Page images
PDF
EPUB

As when the winter flawes with dredful noyse arise,
And heave the fomy swelling waves up to the stary skyes,
So that the broosed barke in cruell seas betost,
Dispayreth of the happy haven, in daunger to be lost,
The pylate bold at helme, cryes, mates strike now your sayle,
And tornes her stemme into the waves that strongly her assayle;
Then driven hard upon the bare and wrackefull shore,
In greater daunger to be wrackt than he had been before,
He seeth his ship full right against the rocke to ronne,
But yet he dooth what lyeth in him the perlous rocke to shonne;
Sometimes the beaten boate, by cunning government,
The ancors lost, the cables broke, and all the tackle spent,
The roder smitten of, and over-boord the mast,
Doth win the long-desyred porte, the stormy daunger past:
But if the master dread, and overprest with woe
Begin to wring his handes, and lets the gyding rodder goe,
The ship rents on the rocke, or sinketh in the deepe,
And eke the coward drenched is :-So, if thou still beweepe
And seke not how to helpe the chaunges that do chaunce,
Thy cause of sorow shall increase, thou cause of thy mischaunce.
Other account thee wise, prove not thyself a foole;
Now put in practise lessons learned of old in wisdome's schoole.
The wise man saith, beware thon double not thy payne,
For one perhaps thou mavst abyde, but hardly suffer twaine.
As well we ought to seeke thinges hurtfull to decrease,
As to indevor helping thinges by study to increase.
The prayse of trew fredom in wisdomes bondage lyes,
He winneth blame whose deedes be fonde, although his woords

be wise. Sicknes the bodies gayle, greefe, gayle is of the mynd; If thou canst scape from heavy greefe, true freedome shalt thou

finde.
Fortune can fill nothing so full of hearty greefe,
But in the same a constant mynd finds solace and releefe.
Vertue is alwaies thrall to troubles and annoye,
But wisdom in adversitie findes cause of quiet joye.
And they most wretched are that know no wretchednes,
And after great extremity mishaps ay waxen lesse.
Like as there is no weale but wastes away somtime,
So every kynd of wayled woe will weare away in time.
If thou wilt master quite the troubles that thee spill,
Endeavor first by reasons help to master witles will.
A sondry medson hath eche sondry faynt disease,
But patience, a common salve, to every wound geves ease.
The world is alway full of chaunces and of chaunge,
Wherefore the chaunge of chaunce must not seem to a wise man

straunge
For tickel Fortune doth, in chaunging, but her kind,
But all her chaunges cannot chaunge a steady constant mynd.
Though wavering Fortune toorne from thee her smyling face,
And sorow seke to set himselfe in banishd pleasures place,

VOL. XII.

Yet may thy marred state be mended in a whyle,
And she eftsones that frowneth now, with pleasant cheere shall

smyle.
For as her happy state no long while standeth sure,
Even so the heavy plight she brings, not alwayes doth endure.
What nede so many words to thee that art so wyse?
Thou better canst advise thyselfe, then I can thee advise.
Wisdome, I see, is vayne, if thus in time of neede
A wisemans wit unpractised doth stand him in no steede.
I know thou hast some cause of sorow and of care,
But well I wot thou hast no cause thus frantickly to fare.
Affections foggy mist thy febled sight doth blynd;
But if that reasons beames againe might shine into thy mynd,
If thou wouldst view thy stale with an indifferent eye,
I thinke thou wouldst condemne thy plaint, thy sighing, and thy

crye. With valiant hand thou madest thy foe yeld up his breth, Thou hast escaped his sword and eke the lawes that ihreaten

death. By thy escape thy frendes are fraughted full of joy, And by his death thy deadly foes are laden with annoy. Wilt thou with trusty trendes of pleasure take some part? Or els to please thy hatefull foes be partner of theyr smart? Why cryest thou out on love? why dost thou blame thy fate? Why dost thou so crye after death? thy life why dost thou hate? Dost thou repent the choyse that thou so late dydst choose ? Love is thy lord; thou oughtst obey and not thy prince accuse. For thou hast found, thou knowest, great favour in his sight, He graunted thee, at thy request, thy onely harts delight. So that the gods invyde the blisse thou livedst in; To geve to such unthankfull men is folly and a sin. Methinke I hear thee say, the cruell banishment Is onely cause of thy unrest; onely thou dost lament That from thy natifé land and frendes thou must depart, Enforsd to flye from her that hath the keping of thy hart: And so opprest with waight of smart that thou dost feele, Thou dost complaine of Cupids brand, and Fortunes turning

wheele.
Unto a valiant hart there is no banyshment,
All countreys are his native soyle beneath the firmament.
As to the fish the sea, as to the fowle the ayre,
So is like pleasant to the wise eche place of bis repayre.
Though forward fortune chase thee hence into exile,
With doubled honor shall she call thee home within a while.
Admit thou shouldst abyde abrode a year or twayne,
Should so short absence cause so long and eke so greevous payne?
Though thou ne mayst thy frendes here in Verona see,

They are not banishd Mantua, where safely thou mayst be.
Thether they may resort, though thou resort not hether,
And there in suretie may you talke of your affayres together.
Yea, but this while, alas! thy Juliet must thou misse,
The only piller of thy health, and ancor of thy blisse.

Thy heart thou leavest with her, when thou doest hence depart,
And in thy brest inclosed bearst her tender frendly hart.
But if thou rew so much to leave the rest behinde,
With thought of passed joyes content thy uncontented minde;
So shall the mone decrease wherewith thy mind doth melt,
Compared to the heavenly joyes which thou hast often felt.
He is too nyse a weakeling that shrinketh at a showre,
And he unworthy of the sweete, that tasteth not the sowre.
Call now agayne to mynd thy fyrst consuming flame;
How didst thou vainely burne in love of an unloving dame?
Hadst thou not wel nigh wept quite out thy swelling eyne?
Did not thy parts, fordoon with payne, languishe away and pyne ?
Those greefes and others like were happly overpast,
And thou in haight of Fortunes wheele well placed at the last!
From whence thou art now falne, that, raysed up agayne,
With greater joy a greater whyle in pleasure mayst thou raigne.
Compare the present while with times y-past before,
And thinke that fortune hath for thee great pleasure yet in store.
The whilst, this little wrong receve thou patiently,
And what of force must needes be done, that do thou willingly.
Folly it is to feare that thou canst not avoyde,
And madnes to desyre it much that cannot be enjoyde.
To geve to Fortune place, not aye deserveth blame,
But skill it is, according to the times thy selfe to frame."

Whilst to this skilfull lore he lent his listning eares,
His sighs are stopt, and stopped are the conduyts of his teares.
As blackest cloudes are chased by winters nimble wynde,
So have his reasons chaced care out of his carefull mynde.
As of a morning fowle ensues an evening fayre,
So banisht hope returneth home to banish his despayre.
Now his affections veale removed from his eyes,
He seeth the path that he must walke, and reason makes him wise,
For very shame the blood doth flashe in both his cheekes,
He thankes the father for his love, and farther ayde he seekes.
He sayth, that skilles youth for counsell is unfitte,
And anger oft with hastines are joynd to want of witte;
But sound advise aboundes in hides with horish heares,
For wisdom is by practise wonne, and perfect made by yeares.
But aye from this time fortlı his ready bending will
Shal be in awe and governed by fryer Lawrences skill.
The governor is now right carefull of his charge,
To whom he doth wisely discoorse of his affayres at large.
He tells him how he shall depart the towne unknowne,
(Both mindeful of his frendes safetie, and carefull of his owne)
How he shall gyde himselfe, how he shall seeke to winne
The frendship of the better sort, how warely to crepe in
The favour of the Mantuan prince, and how he may
Appease the wrath of Escalus, and wipe the fault away;
The choller of his foes by gentle meanes tassuage,
Or els by force and practises to bridle quite theyr rage:
And last he chargeth him at his appoynted howre
To goe with manly mery cheere unto his ladies bowre;

And there with holesome woordes to salve her sorowes smart, And to revive, if nede require, her faint and dying hart.

The old mans woords have filld with joy our Romeus brest, And eke the old wyves talke hath set our Juliets hart at rest. Whereto may I compare, o lovers, thys your day? Like dayes the painefull mariners are wonted to assay; For, beat with tempest great, when they at length espye Some little beame of Phæbus light, that perceth through the skie, To cleare the shadowde earth by clearnes of his face, They hope that dreadles they shall ronne the remnant of theyr

race;

Yea they assure them selfe, and quite behind theyr backe
They cast all doute, and thanke the gods for scaping of the

Wracke;
But straight the boysterous windes with greater fury blowe,
And over boord the broken mast the stormy blastes doe throwe;
The heavens large are clad with cloudes as darke as hell,
And twice as hye the striving waves begin to roare and swell;
With greater daungers dred ihe men are vexed more,
In greater perill of theyr life then they had been before.

The golden sonne was gonne to loilge him in the west, The full moon eke in yonder south had sent most men to rest; When resles Romeus and restles Juliet In woonted sort, by woonted meane, in Juliets chamber met. And from the windowes top downe had he leaped scarce, When she with armes outstretched wide so hard did him embrace, That wel nigli had the sprite (not forced by dedly force) Flowne unto death, before the time abandoning the corce, Thus muet stoode they both the eyght part of an howre, And both would speake, but neither had of speaking any powre ; But on his brest her hed doth joylesse Juliet lav, And on her slender necke bis chyn doth ruthfull Romeus stay. Theyr scalding sighes ascend, and by theyr cheekes downe fall Theyr trickling teares, as christall cleare, but bitterer far then

gall. Then be, to end the greefe which both they lived in, Did kisse his love, and wisely thus hys tale he dyd begin:

" My Juliet, my love, my onely hope and care, To you I purpose not as now with length of woordes declare The diversenes and eke the accidents so straunge Of frayle unconstant Fortune, that delyteth still in chaunge ; Who in a moment heaves her frendes up to the height Of her swift-turning slippery wheele, then fleetes her frendship

straight. O wondrous chaunge! even with the twinkling of an eye Whom erst herselfe had rashly set in pleasant place so hye, The same in great despyte downe bedlong doth she throwe, And while she treades, and spurneth at the lofty state layde lowe, More sorow doth she shape within an howers space, Than pleasure in an hundred yeares; so geyson The proofe whereof in me, alas! too playne apperes, Whom tenderly my carefull frendes have fosterd with my feeres,

her grace.

In prosperous hygh degree, mayntained so by fate,
That, as your selfe dyd see, my foes envyde my noble state.
One thing there was I did above the rest desyre,
To which as to the sovereign good by hope I would aspyre,
That by our mariage meane we might within a while
(To work our perfect happenes) our parents reconcile:
That safely so we might, not stopt by sturdy strife,
Unto the bounds that God hath set, gyde forth our pleasant lyfe.
But now, alack! too soone my blisse is over blowne,
And upside downe my purpose and my enterprise are throwne.
And driven from my frendes, of straungers must I crave
(O graunt it God !) from daungers dread that I may suretie hare.
For loe, henceforth I must wander in landes unknowne,
(So hard I finde the prince's doome) exyled from myne owne.
Which thing I have thought good to set before your eyes,
And to exhort you now to proove yourselfe a woman wise;
That patiently you beare my absent long abod,
For what above by fatall dome decreed is, that God”
And more than this to say, it seemed, he was bent,
But Juliet in dedly greefe, with brackish tears besprent,
Brake of his tale begonne, and whilst his speeche he stayde,
These selfe same woordes, or like to these, with dreery cheere

she saide:
*“Why Romeus, can it be, thou hast so hard a hart,
So farre removed from ruth, so farre from thinking on my smart,
To leave me thus alone, thou cause of my distresse,
Beseged with so great a campe of mortali wretchednesse;
That every howre now and moment in a day
A thousand times Death bragges, as he would reave my lyfe away?
Yet such is my mishap, О cruell destinye !
That still I lyve, and wish for death, but yet can never dye.
So that just cause I have to thinke, as seemeth me,
That froward Fortune did of late with cruel Death agree,
To lengthen lothed lyfe, to pleasure in my payne,
And triumph in my harme, as in the greatest hoped gayne.
And thou, the instrument of Fortunes cruell will,
Without whose ayde she can no way her tyrans lust fulfill,
Art not a whit ashamde (as farre as I can see)
To cast me off, when thou hast culld the better part of me.
Whereby alas! to soone, I, seely wretch, do prove,
That all the auncient sacred laws of friendship and of love
Are quelde and quenched quite, since he on whom alway
My cheefe hope and my steady trust was woonted still to stay,
For whom I am becomme unto myself a foe,
Disdayneth me, his stedfast frend, and skornes my friendship so.
Nay Romeus, nay, thou mayst of two thinges choose the one,
Eyther to see thy castaway, as soone as thou art gone,
Hedlong to throw her selfe downe from the windowes haight,
And so to breake her slender necke with all the bodies waight,
Or suffer her to be companion of thy payne,
Where so thou go (Fortune thy gyde), tyll thou retourne agayne.

« PreviousContinue »