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The POWER of IMAGINATION.
THE lunatic, the lover, and the poet,
Are of imagination all compact;
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold;
This is the madman. The lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen's beauty in the brow of Egypt.
The poet's eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heav'n to earth, from earth to heav'n,
And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet's pen
Turns them to shape, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
DESCRIPTION of a MAN swimming ashore.
I SAW him beat the surges under him,
And ride upon their backs: he trod the water,
Whose enmity he flung aside, and breasted
The surge most swol'n that met him; his bold head
'Bove the contentious waves he kept, and oar'd
Himself with his good arms in lusty strokes
To th' shore, that o'er his wave-worn basis bow'd
As stooping to relieve him; I not doubt
He came alive to land.
The VANITY of HUMAN NATURE.
THESE our actors
(As I foretold you) were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea all which it inherit, shall dissolve:
And, like this unsubstantial pageant, faded,
Leave not a wreck behind.
SHE never told her love,
But let concealment, like a worm i̟' th' bud,
Feed on her damask cheek; she pin'd in thought;
And, with a green and yellow melancholy,
She sat like patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief.
A BEAUTIFUL PERSON PETITIONING in VAIN. (SHAKESPEARE.)
AYE, aye; and she hath offer'd to the doom,
(Which unrevers'd stands in effectual force,)
A sea of melting pearl, which some call tears:
Those at her father's churlish feet she tender'd,
With them, upon her knees, her humble self,
Wringing her hands, whose whiteness so became them,
As if but now they waxed pale for woe.
But neither bended knees, pure hands held up,
Sad sighs, deep groans, nor silver-shedding tears,
Could penetrate her uncompassionate sire.
DESCRIPTION of CLEOPATRA's sailing down the CYDNUS.
THE barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne,
Burnt on the water; the poop was beaten gold,
Purple the sails, and so perfumed, that
The winds were love-sick with them; th' oars were silver,
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 divers-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks, which they did cool,
And what they undid, did.
Her gentlewomen, like the Nereids,
So many mermaids, tended her i' th' eyes,
And made their bends adorings. At the helm,
A seeming mermaid steers; the silken tackles
Swell with the touches of those flow'r-soft hands,
That yarely frame the office. From the barge
A strange invisible perfume hits the sense.
On the adjacent wharfs the city cast
Her people out upon her; and Anthony,
Enthron'd i' th' market-place, did sit alone
Whistling 'to th' air; which, but for vacancy,
Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too,
And made a gap in nature.
-O, THOU goddess,
Thou divine nature! how thyself thou blazon'st
In these two princely boys: they are as gentle
As zephyrs blowing below the violet,
Not wagging his sweet head; and yet, as rough,
(Their royal blood enchaf'd) as the rudest wind,
That by the top doth take the mountain pine,
And make him stoop to the vale. Tis wonderful,
That an invisible instinct should frame them
To royalty unlearn'd, honour untaught,
Civility not seen from other; valour,
That wildly grows in them, but yields a crop,
As if it had been sow'd.
SEEMS, Madam! nay, it is; I know not seems:
'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
Nor customary suits of solemn black,
Nor windy suspiration of forc'd breath,
No, nor the fruitful river in the
Nor the dejected 'haviour of the visage,
Together with all forms, moods, shews of grief,
That can denote me truly. These, indeed, seem,
For they are actions that a man might play;
But I have that within, which passeth shew;
These but the trappings, and the suits of woe.
A FATHER'S ADVICE to his SON, going to travel.
GIVE thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportion'd thought his act :
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar;
The friends thou hast, and their adoption try'd,
Grapple them to thy soul with hooks of steel :
But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade.
Of entrance to a quarrel; but being in,
Bear't, that th' opposed may beware of thee.
Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.
Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy:
For the apparel oft proclaims the man.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be:
For loan oft loses both itself and friend;
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry,
This above all, to thine own self be true;
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
HAMLETON the APPEARANCE of his FATHER'S GHOST.
ANGELS and ministers of grace defend us!
Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin dawn'd;
Bring with thee airs from heav'n, or blasts from hell;
Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
Thou com'st in such a questionable shape,
That I will speak to thee: I'll call thee Hamlet,
King, father, royal Dane; Oh, answer me,
Let me not burst in ignorance; but tell
Why thy canoniz'd bones, hearsed in death,
Have burst their cearments! why the sepulchre,
Wherein we saw thee quietly in-urn'd,
Hath op'd his ponderous and marble jaws,
To cast thee up again? What may this mean,
That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel,
Revisit 'st thus the glimpses of the moon,
Making night hideous? And us fools of nature
So horribly to slake our disposition
With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls?
HAMLET'S SOLILOQUY on DEATH.
To be, or not to be? that is the question;
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die,-to sleep,-
No more; and by a sleep, to say, we end
The heart-ach, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to; 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die,—to sleep;
To sleep; perchance to dream: aye, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause ;-there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
The patient merit of th' unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
Το groan and sweat under a weary life?
But that the dread of something after death,
(That undiscovered country, from whose bourne
No traveller returns) puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of.
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all :
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought;
And enterprizes of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn awry,
And lose the name of action.
CATO'S SOLILOQUY on the IMMORTALITY of the SOUL.
Ir must be so-Plato, thou reason'st well
Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,
This longing after immortality?
Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror,
Of falling into nought? Why shrinks the soul
Back on herself, and startles at destruction?
'Tis the divinity that stirs within us ;
"Tis Heav'n itself that points out an hereafter,
And intimates eternity to man.
Eternity! thou pleasing, dreadful thought!
Through what variety of untry'd being,