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A LOVER'S COMPLAINT.

A LOVER'S COMPLAINT.

From off a hill whose concave womb re-worded
A painful story from a sistering vale,
My spirits to attend this double voice accorded,
And down I laid to list the sad-tuned tale :
Ere long espied a fickle maid full pale,
Tearing of papers, breaking rings a-twain,
Storming her world with sorrow's wind and rain.

Upon her head a platted hive of straw,
Which fortified her visage from the sun,
Whereon the thought might think sometime it saw
The carcass of a beauty spent and done.
Time had not scythed all that youth begun,
Nor youth all quit; but, spite of Heaven's fell

rage,
Some beauty peeped through lattice of scared

ed age.

Re-orded, echoed. 2 Laid. So the original. But it is usually more correctly printed lay. The idiomatic grammar of Shakspeare's age ought not to be removed.

Oft did she heave her napkin' to her eyne,
Which on it had conceited characters,
Laund’ring the silken figures in the brine
That seasoned woe had pelleted' in tears,
And often reading what contents it bears;
As often shrieking undistinguished woe,
In clamors of all size, both high and low.

Sometimes her levelled eyes their carriage ride,
As they did battery to the spheres intend ; 5
Sometime diverted their poor balls are tied
To th’ orbéd earth : sometimes they do extend
Their view right on; anon their gazes lend
To erery place at once, and nowhere fixed,
The mind and sight distractedly commixed.

Her hair, nor loose, nor tied in formal plat,
Proclaimed in her a careless hand of pride ;
For some, untucked, descended her sheaved? hat,
Hanging her pale and pinéd cheek beside ;
Some in her threaden fillet still did bide,
And, true to bondage, would not break from thence,
Though slackly braided in loose negligence.

i Napkin, handkerchief. Iago says, of Desdemona's fatal handkerchief,

“I am glad I have found this napkin.” 2 Conceited characters, fanciful figures worked on the handkerchief.

3 Laund'ring, washing.
4 Pelleted, formed into pellets, or small balls.

5 Shakspeare often employs the metaphor of a picce of ord. nance ; but what in his plays is generally a slight allusion here becomes a somewhat quaint conceit.

6 Thorbéd. We retain orbéd as a dissyllable, according to the original. Mr. Dyce has the orbed.

7 Sheaved, made of straw, collected from sheaves.

A thousand favors from a maund? she drew
Of amber, crystal, and of bedded jet,?
Which one by one she in a river threw,
Upon whose weeping margent she was set;
Like usury, applying wet to wet,
Or monarch's hands, that let not bounty fall
Where want cries “ some,” but where excess begs all.

Of folded schedules had she many a one,
Which she perused, sighed, tore, and gave the flood;
Cracked many a ring of posied gold and bone,
Bidding them find their sepulchres in mud;
Found yet mo: letters sadly penned in blood
With sleided silk 4 feat and affectedly
Enswathed, and sealed to curious secresy.

1 Maund, a basket. The word is used in the old translation of the Bible.

2 Bedded. So the original, the word probably meaning jet imbedded, or set, in some other substance. Steevens has beaded jet, - jet formed into beads; which Mr. Dyce adopts. 3 Mo, more.

This word is now invaribly printed more. It occurs in subsequent stanzas. Why should we destroy this little archaic beauty by a rage for modernizing ?

4 Sleided silk. The commentators explain this as “ untwisted silk.” In the chorus to the fourth act of Pericles, Marina is pictured, —

• When she weaved the sleided silk With fingers long, small, white as milk.”

Percy, in a note on this passage, says, “ untwisted silk, prepared to be used in the weaver's sley." The first part of this description is certainly not correct. The silk is not untwisted, for it must be spun before it is woven ; and a strong twisted silk is exactly what was required when letters were to be sealed “ feat” (neatly)“ to curious secresy." In Mr. Ramsay's introduction to his valuable edition of the Paston Letters, the old mode of sealing a letter is clearly described : " It was carefully folded, and fastened at the end by a sort of paper strap, upon which the seal was affixed ; and under the seal a string, a silk thread, or even a straw, was fre. quently placed running

around the letter."

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