Romeus and Juliet: Lines 89-140



  But whilst he did decree this purpose still to keep,
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A contrary, repugnant thought sank in his breast so deep,
That doubtful is he now which of the twain is best:
In sighs, in tears, in plaint, in care, in sorrow and unrest,
He moans the day, he wakes the long and weary night;
So deep hath love with piercing hand, y-graved her beauty bright
Within his breast, and hath so mastered quite his heart,
That he of force must yield as thrall; -- no way is left to start.
He cannot stay his step, but forth still must he run;
He languisheth and melts away, as snow against the sun.
His kindred and allies do wonder what he ails,
100
And each of them in friendly wise his heavy hap bewails.
But one among the rest, the trustiest of his feres,
Far more than he with counsel filled, and riper of his years,
'Gan sharply him rebuke, such love to him he bare,
That he was fellow of his smart, and partner of his care.
"What mean'st thou, Romeus, quoth he, what doting rage
Doth make thee thus consume away the best part of thine age,
In seeking her that scorns, and hides her from thy sight,
Not forcing all thy great expense, ne yet thy honour bright,
Thy tears, thy wretched life, ne thine unspotted truth,
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Which are of force, I ween, to move the hardest heart to ruth?
Now for our friendship's sake, and for thy health, I pray,
That thou henceforth become thine own. -- Oh, give no more away
Unto a thankless wight thy precious free estate;
In that thou lovest such a one, thou seem'st thyself to hate.
For she doth love elsewhere, -- and then thy time is lorn,
Or else (what booteth thee to sue?) Love's court she hath forsworn.
Both young thou art of years, and high in Fortune's grace:
What man is better shaped than thou ? Who hath a sweeter face?
By painful studies' mean, great learning hast thou won;
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Thy parents have none other heir, thou art their only son.
What greater grief, trowst thou, what woeful deadly smart
Should so be able to distrain thy seely father's heart,
As in his age to see thee plungéd deep in vice,
When greatest hope he hath to hear thy virtue's fame arise?
What shall thy kinsmen think, thou cause of all their ruth?
Thy deadly foes do laugh to scorn thy ill-employéd youth.
Wherefore my counsel is, that thou henceforth begin
To know and fly the error which too long thou livedst in.
Remove the veil of love, that keeps thine eyes so blind,
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That thou ne canst the ready path of thy forefathers find.
But if unto thy will so much in thrall thou art,
Yet in some other place bestow thy witless wand'ring heart.
Choose out some worthy dame, her honour thou and serve,
Who will give ear to thy complaint, and pity ere thou sterve.
But sow no more thy pains in such a barren soil,
As yields in harvest time no crop, in recompense of toil.
Ere long the townish dames together will resort;
Some one of beauty, favour, shape, and of so lovely port,
With so fast fixéd eye, perhaps thou mayst behold,
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That thou shalt quite forget thy love, and passions past of old."








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