwithstanding which the Oxford cditor givos 16,
Laments and doings.
THIS is one of those plays (says Theobald) which I have always thought, with the better judges, ought not to be acknowledged in the list of Shakespear's genuine pieces. And, perhaps, I may give a proof to ftrengthen this opinion, that may put the matter out of queftion, Ben Jonson, in the introduction