Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

Thy abfence is my death, thy fight fhall geve me lyfe.
But if perhaps thou fland in dred to lead me as a wyfe,
Art thou all counfelleffe? canst thou no shift devife?
What letteth but in other weede I may my felfe disguyfe?
What, fhall I be the firft? hath none done fo ere this,

To fcape the bondage of theyr frends; thyfelfe can aunfwer, yes.
Or doft thou stand in doute that I thy wife ne can

By fervice pleasure thee as much, as may thy hyred man?
Or is my loyalte of both accompted leffe?

Perhaps thou fear'ft left I for gayne forfake thee in distresse.
What hath my bewty now no powre at all on you,

Whofe brightnes, force, and prayfe, fometime up to the skyes you blew?

My teares, my frendfhip and my pleasures donne of olde,

Shall they be quite forgote in dede ?"-When Romeus dyd be


The wildnes of her looke, her cooller pale and ded,

The woorst of all that might betyde to her, he gan to dred;
And once agayne he dyd in armes his Juliet take,

And kift her with a loving kiffe, and thus to her he spake;
"Ah Juliet, (quoth he) the mistres of my hart,

For whom, even now, thy fervant doth abyde in dedly fmart,
Even for the happy dayes which thou defyreft to fee,

And for the fervent frendship's fake that thou doft owe to mee,
At once these fanfies vayne out of thy mynd roote out,
Except, perhaps, unto thy blame, thou fondly go about
To haften forth my death, and to thine owne to ronne,
Which Nature's law and wifdome's lore teach every wight to


For, but thou chaunge thy mynde, (I do foretell the end)
Thou shalt undoo thyfelfe for aye, and me thy trufty frend.
For why?-thy abfence knowne, thy father will be wroth,
And in his rage fo narowly he will purfue us both,
That we shall trye in vayne to fcape away by flight,

And vainely feeke a loorking place to hyde us from his fight.
Then we found out, and caught, quite voyde of ftrong defence,
Shall cruelly be punifhed for thy departure hence;

I as a ravisher, thou as a careles childe,

I as a man that doth defile, thou as a mayde defilde
Thinking to lead in ease a long contented life,

[ocr errors]

Shall fhort our dayes by fhamefull death :-but if, my loving wife,

Thou banish from thy mynd two foes that counsell hath,

(That wont to hinder found advise) rafhe haftines and wrath,

If thou be bent to obey the love of reason's skill,

And wifely by her princely powre fuppreffe rebelling will,
If thou our fafetie feeke, more then thine own delight,

(Since furetie ftandes in parting, and thy pleasures growe of



Forbeare the cause of joy, and suffer for a while,
So fhall I fafely live abrode, and fafe torne from exile :
So fhall no flander's blot thy fpotles lyfe diftayne,

So fhall thy kinfmen be unftyrd, and I exempte from payne.

And thinke thou not, that aye the cause of care shall last ;

These stormy broyles fhall over-blowe, much like a winter's blaft.
For Fortune chaungeth more than fickel fantasie;

In nothing Fortune conftant is fave in unconftancie.
Her hafty ronning wheele is of a restles coorse,

That turnes the clymers hedlong downe, from better to the woorfe,

And those that are beneth the heaveth up agayne:

So we shall rife to pleasure's mount, out of the pit of payne.
Ere foure monthes overpaffe, fuch order will I take,

And by my letters and my frendes fuch meanes I mynd to make,
That of my wandring race ended fhal be thy toyle,
And I cald home with honor great unto my native foyle.
But if I be condemnd to wander still in thrall,

I will returne to you, mine owne, befall what may befall.
And then by strength of frendes, and with a mighty hand,
From Veron will I carry thee into a foreign lande;
Not in man's weede difguyfd, or as one fcarcely knowne,
But as my wife and onely feere, in garment of thyne owne.
Wherefore repreffe at once the paffions of thy hart,

And where there is no cause of greefe, caufe hope to heale thy fmart.

For of this one thyng thou may'it well affured bee,

That nothing els but onely death fhall funder me from thee."

The reafons that he made did feem of fo great waight,

And had with her fuch force, that he to him gan aunfwere straight.

Dear Syr, nought els wish I but to obey your will;

But fure where fo you go, your hart with me fhall tarry still,
As figne and certaine pledge, tyll here I fhall you fee,

Of all the powre that over you your felfe did graunt to me;
And in his stead take myne, the gage of my good will.-
One promeffe crave I at your hand, that graunt me to fulfill
Fayle not to let me have, at fryer Laurence hand,

The tydinges of your health, and howe your doutfull case shall ftand

And all the wery whyle that you shall spend abrode,

Cause me from time to time to know the place of your abode." His cyes did gush out teares, a figh brake from his breft,

When he did graunt and with an othe did vowe to kepe the heft.
Thus these two lovers paffe awaye the wery night,

In payne and plaint, not, as they wont, in pleafure and delight.
But now, fomew hat too foone, in farthest east arose
Fayre Lucifer, the golden ftarre that lady Venus chofe ;


Whofe courfe appoynted is with fpedy race to ronne,
A meflenger of dawning daye, and of the ryfing fonne.
Then fresh Aurora with her pale and filver glade

Did clear the fkies, and from the earth had chafed ougly shade.
When thou ne lookeft wide, ne closely doit thou winke,

When Phoebus from our hemisphere in westerne wave doth finke,
What cooller then the heavens do fhew unto thine eyes,
The fame, or like, fawe Romeus in farthest easterne skies.
As yet he faw no daye, ne could he call it night,

With equall force decreasing darke fought with increafing light.
Then Romeus in armes his lady gan to folde,

With frendly kiffe, and ruthfully the gan her knight beholde.
With folemne othe they both theyr forowfull leave do take;
They sweare no ftormy troubles fhall theyr steady friendship shake.
Then carefull Romeus agayne to cell retoornes,

And in her chaumber fecretly our joyles Juliet moornes.
Now hugy cloudes of care, of forow, and of dread,

The clearnes of theyr gladfome harts hath wholy overspread.
When golden-crested Phoebus bofted him in skye,

And under earth, to fcape revenge, his dedly foe doth flye,
Then hath thefe lovers' day an ende, theyr night begonne,
For eche of them to other is as to the world the fonne.
The dawning they fhall fee, ne fommer any more,

But black-faced night with winter rough ah! beaten over fore.
The wery watch discharged did hye them home to slepe,

The warders, and the fkowtes were charged theyr place and courfe to kepe,

And Verone gates awide the porters had fet open,

When Romeus had of hys affayres with fryer Laurence spoken.
Warely he walked forth, unknowne of frend or foe,

Clad like a marchant venterer, from top even to the toe.
He fpurd apace, and came, withouten stoppe or ftay,

To Mantua gates, where lighted downe, he fent his man away
With woordes of comfort to his olde afflicted fyre;

And ftraight, in mynde to fojourne there, a lodging doth he hyre. And with the nobler fort he doth himfelle acquaynt.

And of his open wrong receaved the duke doth heare his playnt.
He practifeth by frendes for pardon of exile;

The whilft, he feeketh every way his forowes to begyle.
But who forgets the cole that burneth in his breft?
Alas! his cares denye his hart the sweet defyred rest.
No time findes he of myrth, he fyndes no place of joy,
But every thing occafion gives of forowe and annoye.
For when in toorning fkyes the heavens' lamps are light,
And from the other hemifphere fayre Phoebus chafeth night,
When every man and beast hath reft from paynefull toyle,
Then in the breft of Romeus his paffions gin to boyle.


Then doth he wet with teares the couche whereon he lyes,
And then his fighes the chaumber fill, and out aloude he cryes
Against the restles ftarres in rolling fkies that raunge,
Against the fatall fifters three, and Fortune full of chaunge.
Eche night a thousand times he calleth for the day
He thinketh Titan's reftles fteedes of reftines do ftay;
Or that at length they have fome bayting place found out,
Or, gyded yll, have loft theyr way and wandred farre about.
Whyle thus in ydell thoughts the wery time he fpendeth,
The night hath end, but not with night the plaint of night he

Is he accompanied? is he in place alone?

In cumpany he wayles his harme, apart he maketh mone.
For if his feeres rejoyce, what cause hath he to joy,

That wanteth ftill his cheefe delight, while they theyr loves enjoye?

But if with heavy cheere they fhew their inward greefe,

He wayleth most his wretchedness that is of wretches checfe.
When he doth heare abrode the prayfe of ladies blowne,
Within his thought he fcorneth them, and doth prefer his owne.
When pleafant fonges he heares, wheile others do rejoyce,
The melody of muficke doth ftyrre up his mourning voyce.
But if in fecret place he walke fome where alone,
The place it felfe and fecretnes redoubled all his mone!
Then fpeakes he to the beaftes, to featherd fowles and trees,
Unto the earth, the cloudes, and what fo befide he fees.
To them he sheweth his fmart, as though they reason had,
Eche thing may caufe his heavines, but nought may make him

And wery of the world agayne he calleth night,

The fanne he curfeth, and the howre when firft his eyes faw light.
And as the night and day theyr couife do enterchaunge.

So doth our Romeus nightly cares for cares of day exchaunge.
In abfence of her knight the lady no way could

Kepe trewce betweene her greefes and her, though nere so fayne fhe would;

And though with greater payne fhe cloked forowe's fmart,
Yet did her paled face disclose the paffions of her hart.
Her fighing every howre, her weeping every where,

Her recheles heede of meate, of flepe, and wearing of her geare,
The carefull mother markes; then of her health afrayde,
Because the greefes increafed ftill, thus to her child the fayde :
Deere daughter, if you fhoulde long languifhe in this forte,
I ftand in doute that over-foone your forowes will make short
Your loving father's life and myne, that love you more
Then our owne propre breth and lyfe. Brydel henceforth there-



Your greefe and payne, yourfelfe on joy your thought to fet,
For time it is that now you fhould our Tybalt's death forget.
Of whom fince God hath claymd the life that was but lent.
He is in bliffe, ne is there caufe why you should thus lament;
You cannot call him backe with teares and fhrikinges fhrill;
It is a falt thus fill to grudge at God's appoynted will."
The feely foule hath now no longer powre to fayne,
No longer could fhe hide her harme, but aunfwered thus agayne,
With heavy broken fighes, with vifage pale and ded

"Madame, the last of Tybalt's teares a great while fince I fhed ; Whose spring hath been ere this fo laded out by me,

That empty quite and moyitureles I geffe it now to be.
So that my payned hart by conduytes of the eyne

No more henceforth (as wont it was) fhall gufh forth dropping bryne.

The woefull mother knew not what her daughter ment,

And loth to vexe her chylde by woordes, her pace the warely hent.
But when from howre to howre, from morow to the morow,
Still more and more the faw increaft her daughter's wonted forow,
All meanes fhe fought of her and houshold folke to know

The certain roote whereon her greefe and booteless mone doth growe.

But lo, the hath in vayne her time and labor lore,

Wherefore without all measure is her hart tormented fore.

And fith herfelfe could not fynde out the cause of care,

She thought it good to tell the fyre how ill his childe did fare, And when the faw her time, thus to her feere the fayde:

"Syr, if you marke our daughter well, the countenance of the mayde,

And how the fareth fince that Tybalt unto death

Before his time, forft by his foe, did yeld his living breath,
Her face fhall feeme fo chaunged, her doynges eke so straunge,
That you will greatly wonder at fo great and fodain chaunge.
Not onely the forbeares her meate, her drinke and fleepe,
But now the tendeth nothing els but to lament and weepe.
No greater joy hath fhe, nothing contents her hart

So much, as in the chaumber close to fhut her felfe apart :
Where the doth fo torment her poore afflicted mynde.

That much in daunger standes her lyfe, except fome helpe the finde.

But, out alas! I fee not how it may be founde,

Unleffe that fyrst we might fynd whence her forowes thus


For though with bufy care I have employde my wit,

And used all the wayes I have to learne the truth of it,
Neither extremitie ne gentle meanes could boote;

She hydeth clofe within her brest her fecret forowe's roote.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »