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Posts Tagged ‘William Shakespeare’

(from The Merchant of Venice)

Tell me where is fancy bred,
Or in the heart, or in the head?
How begot, how nourishèd?
…..
Reply, reply.

It is engendered in the eyes,
With gazing fed; and fancy dies
In the cradle where it lies. 

Let us all ring fancy’s knell;
I’ll begin it – Ding dong bell.
…..
Ding dong bell.

 

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Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion’s paws
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger’s jaws
And burn the long-liv’d phoenix in her blood;
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleets,
And do whate’er thou wilt, swift-footed Time,
To the wide world and all her fading sweets;
But I forbid thee one most heinous crime:
O, carve not with thy hours my love’s fair brow,
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen!
Him in thy course untainted to allow
For beauty’s pattern to succeeding men.
Yet do thy worst, old Time! Despite thy wrong,
My love shall in my verse ever live young.

 

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Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck,
And yet methinks I have astronomy;
But not to tell of good or evil luck,
Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons’ quality;
Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell,
Pointing to each his thunder, rain, and wind.
Or say with princes if it shall go well
By oft predict that I in heaven find;
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive,
And, constant stars, in them I read such art
As truth and beauty shall together thrive
If from thyself to store thou wouldst convert;
Or else of thee this I prognosticate:
Thy end is truth’s and beauty’s doom and date.

 

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Others abide our question. Thou art free.
We ask and ask—Thou smilest and art still,
Out-topping knowledge. For the loftiest hill,
Who to the stars uncrowns his majesty,

Planting his steadfast footsteps in the sea,
Making the heaven of heavens his dwelling-place,
Spares but the cloudy border of his base
To the foil’d searching of mortality;

And thou, who didst the stars and sunbeams know,
Self-school’d, self-scann’d, self-honour’d, self-secure,
Didst tread on earth unguess’d at.—Better so!

All pains the immortal spirit must endure,
All weakness which impairs, all griefs which bow,
Find their sole speech in that victorious brow.

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…………….(from “As You Like It”)

…………………………………All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms.
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans every thing.

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O that you were yourself! but, love, you are
No longer yours than you yourself here live,
Against this coming end you should prepare
And your sweet semblance to some other give.
So should that beauty which you hold in lease
Find no determination; then you were
Yourself again after yourself’s decease
When your sweet issue your sweet form should bear.
Who lets so fair a house fall to decay,
Which husbandry in honour might uphold
Against the stormy gust of winter’s day
And barren rage of death’s eternal cold?
O, none but unthrifts! Dear my love, you know
You had a father – let your son say so.

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..(from Much Ado About Nothing)

 

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever;
One foot in sea, and one on shore,
To one thing constant never:
……Then sigh not so,
……But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into Hey nonny, nonny. 

Sing no more ditties, sing no mo
Of dumps so dull and heavy;
The fraud of men was ever so,
Since summer first was leavy.
……Then sigh not so,
……But let them go,
And be you blithe and bonny,
Converting all your sounds of woe
Into Hey nonny, nonny.

 

 

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nrcQGOi

When moderns say that rhythm’s passed,
And rhyming verse is trite,
What would the great Longfellow say
About that arrow’s flight?

Such talk is like an acid rain
That falls on Dickinson,
And kills her bees and Kilmer’s trees;
Coats Kipling’s dawning sun.

That dart is thrown at Shakespeare, too
And all the masters past
By men who pose as poets when
It’s prose their work is classed.

And so I’ll stand as close I can
To Byron, Coleridge, Keats
I’ll hold their hats or open doors
Or drive them through the streets.

And I’ll not care when prose lines up
In stanzas in pretense,
Or critics cough or prosers scorn
And publishers fold tents.

I cannot ever bothered be
When men my verse oppose.
They praise the naked emperor,
And criticize my clothes.

————————————————–

photo by Jay Simmons at
http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/nrcQGOi/landscape

————————————————–

© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2018.

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When I do count the clock that tells the time
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night,
When I behold the violet past prime
And sable curls all silver’d o’er with white,
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves,
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard –
Then of thy beauty do I question make
That thou among the wastes of time must go
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
And die as fast as they see others grow,
And nothing ‘gainst Time’s scythe can make defence
Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.

 

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For shame! Deny that thou bear’st love to any,
Who for thyself art so improvident.
Grant, if thou wilt, thou art belov’d of many,
But that thou none lov’st is most evident;
For thou art so possess’d with murd’rous hate
That ‘gainst thyself thou stick’st not to conspire,
Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate
Which to repair should be thy chief desire.
O, change thy thought, that I may change my mind!
Shall hate be fairer lodg’d than gentle love?
Be as thy presence is, gracious and kind,
Or to thyself at least kind-hearted prove.
Make thee another self for love of me,
That beauty still may live in thine or thee.

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