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Some purer chest to close so pure a mind.
Frantick with grief, thus breathes she forth her spight,
Against the unseen secrecy of night.
O comfort-killing night ! image of hell !
Dim register ! and notary of shame !
Black stage for tragedies ! and murders fell !
Vast sin-concealing chaos! nurse of blame !
Blind muffled bawd ! dark harbour of defame !
Grim cave of death! whispering conspirator
With close-tongued treason and the ravisher!
O hateful, vaporous, and foggy night!
Since thou art guilty of my cureless crime,
Muster thy mists to meet the eastern light,
Make war against proportion'd course of time ;
Or if thou wilt permit the sun to climb
His wonted height, yet ere he go to bed,
Knit poisonous clouds about his golden head.
With rotten damps ravish the morning air,
Let their exhal'd unwholsome breaths make sick
The life of purity, the supreme fair,
Ere he arrive his weary noon-tide prick ;
And let thy misty vapours march so thick,
That in their smoaky ranks his smother'd light,
May set at noon, and make perpetual night.
Were Tarquin night, as he is but night's child,
The silver-shining queen him would disdain ;
Her twinkling handmaids too, by him defil'd,
Thro' night's black bosom should not peep again.
So should I have copartners in my pain :
And fellowship in woe doth woe assuage,
As palmers, that make short their pilgrimage
Where now ? have I no one to blush with me?
To cross their arms, and hang their heads with mine ;
To mask their brows, and hide their infamy,
But I alone, alone must sit and pine ;
Seasoning the earth with showers of silver brine;
Mingling my talk with tears, my grief with groans,
Poor wasting monuments of lasting moans..
O night ! thou furnace of foul-reeking smoke !
Let not the jealous day behold that face,
Which underneath thy black, all-hiding cloak
Im i odestly lies martyr'd with disgrace ;
Keep still possession of thy gloomy place,
That all the faults, which in thy reign are made,
May likewise be sepulchred in thy shade.
Make me not object to the tell-tale day ;
The light shall shew, character'd in my brow,
The story of sweet chastity's decay,
The impious breach of holy wedlock's vow.
Yea, the illiterate, that know not how
To cypher what is writ in learned books,
Will quote my loathsome trespass in my looks.
The nurse, to still her child, will tell my story,
And fright her crying babe with Tarquin's name?
The orator, to deck his oratory,
Will couple my reproach to Tarquin's shame.
Feast-finding minstrels, tuning my defame,
Will tie the hearers to attend each line,
How Tarquin wronged me, I Colatine.
Let my good name, that senseless reputation,
For Colatine's dear love be kept unspotted ;
If that be made a theme for disputation.
The branches of another root are rotted,
And undeserved reproach to him allotted,
That is as clear from this attaint of mine,
As I, ere this, was pure to Colatine.
O unseen shame! invisible disgrace ;
O unfelt sore ! crest-wounding private scar!
Reproach is stampt in Colatinus' face,
And Tarquin's eye may read the mote afar,
How he in peace is wounded, not in war.
Alas ! how many bear such shameful blows,
Which not themselves, but he that gives them knows?
If, Colatine, thine honour lay in me,
From me, by strong assault, it is bereft,
My honey lost, and I a drone-like bee,
Have no perfection of my summer left,
But robb’d and ransack'd by injurious theft :
In thy weak hive a wand'ring wasp hath crept,
And suck'd the honey which thy chaste bee kept.
Yet am I guilty of thy honour's wreck ?
Yet for thy honour did I entertain him;
Coming from thee, I could not put him back,
For it had been dishonour to disdain him ;
Besides, of weariness he did complain him,
And talk'd of virtue : 0) unlook'd for evil !
When yirtue is profan'd in such a devil !
Why should the worm intrude the maiden bud?
Or hateful cuckows hatch in sparrows' nests?
Or toads infect fair founts with venom mud?
Or tyrant folly lurk in gentle breasts ?
Or kings be breakers of their own behests?
But no perfection is so absolute,
That some impurity doth not pollute.
The aged man, that coffers up his gold,
Is plagu'd with cramps, and gouts, and painful fits ;
And scarce hath eyes his treasure to behold:
But still like pining Tantalus he sits,
And useless bans the harvest of his wits.
Having no other pleasure of his gain,
But torment that it cannot cure his pain.
So then he hath it, when he cannot use it,
And leaves it to be master'd by his young,
Who in their pride do presently abuse it;
Their father was too weak and they too strong
To hold their cursed, blessed fortune long.
The sweets we wish for, turn to loathed sours,
E'en in the moment that we call them ours.
Unruly blasts wait on the tender spring,
Unwholesome weeds take root with precious flowers ;
The adder hisseth where the sweet birds sing;
What virtue breeds, iniquity devours ;
We have no good, that we can say is ours.
But ill annexed opportunity,
Or kills his life, or else his quality.
0! opportunity! thy guilt is great ;
'Tis thou that execut'st the traitor's treason,
Thou sett'st the wolf where he the lamb may get;
Whoever plots the sin, thou point'st the season ;
'Tis thou that spurn'st at right, at law, at reason:
And in thy shady cell, where none may spy her,
Sits sin to seize the souls that wander by her.
Thou mak'st. the vestal violate her oath,
Thou blow'st the fire when temperance is thaw'do.
Thou smother'st honesty, thou murder'st troth,
Thou foul abettor, thou notorious bawd !
Thou plantest scandal, and displacest laud.
Thou ravisher, thou traitor, thou false thief !
Thy honey turns to gall, thy joy to grief.
Thy secret pleasure turns to open shame,
Thy private feasting to a publick fast,
Thy smothering titles to a ragged name,
Thy sugar'd tongue to bitter wormwood taste ;:
Thy violent vanities can never last,.
How comes it, then, vile opportunity,
Being so bad, such numbers seek for thee.
When wilt thou be the humble suppliant's friend,
And bring him where his suit may be obtain'd?
When wilt thou sort an hour great strifes to end?
Or free that soul, which wretchedness hath chain'd?
Give physick to the sick, ease to the pain’d?.
The poor, lame, blind, halt, creep, cry out for thee,
But they ne'er meet with opportunity.
The patient dies, while the physician sleeps ;
The orphan pines, while the oppressor feeds ;
Justice is feasting, while the widow weeps;
Advice is sporting, while infection breeds ;
Thou grant'st no time for charitable deeds.
Wrath, envy, treason, rape and murder rages,
Thy heinous hours wait on them as their pagesi.
When truth and virtue have to do with thee,
A thousand crosses keep them from thy aid ;
They buy thy help: but sin ne'er gives a fee,
He gratis comes, and thou art weli apaid,
As well to hear as grant what he hath said.
My Colatine would else have come to me,
When Tarquin did, but he was staid by thee.
Guilty thou art of murder and of theft;
Guilty of perjury and subornation;
Guilty of treason, forgery and shift;
Guilty of incest, that abomination :
An accessary by thine inclination
To all sins past, and all that are to come,
From the creation to the general doom.
Mishapen time, copesmate of ugly night;
Swift, subtle post, carrier of grisly care ;
Eater of youth, false slave to false delight,
Base watch of woes, sin's pack-horse, virtue's snare ;
'Thou nursest all, and murder’st all that are.
O hear me then, injurious shifting time !
Be guilty of my death, since of my crime.
Why hath thy servant opportunity,
Betrayed the hours thou gay'st me to repose ?
Cancell'd my fortunes, and inchained me
To endless date of never-ending woes?
Time's office is to find the hate of foes,
To eat up error by opinion bred,
Not spend the dowry of a lawful bed.
Time's glory is to calm contending kings,
To unmask falsehood, and bring truth to light,
To stamp the seal of time on aged things,
To wake the morn, and sentinel the night,
To wrong the wronger, till he render right,
To ruinate proud buildings with thy hours,
And smear with dust their glittering golden towers.
To fill with worm-holes stately monuments,
To feed oblivion with decay of things,
To blot old books, and alter their contents,
To pluck the quills from ancient ravens' wings;
To dry the old oak’s sap, and cherish springs,
To spoil antiquities of hammer'd steel,
And turn the giddy round of fortune's wheel.