« PreviousContinue »
For to no other pass my verses tend,
And more, much more, than in my verse can sit,
To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred.-
“ When workmen strive to do better than well,
“ They do confound their skill.” Steevens. Again, more appositely, in King Lear:
“Striving to better, oft we mar what's well." Malone. s Have from the forests shook TAREE SUMMERS' PRIDE,] So, in Romeo and Juliet : “Let two more summers wither in their pride."
STEEVENS. 6 Three beauteous SPRINGS to yelLOW AUTUMN turn'd.] So, in Macbeth:
“— my way of life
“ Is fallen into the sear, the yellow leaf." MALONE. 7 Ah! yet doth beauty, like a dial-hand,
STEAL from his figure, and no PACE PERCEIV'D:] So, before:
“ Thou by thy dial's shady stealth may know
“ Time's thievish progress to eternity." Again, in King Richard III. :
“ - mellow'd by the stealing hours of time.” Malone.
Fair, kind, and true, have often liv'd alone,
8 So your sweet hue, which methinks STILL DOTH STAND, Hath motion,] So, in The Winter's Tale :
“ The fixure of her eye hath motion in it.” Malone. Again, in Othello:
" - for the time of scorn
“ To point his slow, unmoving finger at.” Steevens. , 9 Then, in the blazon of sweet beauty's best,
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,] So, in Twelfth Night:
“ Thy tongue, thy face, thy limbs, &c.
“ Do give thee five-fold blazon." STEEVENS.
“ Between the promise of his greener days,
So all their praises are but prophecies
For we which now behold these present days,
CVII. Not mine own fears, nor the prophetick soul Of the wide world dreaming on things to come, Can yet the lease of my true love control, Suppos'd as forfeit to a confin'd doom. The mortal moon hath her eclipse endur'd“, And the sad augurs mock their own presage' ; Incertainties now crown themselves assur'd, And peace proclaims olives of endless age. Now with the drops of this most balmy time My love looks fresh, and death to me subscribes, Since, spite of him, I'll live in this poor rhyme, While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes 6 :
2 They had not skill enough your worth to sing :] The old copy has :
« They had not still enough." For the present emendation the reader is indebted to Mr. Tyr. whitt. MALONE. 3 — the PROPHETICK SOUL-1 So, in Hamlet:
“ Oh my prophetick soul! mine uncle." STBEVENS. 4 The MORTAL MOON hath her ECLIPSE endur'd,] So, in Antony and Cleopatra :
“ Alas, our terrene moon is now eclips'd !” Steevens. 5 And the sad augurs Mock their own presage,] I suppose he means that they laugh at the futility of their own predictions.
STEBVENS. 6 - and death to me suBSCRIBES,
Since, spite of him, I'll live in this poor rhyme,
While he insults o'er dull and speechless tribes ;7 To subscribe, is to acknowledge as a superior, to obey. So, in Troilus and Cressida:
“ For Hector in his blaze of wrath subscribes
And thou in this shalt find thy monument,
Finding the first conceit of love there bred, Where time and outward form would show it dead.
So, in Dr. Young's Busiris ;
“ Like death, a solitary king I'll reign,
“ O'er silent subjects and a desert plain." Steevens. 7 - what new to register,] The quarto is here manifestly erroneous. It reads :
“ what now to register.” Malone. Why manifestly erroneous ? 'What can I say now more than I have said already in your praise?' BOSWELL.
8 – in love's fresh case-] By the case of love the poet means his own compositions. Malone
9 Weighs not the dust, &c.] A passage in Love's Labour's Lost will at once exemplify and explain this phrase : “ You weigh me not,-0, that's you care not for me."
STEVENS. VOL. XX.
That is my home of love: if I have rang'd,
For nothing this wide universe I call,
СХ. Alas, 'tis true, I have gone here and there, And made myself a motley to the view * ; Gor'd mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most
dear, Made old offences of affections new:
As from my soul, which in THY BREAST doth lie:] So, in Love's Labour's Lost :
“ Hence ever then my heart is in thy breast." See also Venus and Adonis, p. 45, n. 8. Malone. ? That is my home of love : if I have rang’d,
Like him that travels, I RETURN again ;] Thus, in a Midsummer-Night's Dream :
“ My heart with her but as guest-wise sojourn'd,
“ And now to Helen it is home return'd." So also, Prior:
“ No matter what beauties I saw in my way,
MALONE. 3 All frailties that BESIEGE all kinds of blond,] So, in Timon of Athens :
“ To whom all sores lay siege.” Steevens. 4 And made myself a MOTLEY to the view,] Appeared like a fool (of whom the dress was formerly a motley coat). Malone.
s Gor'd mine own thoughts,] I know not whether this be a quaintness, or a corruption. Steevens.
The text is probably not corrupt, for our author has employed the same word in Troilus and Cressida :
“My fame is shrewdly gor'd."