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Till the wild waves will have him seen no more,
Whose ridges with the meeting clouds contend :

So did the merciless and pitchy night
Fold in the object that did feed her sight.

Whereat amaz’d, as one that unaware
Hath dropp'd a precious jewel in the flood,
Or 'stonish'd as night wanderers often are,
Their light blown out in some mistrustful wood;

Even so confounded in the dark she lay,

Having lost the fair discovery of her way.
And now she beats her heart, whereat it groans,
That all the neighbour-caves, as seeming troubled,
Make verbal repetition of her moans :
Passion on passion deeply is redoubled.

Ah me! she cries, and twenty times, woe, woe!
And twenty echoes twenty times cry so.

She marking them, begins a wailing note,
And sings extemporally a woful ditty;
How love makes young men thrall, and old men dote;
How love is wise in folly, foolish witty :

Her heavy anthem still concludes in woe,
And still the choir of echoes answer so.

Her song was tedious, and outwore the night,
For lovers' hours are long, though seeming short :
If pleas’d themselves, others, they think, delight
In such like circumstance, with such like sport:

Their copious stories, oftentimes begun,
End without audience, and are never done.

For who hath she to spend the night withal,
But idle sounds resembling parasites;
Like shrill-tongu'd tapsters answering every call,
Soothing the humour of fantastic wits?

She says, 'tis so: they answer all, 'tis so;
And would say after her, if she said no.

Lo! here the gentle lark, weary of rest,
From his moist cabinet mounts up on high,
And wakes the morning, from whose silver breast
The sun ariseth in his majesty;

Who doth the world so gloriously behold,
That cedar-tops and hills seem burnish'd gold.

Venus salutes him with this fair good-morrow.
Oh thou clear god, and patron of all light,
From whom each lamp and shining star doth borrow
The beauteous influence that makes him bright,

There lives a son that suck'd an earthly mother,
May lend thee light, as thou dost lend to other.

This said, she hasteth to a myrtle grove,
Musing the morning is so much o'er-worn;
And yet she hears no tidings of her love:
She hearkens, for his hounds, and for his horn :

Anon she hears them chaunt it lustily,
And all in haste she coasteth to the cry?.

as she



the bushes in the way
Some catch her by the neck, some kiss her face,
Some twin'd about her thigh to make her stay.
She wildly breaketh from their strict embrace,

Like a milch doe, whose swelling dugs do ache,
Hasting to feed her fawn hid in some brake.

By this she hears the hounds are at a bay,
Whereat she starts, like one that spies an adder
Wreath'd up in fatal folds, just in his way,
The fear whereof doth make him shake and shudder:

Even so the timorous yelping of the hounds
Appals her senses, and her spirit confounds o.

For now she knows it is no gentle chase,
But the blunt boar, rough bear, or lion proud,
Because the cry remaineth in one place,
Where fearfully the dogs exclaim aloud ;

Finding their enemy to be so curst,
They all strain courtesy who shall cope him first.


she coasteth to the cry.] She approaches, as it were sidelong, and in a listening attitude, toward the cry. We have “coast,” as a verb, probably from the Fr, accoster.

8 — and her SPIRIT confounds.] So spelt in all the old copies, and though a dissyllable, to be pronounced in the time of one syllable: modern editors have printed it spright. Sprite is a monosyllabic mode of spelling “spirit.”

This dismal cry rings sadly in her ear,
Through which it enters to surprise her heart;
Who, overcome by doubt and bloodless fear,
With cold-pale weakness numbs each feeling part:

Like soldiers, when their captain once doth yield,
They basely fly, and dare not stay the field.

Thus stands she in a trembling extasy,
Till cheering up her senses all dismay'd',
She tells them, 'tis a causeless fantasy,
And childish error that they are afraid ;

Bids them leave quaking, bids them fear no more:
And with that word she spied the hunted boar;

Whose frothy mouth bepainted all with red,
Like milk and blood being mingled both together,
A second fear through all her sinews spread,
Which madly hurries her she knows not whither:

This way she runs, and now she will no further,
But back retires to rate the boar for murther.

A thousand spleens bear her a thousand ways;
She treads the path that she untreads again :
Her more than haste is mated with delays',
Like the proceedings of a drunken brain;

Full of respects ’, yet nought at all respecting,
In hand with all things, nought at all effecting.

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9 – her senses All dismay'd,] So the edition of 1593, which Malone calls “our author's own edition,” confirmed by that of 1594: nevertheless he, and other editors (the Rev. Mr. Dyce among the number), arbitrarily print dismay'd” from the impression of 1596, under the pretext that sore has more force than “all :" the contrary seems to us the fact.

1- is mated with delays,] i. e. Is confounded with delays. We have frequently bad the word in this sense. See Vol. iv. p. 52; Vol. v. p. 451, &c.

? Full of respects,] The two earliest editions have a respects,” no doubt the true reading; the later impressions, respect, which is adopted by all modern editors. Shakespeare constantly uses the word in the plural, as in “ King Lear," Vol. v. p. 626:

“ Love is not love
When it is mingled with respects, that stand

Aloof from the entire point ;" and again, lower down in the same page,

** Since that respects of fortune are his love,

I shall not be his wife." “ Respects" there, as well as above in the text, means considerations, a sense it not unfrequently bears in old authors.


Here kennel'd in a brake she finds a hound,
And asks the weary caitiff for his master;
And there another licking of his wound,
'Gainst venom’d sores the only sovereign plaster;

And here she meets another sadly scowling,

To whom she speaks, and he replies with howling.
When he hath ceas'd his ill-resounding noise,
Another flap-mouth'd mourner, black and grim,
Against the welkin vollies out his voice;
Another and another answer him,

Clapping their proud tails to the ground below,
Shaking their scratch'd ears, bleeding as they go.

Look, how the world's poor people are amazed
At apparitions, signs, and prodigies,
Whereon with fearful eyes they long have gazed,
Infusing them with dreadful prophecies ;

So she at these sad signs draws up her breath,

And, sighing it again, exclaims on death.
Hard-favour'd tyrant, ugly, meagre, lean,
Hateful divorce of love, (thus chides she death)
Grim grinning ghost, earth's worm, what dost thou mean,
To stifle beauty, and to steal his breath,

Who when he liv’d, his breath and beauty set
Gloss on the rose, smell to the violet ?

If he be dead,-oh no! it cannot be,
Seeing his beauty, thou shouldst strike at it.
Oh yes! it may; thou hast no eyes to see,
But hatefully at random dost thou hit.

Thy mark is feeble age; but thy false dart
Mistakes that aim, and cleaves an infant's heart.

Hadst thou but bid beware, then he had spoke,
And hearing him thy power had lost his power.

The destinies will curse thee for this stroke;
They bid thee crop a weed, thou pluck’st a flower.

Love's golden arrow at him should have fled,
And not death's ebon dart, to strike him dead'.

• And not death's ebon dart, to strike bim dead.] An obvious allusion to the old apologue of Cupid and Death exchanging arrows; and Boswell truly says that VOL. VI.


Dost thou drink tears, that thou provok’st such weeping?
What may a heavy groan advantage thee?
Why hast thou cast into eternal sleeping
Those eyes that taught all other eyes to see?

Now Nature cares not for thy mortal vigour,
Since her best work is ruin’d with thy rigour.

Here overcome, as one full of despair,
She vail'd her eye-lids', who, like sluices, stopped
The crystal tide that from her two cheeks fair
In the sweet channel of her bosom dropped ;

But through the flood-gates breaks the silver rain,
And with his strong course opens them again.

Oh, how her eyes and tears did lend and borrow!
Her eyes seen in the tears, tears in her

Both crystals, where they view'd each other's sorrow,
Sorrow that friendly sighs sought still to dry;

But like a stormy day, now wind, now rain,
Sighs dry her cheeks, tears make them wet again.

Variable passions throng her constant woe,
As striving who should best become her grief;
All entertain'd, each passion labours so,
That every present sorrow seemeth chief

But none is best; then, join they all together,
Like many clouds consulting for foul weather.


the fiction is probably of Italian origin, although he was not aware of the Sonnet by Annibale Nozzolini, quoted by Muratori, ii. 241. Fairfax volunteers an allusion to it in his translation of Tasso (B. ii. st. 34) :

“Death hath again exchang’d his shafts with Love," &c., for which there is no warrant in the original. * She Vail'd her eye-lids,] So in Marlowe's “ Hero and Leander," Sest. I. :

Vailing her eye-lids close." The Rev. Mr. Dyce must have entirely forgotten this expression in “Venus and Adonis" when he printed his note upon the similar poetical phrase in Marlowe. It does not mean " veiling her eye-lids close," as if she covered them with a veil, but lowering her eye-lids entirely down, or shutting them “close.” When, too, he prints “Vail'd to the ground,” in the preceding part of the same line, he could not have remembered how often old compositors absurdly repeated a word, because they saw it in another part of the same line. (Dyce's Marlowe, iii. p. 11.) We must inevitably read with modern editors,

Kneel'd to the ground, vailing her eye-lids close.” There is perhaps no verb, now out of use, that was more frequently employed by Shakespeare, Marlowe, and other writers of their day, than “to vail.” For a few instances in the former poet, see Vol. ii. pp. 268. 525; Vol. iv. p. 591, &c.

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