Ben Jonson

"The Sad Shepherd. Act 1. Scene 5."

        Robin-hood, Clarion, Mellifleur, Lionel, Amie, Alken, Karolin, AEglamour, sitting upon a Bank by.

    Cla. See where he sits.
    AEg. It will be rare, rare, rare!
An exquisite revenge: But peace, no words!
Not for the fairest Fleece of all the Flock:
If it be known afore, 'tis all worth nothing!
I'll carve it on the Trees, and in the Turfe,
On every Greensworth, and in every Path,
Just to the Margin of the cruel Trent;
There will I knock the Story in the Ground,
In smooth great Pebble, and Moss fill it round,
Till the whole Countrey read how she was drown'd.
And with the plenty of salt Tears there shed,
Quite Alter The Complexion of the Spring.
Or I will get some old, old Grandam thither,
Whose rigid Foot but dip'd into the Water,
Shall strike that sharp, and sudden cold throughout,
As it shall lose all Vertue; and those Nimphs,
Those treacherous Nimphs, pull'd in Earine;
Shall stand curl'd up, like images of Ice;
And never Thaw! Mark, never! a sharp Justice:
Or stay, a better! when the year's at hottest,
And that the Dog-Star foams, and the Stream boils,
And curls, and works, and swells ready to sparkle:
To fling a fellow with a Fever in,
To set it all on fire, till it burn
Blue as Scamander, 'fore the Walls of Troy;
When Vulcan leap'd in to him, to consume him.
    Rob. A deep hurt phant'sie.
    AEg. Do you not approve it?
    Rob. Yes, gentle EAglamour, we all approve,
And come to gratulate your just Revenge:
Which since it is so perfect, we now hope,
You'll leave all care thereof, and mix with us,
In all the profer'd solace of the Spring.
    AEg. A Spring, now she is dead: of what of Thorns?
Briars, and Brambles? Thisles? Burs, and Docks?
Cold Hemlock? Yew? The Mandrake, or the Box?
These may grow still; but what can spring beside?
Did not the whole Earth sicken, when she died?
As if there since did fall one drop of dew.
But what was wept for her! or any stalk
Did bear a Flower! or any branch a Bloom,
After her wreath was made: In faith, in faith,
You do not fair, to put these things upon me.
Which can in no sort be: Earine,
Who had her very Being, and her Name.
With the first knots, or buddings of the Spring,
Born with the Primrose, and the Violet,
Or earliest Roses blown: when Cupid smil'd,
And Venus let the Graces out to dance,
And all the Flowers, and Sweets in Natures lap,
Leap'd out, and made their solemn Conjuration,
To last, but while she liv'd: Do not I know,
How the Vale wither'd the same Day? How, Dove
Dean, Eye, and Erwash, Idel, Snite, and Soare
Each Broke His Urn, and twenty Waters more,
That swell'd proud Trent, shrunk themselves dry;
No Sun, or Moon, or other chearful Star,
Look'd out of Heaven! but all the Cope was dark,
As it were hung so for her Exequies!
And not a voice or sound, to ring her knell:
But of that dismal pair, the scritching Owl,
And buzzing Hornet! hark, hark, hark the foul
Bird! how she flutters with her wicker Wings!
Peace, you shall hear her scritch.
    Cla. Good Karolin, sing,
Help to divert this Phant'sie. Kar. All I can.

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