« AnteriorContinuar »
As great in admiration as herself; So shall she leave her blessedness to one, (When heaven shall call her from this cloud of 193
darkness), Who, from the sacred ashes of her honour, Shall star-like rise, as great in fame as she was, And so stand fix'd: Peace, plenty, love, truth, terror, That were the servants to this chosen infant, Shall then be his, and like a vine grow' to him; Wherever the bright sun of heaven shall shine, His honour, and the greatness of his name Shall be, and make new nations: He shall flourish, And, like a mountain cedar, reach his branches To all the plains about him: -Our children's
children Shall see this, and bless Heaven.
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.
LOVE THE NOBLENESS OF LIFE.
LET Rome in Tyber melt! and the wide arch
Cleo. Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony
[her?--Will be himself. Ant.
But stirr'd by Cleopatra.-Now, for the love of Love, and her soft hours.
ANTONY'S VICES AND VIRTUES. I must not think, there are Evils enough to darken all his goodness: His faults, in him, seem as the spots of heaven, More fiery by night's blackness; hereditary,
Rather than purchas'd* ; what he cannot change, Than what he chooses.
Cæs. You are too indulgent: Let us grant, it is Amiss to tumble on the bed of Ptolemy;
[not To give a kingdom for a mirth; to sit And keep the turn of tippling with a slave; To reel the streets at noon, and stand the buffet With knaves that smell of sweat: say, this becomes (As his composure must be rare indeed, [him, Whom these things cannot blemish), yet must AnNo way excuse his soils, when we do bear [thony So great weight in his lightnesst. If he filled His vacancy with his voluptuousness, Full surfeits, and the dryness of his bones, Call on him for't: but, to confound such time, That drums him from his sport, and speaks as loud As his own state, and ours,'tis to be chid As we rate boys; who, being mature in knowledge, Pawn their experience to their present pleasure, And so rebel to judgment. Antony, Leave thy lascivious wassalss). When thou once Wast beaten from Modena, where thou slew'st Hirtius and Pansa, consuls, at thy heel Did famine follow; whom thou fought'st against, Though daintily brought up, with patience more Than savages can suffer: Thou didst drink The stale of horses, and the gilded puddle Which beasts would cough at: thy palate then did The roughest berry on the rudest hedge; [deign Yea, like the stag, when snow the pasture sheets, * Procured by his own fault.
+ Levity. # Visit him.
§ Consume. || Feasting; in the old copy it is vaissailles, i. e. vassals. Urine.
** Stagnant, slimy water.
The barks of trees thou browsed'st; on the Alps
CLEOPATRA'S SOLICITUDE ON THE ABSENCE OF
ANTONY. O Charmian, Where think'st thou he is now? Stands he, or sits Or does he walk? or is he on his horse? [he? O happy horse, to bear the weight of Antony! Do bravely, horse! for wot’st thou whom thou The demi-Atlas of this earth, the arm [mov'st? And burgonet* of men.—He's speaking now, Or murmuring, Where's my serpent of old Nile? For so he calls me: Now I feed myself With most delicious poison:—Think on me, That am with Phoebus' amorous pinches black, And wrinkled deep in time? Broad-fronted Cæsar, When thou wast here above the ground, I was A morsel for a monarch: and great Pompey Would stand, and make his eyes grow in my brow; There would he anchor his aspect, and die With looking on his life.
THE VANITY OF HUMAN WISHES.
We, ignorant of ourselves, Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers Deny us for our good; so find we profit, By losing of our prayers.
* A helmet.
DESCRIPTION OF CLEOPATRA SAILING DOWN THE
The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne, Burn’d on the water: the poop was beaten gold; Purple the sails, and so perfumed, that [silver; The winds were love-sick with them: the oars were Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made The water, which they beat, to follow faster, As amorous of their strokes. For her own person, It beggar'd all description: she did lie In her pavilion, (cloth of gold, of tissue), O'er-picturing that Venus, where we see, The fancy out-work nature: on each side her, Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids, With diverse-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool, And what they undid, did*. Agr.
O, rare for Antony! Eno. Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides, So
many mermaids, tended her i’ the eyes, And made their bends adornings: at the helm A seeming mermaid steers; the silken tackle Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands, That yarely framet the office. From the barge A strange invisible perfume hits the sense Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast Her people out upon her; and Antony, Enthron'd in the market-place, did sit alone, Whistling to the air; which, but for vacancy, Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too, And made a gap in nature.
* Added to the warmth they were intended to diminish.
+ Readily perform.