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Jul. Yon light is not day-light, I know it well;
It is fome meteor which the fun exhales,
To be to thee this night a torch-bearer,
And light thee on thy way to Mantua ;
Came dancing forth fhaking his dewy hair.
And hurles his gliftering beams thro' gloomy air.
Milton in his Paradife Loft.
Now morn her rofy steps in the eaftern clime
Advancing, fow'd the earth with orient pearl,
Wak'd by the circling hours, with rofy hand
Unbarr'd the gates of light.
And now went forth the morn,
Such as in higheft heaven, array'd in gold
Empyreal, from before her vanish'd night
Shot thro' with orient beams.
There is fomething rather too puerile (I think) in this conceit of Milton's:
Many more might be produced from each of these poets : I have only selected those where particular notice is taken of the morning as a perfon; there are numberless admirable defcriptions of the feveral circumstances that attend the rifing of the Day, which occafion many beautiful images, proper to the feafon; these would be too long to infert here; I fhall only add a few more lines from Beaumont and Fletcher's Faithful Shepherdefs; they likewife have many fine expreffions of the morn, to fet in competition with their brother poets; and which indeed of our English bards have not? Taylor the Water-poet boafts, that he has expreft the rifing of the fun, the morning, (I think) a thousand different ways The following is from the latter end of the 4th Act of the Faithful Shepherdefs.
See the day begins to break
And the light fhoots like a ftreak
Of fubtle fire, the wind blows cold,
While the morning doth unfold:
Now the birds begin to roufe,
And the fquirrel from the boughs,
Leaps to get in nuts and fruit;
The early lark that erft was mute,
Carols to the rifing day,
Many a note and many a lay.
Hence Milton took the hint of the following lines in his in
imitable L'Allegro :
To hear the lark begin his flight
And finging ftartle the dull night,
From his watch-tow'r in the fkies'
Till the dappled dawn doth rife.
Then ftay a while, thou shalt not go fo foon.
Rom. Let me then stay, let me be ta'en and dye;
If thou wilt have it fo, I am content.
I'll fay yon gray is not the morning's eye,
'Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia's brow;
I'll fay it is the nightingale that beats
The vaulty heav'ns fo high above our heads,
And not the lark, the meffenger of morn.
Come death, and welcome; Juliet wills it fo.
How is't my foul? let's talk, it is not day.
Juliet's Soliloquy, on drinking the Potion. Farewel-God knows when we shall meet again! I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins, That almost freezes up the heat of life.
I'll call them back again to comfort me.
Nurfe- what should fhe do here?
My difmal scene I needs must act alone:
Come vial-what if this mixture do not work at all?
Shall I of force be marry'd to the count?
No, no, this shall forbid it; lye thou there
What if it be a poifon, which the friar
Subtly hath miniftred, to have me dead,
Left in this marriage he should be dishonour'd,
Because he married me before to Romeo?
I fear, it is; and yet, methinks, it fhould not,
For he hath still been tried a holy man,
How, if, when I am laid into the tomb,
I wake before the time that Romeo
Comes to redeem me? there's a fearful point!
Shall I not then be ftifled in the vault,
To whose foul mouth no healthfome air breathes in,
And there be ftrangled ere my Romeo comes ?
Or, if I live, is it not very like,
The horrible conceit of death and night,
Together with the terror of the place,
(As in a vault, an ancient receptacle,
Where, for these many hundred years, the bones
my buried ancestors are packt;
Where bloody Tybalt, yet but green in earth,
Lies feftring in his fhroud; where, as they fay,
At fome hours in the night, fpirits refort-)
Alas, alas! is it not like, that I
So early waking, what with loathfome fmells,
And fhrieks, like mandrakes torn out of the earth,
That living mortals, hearing them, run mad.-
Or, if I wake, fhall I not be distraught,
(Invironed with all thefe hideous fears,)
And madly play with my fore-father's joints,
And pluck the mangled Tybalt from his shroud?
And in this rage, with fome great kinfman's bone,
As with a club, dafh out my defp'rate brains?
Olook, methinks, I fee my coufin's ghoft
Seeking out Romeo, that did fpit his body
Upon a rapier's point. Stay, Tybalt, stay!
Romeo, I come! this do I drink to thee.
[She throws herself on the bed.
ACT V. SCENE I.
Romeo's Defcription of, and Difcourfe with, the Apothecary.
Well, Juliet, I will lye with thee to night;
Let's fee for means-
s-O mifchief! thou art fwi't
To enter in the thought of defperate men!
(9) I do remember an apothecary,
And hereabouts he dwells, whom late I noted
In tatter'd weeds, with overwhelming brows,
Culling of fimples; meager were his looks;
Sharp mifery had worn him to the bones:
And in his needy fhop a tortoife hung,
An alligator ftuft, and other skins
Of ill-fhap'd fishes; and about his shelves
A beggarly account of empty boxes;
Green earthen pots, bladders, and mufty feeds,
Remnants of packthread, and old cakes of rofes
Were thinly scatter'd to make up a show.
Noting this penury; to myself, I said,
An if a man did need a poison now,
Whofe fale is prefent death in Mantua,
Here lives a caitiff wretch would fell it him.
Oh, this fame thought did but fore-run my need,
And this fame needy man muft fell it me
As I remember, this fhould be the houfe
Being holy day, the beggar's fhop is fhut:
What, ho! apothecary!
(9) I do, &c.] Garth, in his difpenfary, hath endeavoured to imitate this excellent defcription of Shakespear's: the lines them Selves will be the beft proof of his fuccefs:
His fhop the gazing vulgars eyes employs,
With foreign trinkets and domeftic toys,
Here mummies lay, moft reverently stale,
And there the tortoife hung her coat of mail :
Not far from fome huge fhark's devouring head,
The flying fish their finny pinions spread:
Aloft, in rows large poppy-heads were ftrung,
And near, a fcaly alligator hung:
In this place drugs, in mufty heaps decay'd:
In that, dry'd bladders, and drawn teeth are laid.
Longinus recommends a judicious choice of the moft fuitable circumftances, as elegantly productive of the fublime; I much queЯtion whether Dr. Garth's defcription will stand the test, thus confider'd, particularly in the laft circumftance,
Ap. Who calls fo loud?
Rom. Come hither, man; I fee, that thou art poor; Hold, there is forty ducats; let me have A dram of poison, fuch foon-speeding geer, As will disperse itself through all the veins, That the life-weary taker may fall dead; And that the trunk may be discharg'd of breath, As violently as hafty powder fir'd
Doth hurry from the fatal cannon's womb.
Ap. Such mortal drugs I have, but Mantua's law Is death to any he that utters them.
Rom. Art thou fo bare and full of wretchedness,
And fear'st to die? famine is in thy cheeks;
Need and oppreffion ftare within thine eyes,
Contempt and beggary hang upon thy back :
The world is not thy friend, nor the world's law;
The world affords no law to make thee rich,
Then be not poor, but break it, and take this.
Ap. My poverty; but not my will, confents.
Rom. I pay thy poverty, and not thy will.
Ap. Put this in any liquid thing you will,
And drink it off, and if you had the ftrength
Of twenty men, it would dispatch you straight.
Rom. There is thy gold; worfe poifon to mens fouls,
Doing more murthers in this loathfom world,
Than thefe poor compounds that thou may'ft not fell:
I fell thee poison, thou haft fold me none.
Farewel, buy food, and get thee into flesh.