« PreviousContinue »
On Saturday (quod he) if Juliet come to shrift,
drempt, Or for in thoughts of love her ydel time she spent, Or otherwise within her hart deserved to be shent. I know her mother will in no case say her nay; I warrant you, she shall not fayle to come on Saterday, And then she sweares to him, the mother loves her well; And how she gave her sucke in youth, she leaveth not to tell. A pretty babe (quod she) it was when it was yong; Lord howe it could full pretely have prated with it tong! A thousand times and more I laid her on my lappe, And clapt her on the buttocke soft, and kist where I did clappe. And gladder then was I of such a kisse forsooth, Then I had been to have a kisse of some old lecher's mouth. And thus of Juliets youth began this prating noorse, And of her present state to make a tedious long discourse. For though he pleasure tooke in hearing of his love, The message aunswer seemed him to be of more behove. But when these beldames sit at ease upon theyr tayle, The day and eke the candle light before theyr talke shall fayle. And part they say is true, and part they do devise, Yet boldly do they chat of both, when no man checkes theyr lyes. Then he vi crownes of gold out of his pocket drew, And gave them her;-a slight reward (quod he) and so adiew. In seven yeres twice tolde she had not bowd so lowe Her crooked knees, as now they bowe: she sweares she will be.
Her crafty wit, her time, and all her busy payne,
So gentle of his speeche, and of his counsell wise:-
Out of his shriving place he commes with pleasant cheere;
mayde? I dare well say, there is in all Verona none, But Romeus, with whom she would so gladly be alone. Thus to the fryers cell they both forth walked byn; He shuts the doore as soon as he and Juliet were in. But Romeus her frend, was entered in before, And there had wayted for his love, two houres large and more. Eche minute seemd an houre, and every how re a day, Twixt hope he lived and despayre of cumming or of stay. Now wavering hope and feare are quite fled out of sight, For, what he hopde he hath at hande, his pleasant cheefe delight. And joyfull Juliet is healde of all her smart, For now the rest of all her parts hath found her straying hart. Both theyr confessions fyrst the fryer hath heard them make, And then to her with lowder voyce thus fryer Lawrence spake: Fayre lady Juliet, my gostly daughter deere, As farre as I of Romeus learne, who by you stondeth here, Twixt you it is agreed, that you shalbe bis wyfe, And he your spouse in steady truth, till death shall end your
life. Are you both fully bent to kepe this great behest? And both the lovers said, it was theyr onely harts request. When he did see theyr myndes in linkes of love so fast, When in the pravse of wedlock state some skilfull talke was past. When he had told at length the wyfe what was her due, His duty eke by gostly talke the youthfull husband knew; How that the wyfe in love must honour and obey, What love and bonor he doth owe, a dette that he must pay, The woords pronounced were which holy church of olde Appoynted hath for mariage, and she a ring of golde Received of Romeus; and then they both arose. To whom the frier then said: Perchaunce apart you will disclose, Betwixt your selfe alone, the bottome of your hart ; Say on at once, for time it is that hence you should depart. Then Romeus said to her, (both loth to part so soone) “ Fayre lady, send to me agayne your nurce thys afternoone. Of corde I will bespeake a ladder by that time; By which, this night, while other sleepe, I will your windowe clime. Then will we talke of love and of our old dispayres, And then with lenger laysure had dispose our great affayres.”
These sayd, they kisse, and then part to theyr fathers house, The joyfull bryde unto her home, to his eke goth the spouse ; Contented both, and yet both uncontented still, Till Night and Venus child geve leave the wedding to fulfill. The painfull souldiour, sore y-bet with wery warre, The merchant eke that nedefull thinges doth dred to fetch from
farre, The ploughman that, for doute of feerce invading foes, Rather to sit in ydle ease then sowe his tilt hath chose, Rejoice to hear proclay md the tydings of the peace; Not pleasurd with the sound so much, but, when the warres da
cease, Then ceased are the harmes which cruel warre bringes foorth: The merchant then may boldly fetch his wares of precious woorth Dredeless the husbandman doth till his fertile feeld. For welth, her mate, not for her selfe, is peace so precious held: So lovers live in care, in dred, and in unrest, And dedly warre by striving thoughts they kepe within their brest; But wedlocke is the peace v hereby is freedome wonne
'o do a thousand pleasant thinges that should not els be donne. The newes of ended warre these two have heard with joy, But now they long the fruite of peace with pleasure to enjoy. In stormy wind and wave, in daunger to be lost, Thy stearles ship, O Romeus, hath been long while betost; The seas are now appeasd, and thou, by happy starre, Art come in sight of quiet haven; and, now the wrackfull barr, Is hid with swelling tyde, boldly thou mayst resort Unto thy wedded ladies bed, thy long-desyred port. God graunt, no follies mist so dymme thy inward sight, That thou do misse the channel that doth leade to thy delight God graunt, no daungers rocke, y-lurking in the darke, Before thou win the happy port, wracke thy sea-beaten barke. A servant Romeus had, of woord and deede so just, That with his lyfe, if nede requierd, his maister would him trust. His faithfulnes had oft our Romeus proved of olde; And therefore all that yet was done unto his man he tolde. Who straight, as he was charged, a corden ladder lookes, To which he hath made fast two strong and crooked yron hookes. The bryde to send the nurce at twylight fayleth not, To whom the brydegroome geven hath the ladder that he got, And then to watch for lim appoynted her an howre, For, whether Fortune smyle on him, or if she list to lowre, He will not misse to come to hys appoynted place, Where wont he was to take by stelth the view of Juliets face. How long these lovers thought the lasting of the day, Let other judge that woonted are lyke passions to assay: For my part, I do gesse eche howre seemes twenty yere ; So that i deeme, if they might have (as of Alcume we heare, The sunne bond to theyr will, if they the heavens might gyde, Black shade of night and doubled darke should straight all over.
hyde. VOL. XII.
Thappointed howre is comme; he, clad in riche araye, Walkes toward his desyred home:-good fortune gyde his way! Approaching nere the place from whence his bart had lyfe, So light he wox, he lept the wall, and there he spyde his wyfe, Who in the window watcht the comming of her lord; Where she so surely had made fast the ladder made of corde, That daungerles her spouse the chaumber window climes, Where he ere then had wisht himselfe above ten thousand tymes. The windowes close are shut; els looke they for no gest; To light the waxen quariers, the auncient nurce is prest, Which juliet had before prepared to be light, That she at pleasure might behold her husbands bewty bright. A carchef white as snowe ware Juliet on her hed, Such as she wonted was to weare, atyre meete for the bed. As soon as she hyin spide, about his necke she clong, And by her long and slender armes a great while there she
hong: A thousand times she kist, and him unkist againe, Ne could she speake a woord to him, though would she nere so
fayne. And like betwixt his armes to faint his lady is; She fets a sigh and clappeth close her closed mouth to his: And ready then to sowode, she looked ruthfully, That lo, it made him both at once to live and eke to dye. These piteous painfull panges were haply overpast, And she unto herselfe againe retorned home at last. Then, through hier troubled brest, even from the farthest part, An hollow sigh, a messenger she sendeth from her hart. O Romeus, (quod she) in whom all vertues shine, Welcome thou art into this place, where from these eyes of mine Such teary streames did fowe, that I suppose wel ny The source of all my bitter teares is altogether drye. Absence so pynde my heart, which on thy presence fed, And of thy safety and thy health so much I stood in dred. But now what is decreed by fatall desteny, I force it not; let Fortune do and death their woorst to me. Full recompensd am I for all my passed harmes, In that the Gods have graunted me to claspe thee in mine armes. The chrystall teares began to stand in Romeus eyes, When he unto his ladies woordes gan aunswere in this wise: “Though crnell Fortune be so much my deadly foe, That I ne can by lively proofe cause thee, fayre dame, to knois How much I am by love enthralled unto thee, Ne yet what mighty powre thou hast, by thy desert, on me, Ne torments that for thee I did ere this endure, Yet of thus much (ne will I fayne) I may thee well assure; The least of many paines which of thy absence sproong, More painfully than death it selfe my tender hart hath wroong. Ere this, one death had reft a thousand deathes away, But life prolonged was by hope of this desyred day; Which so just tribute payes of all my passed mone, That I as well contented am as if my selfe alone