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To whom she sobbing speaks : Oh eye of eyes !
: Why pry'st thou through my window ? leave thy peeping; Mock with thy tickling beams eyes that are sleeping:
Brand not my forehead with thy piercing light,
Thus cavils she with every thing she sees.
Like an unpractis’d swimmer plunging still,
So she, deep drenched in a sea of care,
Sometime her grief is dumb, and hath no words:
The little birds that tune their morning's joy,
True sorrow then is feelingly suffic'd,
'Tis double death to drown in ken of shore;
Who, being stopp'd, the bounding banks o'erflows:
You mocking birds, quoth she, your tunes entomb
My restless discord loves no stops nor rests';
Relish your nimble notes to pleasing ears ;
Come, Philomel, that sing'st of ravishment,
For burden-wise I'll hum on Tarquin still,
And whiles against a thorn thou bear'st thy part,
These means, as frets upon an instrument,
And for, poor bird, thou sing'st not in the day,
To creatures stern sad tunes to change their kinds :
As the poor frighted deer, that stands at gaze,
To live or die which of the twain were better,
7 My restless discord loves no stops nor RESTS;]
“Stops" and " rests both terms in music. Others occur afterwards.
8 Distress likes DUMPS,] A "dump was a melancholy piece of music, and it was sometimes used for a species of song. See Vol. ii. p. 34, and Vol. v. p. 187.
9 While thou on Tereus descant'st better skill.] i. e. With better skill; unless we suppose
“descant'st” used as a verb transitive. The substantive “descant" seems to have meant what we now call variation. See Vol. iv. p. 298. VOL. VI.
To kill myself, quoth she, alack! what were it,
Who having two sweet babes, when death takes one,
My body or my soul, which was the dearer,
Her house is sack'd, her quiet interrupted,
Then, let it not be call'd impiety,
If in this blemish'd fort I make some hole,
Yet die I will not, till my Collatine
Which by him tainted' shall for him be spent,
My honour I'll bequeath unto the knife
1 Her sacred TEMPLE] In Malone's Shakespeare by Boswell, Vol. xx. p. 173, we find the passage printed,
"Her sacred table spotted, spoil'd, corrupted," &c.
It was probably an error of the press, because it stands "temple" in Malone's Supplement," 1780, and in every old edition: the Rev. Mr. Dyce and other modern editors have happily avoided this gross mistake.
2 Which BY him tainted] Malone states that his copy of the edition, 1594, reads, "Which for him tainted." The Duke of Devonshire's "Lucrece," 1594, has "Which by him tainted," so that the error was discovered and corrected in the press.
'Tis honour to deprive dishonour'd life;
For in my death I murder shameful scorn:
Dear lord of that dear jewel I have lost,
Myself, thy friend, will kill myself, thy foe,
This brief abridgment of my will I make :
And all my fame that lives disbursed be
Thou, Collatine, shalt oversee this will:
: Thou dead, both die, and both shall victors be.
This plot of death when sadly she had laid,
3 Thou, Collatine, shalt oversee this will :] In the time of Shakespeare it was usual for testators to appoint not only executors, but overseers of their wills. Such was the case with our poet, when he named John Hall and his daughter Susanna executors, and Thomas Russell and Francis Collins overseers of his last will and testament.
- she hoarsely calls her maid,] So the ancient editions, but changed to “calls her maid” in all the modern editions. The alteration is trifling, but it is also unnecessary and inaccurate.
Her mistress she doth give demure good-morrow,
Why her two suns were cloud-eclipsed so,
But as the earth doth weep, the sun being set,
Who in a salt-way'd ocean quench their light,
A pretty while these pretty creatures stand,
Grieving themselves to guess at others' smarts,
For men have marble, women waxen, minds,
No more than wax shall be accounted evil,
Their smoothness, like a goodly champaign plain,
Though men can cover crimes with bold stern looks,