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The golden stars are whirl'd amid their race,
And on the earth did laugh with twinkling light When each thing rested in his nesting place,
Forgat day's pain with pleasure of the night,
The hare had not the greedy hounds in sight, The fearful deer of death stood not in doubt, The partridge dreamt not of the falcon's foot. The ugly bear now mindeth not the stake,
Nor how the cruel mastiffs do him tear; The stag lay still unroused from the brake,
The foaming boar fear'd not the hunter's spear.
All things were still in desert, bush, and brear; With quiet heart now from their travails blest Soundly they slept in midst of all their rest.
2. MISERY His face was lean, and some deal pined away,
And eke his hands consumed to the bone ;
For on his carcase raiment had he none,
Unless sometimes some crumbs fell to his share, Which in his wallet long, God wot, kept he,
As on the which full daintily would he fare.
His drink the running stream ; his cup the bare Of his palm closed ; his bed the hard cold ground. To this poor life was Misery ybound.
3. SLEEP. By him lay heavy sleep, the cousin of death,
Flat on the ground, and still as any stone, A very corpse save yielding forth a breath.
Small kepe took he whom Fortune frowned on,
Or whom she lifted up into the throne
4. OLD AGE. And next in order sad old age we found,
His beard all hoar, his eyes hollow and blind, With drooping cheer still poring on the ground
As on the place where nature him assigned
To rest, when that the sisters had untwined His vital thread, and ended with their knife The fleeting course of fast declining life.
Crook-backed he was, tooth-shakey, and blear-eyed,
Went on three feet, and sometivles crept on four, With old lame bones, that rattled by his side,
His scalp all piled, and he with elde forlore:
His withered fist still knocking at death's door,
Such perfect joy therein I find,
That God or nature hath assign'd.
I seek no more than may suffice:
Look, what I lack, my mind supplies,
Content with that my mind doth bring. * This celebrated song is printed in several collections of Poems published in the sixteenth century. There are many variations in each of the copies. The following version is that given by Ritson in his · English Songs :' with the exception of the last stanza, which is from a manuscript in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. In that manuscript the poem is ascribed to Sir Edward Dyer, a friend of Sir Philip Sydney.
I see how plenty surfeits oft,
And hasty climbers soonest fall ; I see that such as sit aloft
Mishap doth threaten most of all : These get with toil, and keep with fear; Such cares my mind could never bear. No princely pomp nor wealthy store,
No force to win a victory :
: No shape to win a lover's eye :
I little have, yet seek no more;
And I am rich with little store.
I grudge not at another’s gain,
I brook that is another's bane :
My conscience clear, my chief defen. 'e, I never seek by bribes to please,
Nor by desert to give offence.
I weigh not Cræsus' wealth a straw
I fear not fortune's fatal law : My mind is such, as may not move For beauty bright, or force of love
I wish but what I have at will,
I wander not to seek for more;
In greatest storms I sit on shore,
I feign not love where most I hate;
I wait not at the mighty's gate,
Their wisdom by their rage of will;
A cloaked craft their store of skill :
XIII. MARLOWE. 1. EDWARD II, LEICESTER, AND WINCHESTER. LEIC. Be patient, good my Lord, cease to lament, Imagine Killingworth castle were your court, And that you lay for pleasure here a space, Not for compulsion or necessity.
Ed. Leicester, if gentle words might comfort me, Thy speeches long ago had eas’d my sorrows; For kind and loving hast thou always been. The griefs of private men are soon allay'd, But not of kings. The forest deer, being struck, Runs to an herb that closeth up the wounds; But, when the imperial lion's flesh is gor’d, He rends and tears it with his wrathful paw, And highly scorning that the lowly earth Should drink his blood, mounts up into the air. And so it fares with me, whose dauntless mind Th' ambitious Mortimer would seek to curb, And that unnatural queen, false Isabel,
That thus liath pent and mew'd me in a prison :
Win. Your grace mistakes, it is for England's good, And princely Edward's right, we crave the crowi.
ED. No, 'tis for Mortimer not Edwa-r's head;
2. EDWARD II AND LIGHTBORN. Ed. Who's there? What light is that? Wherefore
[com'st thou ? LIGHT. To comfort you, and bring you joyful news.
ED. Small comfort finds poor Edward in thy looks. Villain, I know thou com’st to murder me.
Ligur. To murder you, my most gracious lord ! Far is it iroin my heart to do you harm.