All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players :
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
Then, the whining school-boy, with his satchel,
And shining morning face, creeping like a snail
Unwillingly to school. And then, the lover,
Sighing like a furnace, with a woful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then, a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like a pard,
Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then, the justice,
In fair round belly, with good capon lined,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances :
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side ;
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness, and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.




MEANWHILE, the adversary of God and man,
Satan, with thoughts inflamed of highest design,
Puts on swift wings, and towards the gates of hell
Explores his solitary flight : sometimes
He scours the right-hand coast, sometimes the left ;
Now shaves with level wing the deep, then soars
Up to the fiery concave towering high.

At last appear
Hell-bounds, high reaching to the horrid roof,
And thrice threefold the gates ; three folds were brass,
Three iron, three of adamantine rock,
Impenetrable, impaled with circling fire,
Yet unconsumed. Before the gates there sat
On either side a formidable shape;
The one seem'd woman to the waist, and fair ;
But ended foul in many a scaly fold
Voluminous and vast ; a serpent arm’d
With mortal sting : about her middle round
A cry of hell-hounds never-ceasing bark’d,
With wide Cerberean mouths, full loud, and rung
A hideous peal; yet, when they list, would creep,
If aught disturb’d their noise, into her womb,
And kennel there; yet there still bark’d and howl'd,
Within unseen.

The other shape,
If shape it might be call’d that shape had none

Distinguishable in member, joint, or limb;
Or substance might be call’d that shadow seem’d,
For each seem’d either ; black it stood as night,
Fierce as ten Furies, terrible as hell,
And shook a dreadful dart; what seem'd his head
The likeness of a kingly crown had on.
Satan was now at hand, and from his seat
The monster moving onward, came as fast
With horrid strides; hell trembled as he strode.
The undaunted fiend what this might be admired,
Admired, not fear’d; God and his son except,
Created thing naught valued he, nor shunn'd;
And with disdainful look, thus first began : :

“Whence and what art thou, execrable shape,
That darest though grim and terrible, advance
Thy miscreated front athwart my way
To yonder gates? through them I mean to pass,
That be assured, without leave ask'd of thee:
Retire, or taste thy folly, and learn by proof,
Hell-born, not to contend with spirits of heaven.”

To whom the goblin full of wrath replied : “ Art thou that traitor-angel, art thou he Who first broke peace in heaven, and faith, till then Unbroken : and in proud rebellious arms, Drew after him the third part of heaven's sons Conjured against the Highest ; for which both thou And they, outcast from God, are here condemned To waste eternal days in woe and pain? And reckon’st thou thyself with spirits of heaven, Hell-doom'd, and breath’st defiance here and scorn, Where I reign king, and, to enrage the more, Thy king and lord ? Back to thy punishment, False fugitive, and to thy speed add wings, Lest with a whip of scorpions I pursue Thy lingering, or with one stroke of this dart, Strange horror seize thee, and pangs unfelt before."

So spake the grisly terror, and in shape,
So speaking and so threatening, grew tenfold
More dreadful and deform. On the other side,
Incensed with indignation, Satan stood
Unterrified and like a comet burn’d,
That fires the length of Ophiuchus huge
In the arctic sky, and from his horrid hair,
Shakes pestilence and war. Each at the head
Levell’d his deadly aim; and their fatal hands
No second stroke intend; and such a frown
Each cast at the other, as when two black clouds,
With heaven's artillery fraught, come rattling on
Over the Caspian, then stand front to front,
Hovering a space, till winds the signal blow
To join their dark encounter in mid-air :
So frown'd the mighty combatants, that hell
Grew darker at their frown; so match'd they stood;
For never but once more was either like
To meet so great a foe: and now great deeds
Had been achieved, whereof all hell had rung,
Had not the snaky sorceress, that sat
Fast by hell-gate, and kept the fatal key,
Risen, and with hideous outcry rush'd between.



'Twas at the royal feast, for Persia won,
By Philip's warlike son,
Aloft in awful state,
The god-like hero sat

On his imperial throne.
His valiant peers were placed around,
Their brows with roses and with myrtle bound :
So should desert in arms be crown'd.

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Timotheus placed on high

Amid the tuneful choir,

With flying fingers touch'd the lyre;
The trembling notes ascend the sky,

And heavenly joys inspire. —
The song began from Jove,
Who left his blissful seat above-
Such is the power of mighty love :

A dragon's fiery form belied the god;

Sublime on radiant spheres he rode,

When he to fair Olympia press’d,
And stamp'd an image of himself, a sov’reign of the world!

The listening crowd admire the lofty sound;
“A present deity!” they shout around;
“A present deity!” the vaulted roofs rebound-

With ravish'd ears
The monarch hears,
Assumes the god,
Affects to nod,

And seem to shake the spheres.

· The praise of Bacchus, then, the sweet musician sung, Of Bacchus, ever fair and ever young!

The jolly god in triumph comes !
Sound the trumpets ! beat the drums !
Flush'd with a purple grace

He shows his honest face,
Now give the hautboys breath! - he comes ! he comes !

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