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Foot it featly here and there;
The strain of strutting chanticlere
Where the bee sucks, there suck I;
There I couch, when owls do cry.
After summer, merrily:
Merrily, merrily, shall I live now,
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.
From Cymbeline :
Hark! hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings,
And Phoebus 'gins arise,
His steeds to water at those springs
On chaliced flowers that lies;
And winking mary-buds begin
To ope their golden eyes:
With every thing that pretty bin;
From Midsummer Night's Dream. The fine song of Oberon :
I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows,
And there the snake throws her enamelled skin,
Here is a magnificent apostrophe to Sleep:
O sleep! O gentle sleep!
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber;
And lull'd with sounds of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god! why liest thou with the vile,
Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains
And in the visitation of the winds,
In Timon of Athens, is this humorous passage on stealing :
I'll example you with thievery;
The sun's a thief, and with his great attraction
We have but space for one of Shakspeare's fine sonnets; but wɩ think this one of the best :
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Or bends with the remover to remove :
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
If this be error, and upon me proved,
In Othello, Desdemona says: "My mother had a maid called Barbara; she was in love; and he she loved proved mad, and did forsake her she had a song of willow, an old thing 'twas, but it expressed her fortune, and she died singing it: that song to-night
will not go from my mind; I have much to do, but to go hang my
head all at one side, and sing it like poor Barbara :
The poor soul sat sighing by a sycamore tree,
Her hand on her bosom, her head on her knee,
The fresh streams ran by her, and murmured her moans;
Sing willow, willow, willow.
Her salt tears fell from her, and softened the stones,
Sing willow, willow, willow
Sing all a green willow must be my garland."
Reluctantly as we leave the almost unexplored wealth of thought and imagery which cluster the pages of this magician of the pen, we yet must pass on to some of his contemporaries :
"Those shining stars that run
Their glorious course round Shakspeare's golden sun."
Among these were BEN JONSON, BEAUMONT and FLETCHER, and others. Glancing over the life-records of these gifted, but, for the most part, erratic sons of genius, who can trace their checkered career without tender sympathy for their misfortunes, while cherishing reverence and admiration of their exalted endowments! BEN JONSON's proud fame was allied with suffering and sorrow, for we find at his closing days the poet thanking his patron, the Earl of Newcastle, for bounties which, he says, had "fallen like the dew of heaven on his necessities."
The classic beauty of the following lyric of Jonson has ever been the admiration of all critics :
Drink to me only with thine eyes, and I will pledge with mine;
I sent thee late a rosy wreath, not so much honouring thee,
Still to be neat, still to be drest,
Give me a look, give me a face,
Such sweet neglect more taketh me,
Than all the adulteries of art:
They strike mine eyes, but not my heart.
Another of his exquisite songs is the well-known Hymn to Diana,'
'Diana is here addressed as the moon, rather than the goddess of hunting.