Twelfth Night: Act 1, Scene 1
Enter DUKE ORSINO, CURIO,
and other Lords; Musicians attending.
1If music be the food of love, play on;
2Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
3The appetite may sicken, and so die.
3. The appetite may sicken, and so die: Orsino, worried
4That strain again! it had a dying fall:
4. dying fall: slowing rhythm and/or diminishing volume.
5O, it came o'er my ear like the sweet sound,
6That breathes upon a bank of violets,
7Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
8'Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
9O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
9. quick and fresh: keen and hungry.
10That, notwithstanding thy capacity
11Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
12Of what validity and pitch soe'er,
12. validity: value. pitch: height.
13But falls into abatement and low price,
13. abatement: decline. price: worth.
14Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
14. so full of shapes is fancy: So full of daydreams is love.
15That it alone is high fantastical.
15. high fantastical: supremely imaginative.
16Will you go hunt, my lord?
16. hart: stag.
17Why, so I do, the noblest that I have:
17. the noblest that I have: i.e., the noblest "hart" I have, my heart.
18O, when mine eyes did see Olivia first,
19Methought she purged the air of pestilence!
20That instant was I turn'd into a hart;
20. I turn'd into a hart: Orsinio compares himself to Actaeon.
21And my desires, like fell and cruel hounds,
21. fell: fierce.
22E'er since pursue me.
22How now! what news from her?
23So please my lord, I might not be admitted;
24But from her handmaid do return this answer:
25The element itself, till seven years' heat,
25. element: sky. seven years' heat: seven summers.
26Shall not behold her face at ample view;
26. at ample view: in full view, without a veil.
27But, like a cloistress, she will veiled walk
27. cloistress: secluded nun.
28And water once a day her chamber round
29With eye-offending brine: all this to season
29. eye-offending brine: salty tears. season: preserve.
30A brother's dead love, which she would keep fresh
30. brother's dead love: dead brother's love.
31And lasting in her sad remembrance.
32O, she that hath a heart of that fine frame
32. frame: condition, as in a good frame of mind.
33To pay this debt of love but to a brother,
34How will she love, when the rich golden shaft
34. golden shaft: Cupid's golden arrow.
35Hath kill'd the flock of all affections else
35. affections else: other affections.
36That live in her; when liver, brain and heart,
37These sovereign thrones, are all supplied, and fill'd
37. sovereign thrones: The liver, brain, and heart are all 38. one self king: one and only king.
38Her sweet perfections with one self king!
39Away before me to sweet beds of flowers:
40Love-thoughts lie rich when canopied with bowers.