Page images

Thus am I doubly arm'd: my death and life, My bane and antidote are both before me: This in a moment brings me to an end; But this informs me I shall never die, The soul, secured in her existence, smiles 25 At the drawn dagger, and defies its point. The stars shall fade away, the sun himself Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years, But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth, Unhurt amidst the war of elements,

30 The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds.



Orlan. Who's there?

Adam. What! my young master? Omygentle master, O my sweet master, O you memory Of old Sir Rowland ! why, what make you here ? Why are you virtuous ? Why do people love you ? 5 And wherefore are you gentle, strong and valiant ? Why would you be so fond to overcome The bony priser of the humorous duke ? Your praise is come too swiftly home before you. Know you not, master, to some kind of men 10 Their graces serve them but as enemies ? No more do yours; your virtues, gentle master, Are sanctified and holy traitors to you. 0, what a world is this, when what is comely Envenoms him that bears it!

15 Orlan. Why, what's the matter ?

The enemy


O unhappy youth, Come not within these doors; within this roof

of all your graces lives : Your brother-(no, no brother; yet the son

20 Yet not the son ;-I will not call him sonOf him I was about to call his father)Hath heard your praises; and this night he means To burn the lodging where you use to lie, And you within it: if he fail of that,

25 He will have other means to cut you off; I overheard him, and his practices. This is no place, this house is but a butchery : Abhor it, fear it, do not enter it. Orlan. Why, whither, Adam, wouldst thou have me go?

30 Adam. No matter whither, so you come not here. Orlan. What, wouldst thou have me go and beg my


Or, with a base and boisterous sword, enforce
A thievish living on the common road ?
This I must do, or know not what to do;

Yet this I will not do, do how I can:
I rather will subject me to the malice
Of a diverted blood, and bloody brother.

Adam. But do not so: I have five hundred crowns, The thrifty hire I saved under your father,

40 Which I did store, to be my foster nurse, When service should in my old limbs lie lame, And unregarded age in corners thrown: Take that; and He that doth the ravens feed, Yea, providently caters for the sparrow,

45 Be comfort to my age ! Here is the gold:

All this I give you. Let me be your servant:
Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty;
For in my youth I never did apply
Hot and rebellious liquors in my blood;

Nor did not with unbashful forehead woo
The means of weakness and debility;
Therefore my age is as a lusty winter,
Frosty, but kindly: let me go with

you; I'll do the service of a younger man

55 In all your business and necessities.

Orlan. O good old man; how well in thee appears The constant service of the antique world, When service sweat for duty, not for meed ! Thou art not for the fashion of these times, 60 Where none will sweat, but for promotion ; And having that, do choke their service up Ev'n with the having : it is not so with thee. But, poor old man, thou prunest a rotten tree, That cannot so much as a blossom yield,

65 In lieu of all thy pains and husbandry: But come thy ways, we'll go along together; And ere we have thy youthful wages spent, We'll light upon some settled low content.!

Adam. Master, go on; and I will follow thee, 70 To the last gasp, with truth and loyalty :From seventeen years till now almost fourscore Here lived I, but now live here no more. At seventeen years many their fortunes seek; But at fourscore it is too late a week: Yet fortune cannot recompense me better, Than to die well and not my master's debtor.





[ocr errors]


thousand of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep !-Sleep, gentle sleep,
Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down,
And steep my senses in forgetfulness ?

Why rather, Sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber ;
Than in the perfum'd chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,

And lull’d with sounds of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile,
In loathsome beds; and leavest the kingly couch,
A watch-case, or a common 'larum-bell ?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast 15

up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains
In cradle of the rude imperious surge ;
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them 20
With deafening clamours in the slippery clouds,
That, with the hurly, death itself awakes ?
Canst thou, O partial Sleep! give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude ;
And, in the calmest and the stillest night,

With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then, happy low, lie down!
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.




FAREWELL, a long farewell, to all my greatness !
This is the state of man; to-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hope, to-morrow blossoms,
And bears his blushing honours thick upon
The third day, comes a frost, a killing frost; 5
And—when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
His greatness is a-ripening,-nips his root,
And then he falls, as I do. I have ventured,
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
These many summers in a sea of glory;

10 But far beyond my depth : my high-blown pride At length broke under me; and now has left me, Weary, and old with service, to the mercy Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me. Vain pomp, and glory of this world, I hate ye;

15 I feel my heart new open'd: 0, how wretched Is that poor man, that hangs on princes' favours ! There is, betwixt that smile we would aspire to, That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin, More pangs and fears than wars or women have; 20 And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer, Never to hope again.




I. 1.

Say, will no white-robed Son of Light,
Swift darting from his heavenly height,

Here deign to take his hallow'd stand;

« PreviousContinue »