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AMID the desert rockes the mountaine beare
Bringes forth unformd, unlyke herselfe, her yonge,
Nought els but lumpes of fleshe, withouten heare;
In tract of time, her often lycking tong
Geves them such shape, as doth, ere long, delight
The lookers on; or, when one dogge doth shake
With moosled mouth the joyntes too weake to fight,
Or, when upright he standeth by his stake,
(A noble creast !) or wylde in savage wood
A dosyn dogges one holdeth at a baye,
With gaping mouth and stayned jawes with blood;
Or els, when from the farthest heavens, they
The lode-starres are, the wery pilates marke,
In stormes to gyde to haven the tossed barke ;-

Right so my muse
Hath now, at length, with travell long, brought forth
Her tender whelpes, her divers kindes of style,
Such as they are, or nought, or little woorth,
Which carefull travell and a longer whyle
May better shape. The eldest of them loe
I offer to the stake; my youthfull woorke,
Which one reprochefull mouth might overthrowe:
The rest, unlickt as yet, a whyle shall lurke,
Tyll Tyme geve strength, to meete and match in fight,
With Slaunder's whelpes. Then shall they tell of stryfe,
Of noble trymphes, and deedes of martial might;
And shall geve rules of chast and honest lyfe.
The whyle, I pray, that ye with favour blame,
Or rather not reprove the laughing game

Of this my muse.

THE ARGUMENT.
LOVE hath inflamed twayne by sodayn sight,
And both do graunt the thing that both desyre;
They wed in shrift, by counsell of a frier;
Yong Romeus clymes fayre Juliets bower by night.
Three monthes he doth enjoy his cheefe delight:
By Tybalt's rage provoked unto yre,
He payeth death to Tybalt for his hyre.
A banisht man, he scapes by secret Aight:
New marriage is offred to his wyfe :
She drinkes a drinke that seemes to reve her breath;
They bury her, that sleping yet hath lyfe.
Her husband heares the tydinges of her death ;
He drinkes his bane ; and she, with Romeus' knyfe,
When she awakes, her selfe, alas ! she sleath.

ROMEUS AND JULIET.

THERE is beyond the Alps a towne of auncient fame, Whose bright renoune yet shineth cleare, Verona men it name; Bylt in an happy time, bylt on a fertile soyle, Maynteined by the heavenly fates, and by the townish toyle. The fruitefull hilles above, the pleasant vales belowe, The silver streame with chanel depe, that through the town doth

flow;

The store of springes that serve for use, and eke for ease,
And other moe commodities, which profit may and please ;
Eke many certayne signes of thinges betyde of olde,
To fyll the houngry eyes of those that curiously beholde ;
Doe make this towne to be preferde above the rest
Of Lumbard townes, or at the least, compared with the best.
In which whyle Escalus as prince alone did raigne,
To reache rewarde unto the good, to paye the lewde with payne,
Alas ! I rewe to thinke, an heavy happe befell,
Which Boccace skant, not my rude tonge, were able foorth to tell.
Within my trembling hande my penne doth shake for feare,
And, on my colde amazed head, upright doth stand my heare.
But sith shee doth commaunde, whose hest I must obeye,
In moorning verse a woful chaunce to tell I will assaye.
Helpe, learned Pallas, helpe, ye Muses with your art,
Help, all

ye damned feends, to tell of joyes retournd to smart : Help eke, ye sisters three, my skillesse pen tindyte, For you

it causd, which I alas ! unable am to wryte. There were two auncient stocks, which Fortune hygh did place Above the rest, indewd with welth, and nobler of their race; Loved of the common sorte, loved of the prince alike, And lyke unhappy were they both, when Fortune list to stryke; Whose prayse with equal blast Fame in her trumpet blew; The one was clyped Capelet, and thother Mountagew. A wonted use it is, that men of likely sorte, (I wot not by what furye forsd) envye each others porte. So these, whose egall state bred envye pale of hew, And then of grudging envies roote blacke hate and rancor grew; As of a littel sparke oft ryseth mighty fyre, So, of a kyndled sparke of grudge, in flames flash oute their eyre: And then theyr deadly foode, first hatchd of trifling stryfe, Did bathe in bloud of smarting woundes,-it reved breth and lyfe. No legend lye I tell; scarce yet theyr eyes be drye, That did behold the grisly sight with wet and weeping eye.

But when the prudent prince who there the scepter helde,
So great a new disorder in his commonweale behelde,
By jentyl meane he sought their choler to asswage,
And by perswasion to appease their blameful furious tage;
But both his woords and tyme the prince hath spent in vayne,
So rooted was the inward hate, he lost his buysy payne.
When frendly sage advise ne gentyll woords avayle,
By thondring threats and princely powre their courage gan he

quayle; In hope that when he had the wasting flame supprest, In time he should quyte quench the sparks that boornd within

their brest. Now whylst these kyndreds do remayne in this estate, And eche with outward frendly shew doth hyde his inward hate, One Romeus, who was of race a Mountague, Upon whose tender chyn as yet no manlyke beard there grewe, Whose beauty and whose shape so farre the rest dyd stayne, That from the cheef of Veron youth he greatest fame dyd gayne, Hath found a mayde so fayre (he founde so foul his happe) Whose beauty, shape, and comely grace, did so his heart entrappe; That from his owne affayres his thought she did remove; Onely he sought to honor her, to serve her and to love. To her he writeth oft, oft messengers are sent, At length, in hope of better spede, himselfe the lover went; Present to pleade for grace, which absent was not founde, And to discover to her eye his new receaved wounde. But she that from her youth was fostred evermore With vertues foode, and taught in schole of wisdomes skilfull lore, By aunswere did cutte of thaffections of his love, That he no more occasion had so vayne a sute to move : So sterne she was of chere, (for all the payne he tooke) That, in reward of toyle, she would not geve a frendly looke; And yet how much she did with constant minde retyre, So much the more his fervent minde was prickt fourth by desyre, But when he, many monthes, hopeless of his recure, Had served her, who forced not what paynes he did endure, At length he thought to leave Verona, and to prove If chaunge of place might chaunge away his ill-bestowed love ; And speaking to himselfe, thus gan he make his mone: “ What booteth me to love and serve a fell unthankfull one, Sith that my humble sute, and labour sowde in vayne, Can reape none other fruite at all but scorne and proude disdayne? What way she seekes to goe, the same I seeke to runne, But she the path wherein I treade with spedy flight doth shunne. I cannot live except that nere to her I be; She is ay best content when she is farthest of from me. Wherefore henceforth I will farre from her take my fight; Perhaps, mine eye once banished by absence from her sight,

This fyre of myne, that by her pleasant eyne is fed,
Shall little and little weare away, and quite at last be ded."

But whilest he did decree this purpose still to kepe,
A contrary repugnant thought sanke in his breast so depe,
That douteful is he now which of the twayne is best,
In syghs, in teares, in plainte, in care, in sorrow and unrest,
He mones the daye, he wakes the long and werey night;
So depe hath love, with pearcing hand, ygrav'd her bewty bright
Within his brest, and hath so mastred quyte his hart,
That he of force must yelde as thrall;- no way is left to start.
He cannot staye his steppe, but forth styll must be ronne,
He languisheth and melts awaye, as snowe agaynst the sonne.
His kyndred and alyes do wonder what he ayles,
And éche of them in friendly wyse his heavy hap bewayles.
But one emong the rest, the trustiest of his feeres,
Farre more than he with counsel fild, and ryper of his

yeeres, Gan sharply him rebuke; such love to him he bare, That he was fellow of his smart, and partner of his care. “ What meanst thou Romeus, quoth he, what doting rage Doth make thee thus consume away the best part of thine age, In seking her that scornes, and hydes her from thy sight, Not forsing all thy great expence, ne yet thy honor bright, Thy teares, thy wretched lyfe, ne thine unspotted truth, Which are of force, I weene, to move the hardest hart to ruthe? Now, for our frendships sake, and for thy health, I pray That thou hencefoorth become thine owne;-0 give no more

away Unto a thankles wight thy pretious free estate : In that thou lovest such a one thou seemst thy self to hate. For she doth love els where, and then thy time is lorne; Or els (what bootest thee to sue?) Loves court she hath for

sworne. Both yong thou art of yeres, and high in Fortunes grace: What man is better shapd than thou? who hath a sweeter face? By painfull studies meane great learning hast thou wonne, Thy parents have none other heyre, thou art theyr onely sonne. What greater greefe, trowst thou, what woful dedly smart, Should so be able to distraine thy seely fathers hart, As in his age to see thee plonged deepe in vice, When greatest hope he hath to heare thy vertues fame arise ? What shall thy kinsmen think, thou cause of all their ruthe? Thy dedly foes doe laugh to skorne thy yll-employed youth. Wherefore my counsell is, that thou henceforth beginne To knowe and flye the errour which to long thou livedst in. Remove the veale of love that kepes thine eyes so blynde, That thou ne canst the ready path of thy forefathers fynde. But if unto thy will so much in thrall thou art, Yet in some other place bestowe thy witles wandring hart. VOL, VI.

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Choose out some woorthy dame, her honor thou, and serve,
Who will give eare to thy complaint, and pitty ere thou sterve.
But sow no more thy paynes in such a barraine soyle
As yelds in harvest time no crop, in recompence of toyle.
Ere long the townish dames together will resort,
Some one of beauty, favour, shape, and of so lovely porte,
With so fast fixed eye perhaps thou mayst beholde,
That thou shalt quite forget thy love and passions past of olde.”

The yong mans listning eare receivd the holsome sounde,
And reasons truth y-planted so, within his heade had grounde ;
That now with healthy coole y-tempred is the heate,
And piece meale weares away the greefe that erst his heart did

freate. To his approved frend a solemne othe he plight, At every feast y-kept by day, and banquet made by night, At pardons in the churche, at games in open streate, And every where he would resort where ladies wont to mete; Eke should his savage heart like all indifferently, For he would vew and judge them all with unallured eye. How happy had he been, had he not been forsworne ! But twice as happy had he been, had he been never borne. For ere the moone could thrise her wasted hornes renew, False Fortune cast for him, poore wretch, a mischiefe new to

brewe. The wery winter nightes restore the Christmas games, And now the seson doth invite to banquet townish dames. And fyrst in Capels house, the chiefe of all the kyn Sparth for no cost, the wonted use of banquets to begin. No lady fayre or fowle was in Verona towne, No knight or gentleman of high or lowe renowne, But Capilet himselfe hath byd unto his feast, Or, by his name in paper sent, appointed as a geast. Yong damsels thither flocke, of bachelers a rowte, Not so much for the banquets sake, as bewties to serche out. But not a Montagew would enter at his gate, (For, as you heard, the Capilets and they were at debate) Save Romeus, and he in maske, with hydden face, The supper done, with other five did prease into the place. When they had maskd a while with dames in courtly wise, All did unmaske; the rest did shew them to theyr ladies eyes; But bashfull Romeus with shamefast face forsooke The open prease, ane him withdrew into the chambers nooke. But brighter than the sunne the waxen torches shone, That, maugre what he could, he was espyd of every one, But of the women cheefe, theyr gasing eyes that threwe, To woonder at his sightly shape, and bewties spotless hewe; With which the heavens him had and nature so bedect, That ladies, thought the fayrest dames, were fowle in his respect.

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