thou drain the life-blood of the child To bid the father wipe his eyes withal, And yet be seen to bear a woman's face?
My love, this is the bitterest, that thou -- Who art all truth, and who dost love me now As thine eyes say, as thy voice breaks to say -- Shouldst love so truly, and couldst
love me still A whole long life through, had but love its will, Would death that leads me from thee brook delay.
Near the end of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra, the Egyptian queen apostrophizes the deadly asp which she takes to her bosom: "O, couldst
thou speak, / That I might hear thee call great Caesar ass / Unpolicied
Drink with me, and drink as I: Freely welcome to my cup, Couldst
thou sip, and sip it up: Make the most of life you may, Life is short and wears away.
Lucreces question might thus become our own about the very status of the text at hand: "Why work'st thou mischief in thy pilgrimage, / Unless thou couldst
return to make amends?
thou fix on mortal ground Thy tender thoughts and high?
Tall sturdy Puritan knave for soe tearmed was thy name By playeres whome thou tearmest rogues to thy face spake ye same Thou saiedst by the statutes thou woulds affirme thy talle which when thou hadst brought them forth thou couldst
not at all.
That very time I saw, but thou couldst
not, Flying between the cold moon and the earth Cupid, all armed.
Always cloth he destroy who hath to be a creator," including self-destruction: "Ready must thou be to burn thyself in shine own flame; how couldst
thou become new if thou have not first become ashes
Yet hadst thou alway visions of our light, And long with men of care thou couldst
not stay, And soon thy foot resumed its wandering way, Left human haunt, and on alone till night.
If thou couldst
, doctor, cast The water of my land, find her disease, And purge it to a sound and pristine health, I would applaud thee to the very echo That should applaud again.
neither of which places belonged to thee, and whereto thou couldst
not make any lawful pretence:(5) And thou threatenest me every day to take away that little which is left me: What shall become of the poor miserable Caribbian?