« ElőzőTovább »
To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet,
And talk so like a waiting gentlewoman,
Of guns, and drums, and wounds; (God save the mark !)
And telling me, the sovereign'st thing on earth
Was spermaceti for an inward bruise ;
And that it was great pity, so it was,
This villanous saltpetre should be digg'd
Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Which many a good tall fellow had destroy'd
So cowardly: and, but for these vile guns,
He would himself have been a soldier.
CLARENCE AND BRAKENBURY.
Brak. Why looks your Grace so heavily to-day?
Clar. O, I have passed a miserable night,
So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams,
That as I am a Christian, faithful man,
I would not spend another such a night,
Though 'twere to buy a world of happy days;
So full of dismal terror was the time !
Brak. What was your dream, my lord ? I pray you
Clar. Methought that I had broken from the Tow'r, And was embark'd to cross to Burgundy, And in my company, my brother Glo'ster, Who from my cabin tempted me to walk Upon the hatches. Thence we look'd tow’rd England, And cited up a thousand heavy times, During the wars of York and Lancaster, That had befall’n us. As we pass'd along Upon the giddy footing of the hatches, Methought that Glo'ster stumbled, and in falling Struck me (that sought to stay him) overboard, Into the tumbling billows of the main.
Lord ! Lord ! inethought, what pain it was to drown! What dreadful noise of waters in my ears!
What sights of ugly death within my eyes !
I thought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks;
A thousand men, that fishes gnaw'd upon;
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
Inestimable stones, unvalu'd jewels;
Some lay in dead men's sculls; and in those holes
Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept,
As 'twere in scorn of eyes, reflecting gems,
That woo'd the slimy bottom of the deep,
And mock'd the dead bones that lay scatter'd by.
Brak. Had you such leisure in the time of death, To gaze upon the secrets of the deep?
Clar. Methought I had ; and often did I strive
To yield the ghost; but still the envious flood
Kept in my soul, and would not let it forth
To find the empty, vast, and wand'ring air ;
But smother'd it within my panting bulk,
Which almost burst to belch it in the sea.
Brak. Awak'd you not with this sore agony?
Clar. No, no; my dream was lengthened after life; O then began the tempest to my soul: I pass'd, methought, the melancholy food, With that grim ferryman which poets write of, Unto the kingdom of perpetual night. The first that there did greet my stranger-soul, Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick, Who cried aloud—“ What scourge for perjury “ Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence ?" And so he vanish’d. Then came wand'ring by A shadow like an angel, with bright hair Dabbled in blood, and he shriek’d out aloud — “Clarence is come! false, fleeting, perjur'd Clarence, “ That stabb’d me in the field by Tewksbury ! “ Seize on him, furies ! take him to your torments !" With that, methought, a legion of foul fiends Environ’d me, and howld in mine ears Such hideous cries, that with the very noise I trembling wak’d; and for a season after Could not believe but that I was in Hell; Such terrible impression made my dream.
Brak. No marvel, Lord, that it affrighted you; I am afraid, methinks, to hear you tell it.
Clar. Ah! Brakenbury, I have done those things, That now give evidence against my soul, For Edward's sake; and see how he requites me! O God ! if my deep pray’rs cannot appease thee, But thou wilt be aveng'd on my misdeeds, Yet execute thy wrath on me alone: O spare my guiltles wife, and my poor children! I prithee, Brakenbury, stay by me: My soul is heavy, and I fain would sleep.
O Then I see queen Mab has been with you.
She is the fancy's midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the forefinger of an alderman ;
Drawn with a team of little atomies
Athwart men’s noses as they lie asleep :
Her waggon-spokes made of long spinners' legs;
The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers ;
The traces, of the smallest spider's web;
The collars, of the moonshine's wat’ry beams;
Her whip, of cricket's bones; the lash of film;
Her waggoner, a small grey-coated gnat,
Not half so big as a round little worm
Prick'd from the lazy finger of a maid.
Her chariot is an einpty hazel nut,
Maid by the joiner squirrel, or old grub,
Time out of mind the fairies' coach-makers.
And in this state she gallops, night by night,
Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love;
On courtiers' knees, that dream on curtsies straight :
O'er lawyers' fingers, who straight dream on fees :
O’er ladies' lips, who straight on kisses dream :
Sometimes she gallops o'er a courtier's nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit :
And sometimes comes she with a tithe-pig's tail,
Tickling the parson as he lies asleep;
Then dreams he of another benefice.
Sometimes she driveth o'er a soldier's neck,
And then he dreams of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of healths five fathom deep; and then anon
Drums in his ears, at which he starts and wakes ;
And being thus frighted swears a pray'r or two,
And sleeps again.
I do remember an apothecary,
And hereabouts he dwells, whom late I noted
In tatter'd weeds, with overwhelming brows,
Culling of simples; meagre were his looks ;
Sharp Misery had worn him to the bones :
And in his needy shop a tortoise hung,
An alligator stuff'd, and other skins
Of ill shap'd fishes ; and about his shelves
A beggarly account of empty boxes,
Green earthen pots, bladders, and musty seeds.
Remnants of packthread, and old cakes of roses,
Were thinly scatter'd to make up a show.
Noting this pen'ry, to myself I said,
An' if a man did need a poison now,
Whose sale is present death in Mantua,
Here lives a caitiff wretch would sell it him.
O, this same thought did but forerun my need,
And this same needy man must sell it me.
As I remember, this should be the house.
If aught of oaten stop, or pastral song,
May hope, chaste Eve, to smooth thy modest ear,
Like thy own solemn springs,
Thy springs and dying gales,
O Nymph reserv'd, while now the bright-hair'd sun
Sits on yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts,
With brede ethereal wove,
O'erhang his wavy bed :
Now air is hush’d, save where the weak-eyed bat,
With short shrill shrieks flits by on leathern wing,
Or where the beetle winds
His small but sullen horn,
As oft he rises 'midst the twilight path,
Against the pilgrim borne in heedless hum:
Now teach me, maid compos'd,
To breathe some soften’d strain,
Whose numbers, stealing through thy dark’ning vale,
May not unseemly with its stillness suit,
As musing slow, I hail
Thy genial lov'd return !
For when thy folding star arising shows
His paly circlet, at his warning lamp
The fragrant Hours, and Elves
Who slept in flowers the day, And many a Nymph who wreathes her brows with sedge, And sheds the fresh’ning dew, and lovelier still,
The pensive Pleasures sweet
Prepare thy shad'wy car.
Then lead, calm Vot'ress, where some sheety lake
Cheers the lone heath, or some time-hallow'd pile
Or upland fallows gray
Reflect its last cool gleam.