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"Ah pleasant prop of all my thoughts, ah onely grounde Of all the sweete delightes that yet in all my lyfe I founde, Did such assured trust within thy hart repose,
That in this place and at this time, thy church-yard thou hast
Betwixt the armes of me, thy perfect loving make,
And thus by meanes of me to ende thy life, and for my sake! Even in the flowring of thy youth, when unto thee
Thy lyfe most deare (as to the most) and pleasant ought to bee, How could this tender corps withstand the cruell fight
Of furious death, that wonts to fray the stoutest with his sight?
In this so fowle infected place to dwell, where now thou art?
The dainte foode of greedy wormes, unworthy sure of thee.
My wonted sorowes, doubled twise, againe thus to renewe:
Should now at length have quenched quite, and under foote have
Ah wretch and caytive that I am, even when I thought
To fynd my painfull passions salve, I myst the thing I sought; And to my mortall harme the fatal knife I grounde,
That gave to me so depe, so wide, so cruell dedly wounde.
Ah thou, most fortunate and most unhappy tombe!
For thou shalt beare, from age to age, witnes in time to comme Of the most perfect league betwixt a payre of lovers,
That were the most unfortunate and fortunate of others;
Receave the latter sigh, receave the latter pang,
Of the most cruell of cruell slaves that wrath and death ay
And when our Juliet would continue still her mone,
The fryer and the servant fled, and left her there alone;
For they a sodayne novse fast by the place did heare,
And lest they might be taken there, greatly they stoode in feare.
When Juliet saw herselfe left in the vaulte alone,
That freely she might woorke her will, for let or stay was none,
That more then by the feare o death, she was attaint by love;
With hasty hand she did draw out the dagger that he ware.
And thou my loving lord, Romeus, my trusty feere,
If knowledge yet doe rest in thee, if thou these woordes dost heer,
That causd alas! thy violent death, although unwillingly;
To thend that no wight els but thou might have just cause to
Thinjoying of my love, which ay I have reserved
Free from the rest, bound unto thee, that hast it well deserved :
These said, her ruthlesse hand through gyrt her valiant hart: Ah, ladies, helpe with teares to wayle the ladies dedly smart! She grones, she stretcheth out her limmes, she shuttes her eyes, And from her corps the sprite doth flye;-what should I say? she
The watchmen of the towne the whilst are passed by,
And through the gates the candle light within the tombe they spye;
That with prepared instruments had opend wide the tombe,
Which, by their science ayde abusde, do stand them oft in sted.
Then they by certaine steppes descend, where they do fynd below, In clasped armes y-wrapt the husband and the wyfe,
In whom as yet they seemd to see somme certaine markes of lyfe.
But when more curiously with leysure they did vew,
The certainty of both theyr deathes assuredly they knew:
In dungeon depe that night they lodgde them under grounde;
The great, the small, the riche, the poore, the yong, the olde,
(Like as the murders brute abrode through all the towne was
The prince did straight ordaine, the corses that were founde
Have murmured, or faynd there were some waighty cause
In great reproche set to the shew upon the open stage,
His beard as whyte as mylke he bathes with great fast-falling
Whom straight the dredfull judge commaundeth to declare Both, how this murther hath been donne, and who the murther
For that he nere the tombe was found at howres unfitte,
And had with hym those yron tooles for such a purpose fitte.
The judges words appald him not, ne were his wittes to seeche.
And then with bold assured voyce aloud thus gan he say:
My former passed lyfe, and this my extreme age,
And eke this heavy sight, the wreke of frantike Fortunes rage, But that, amased much, doth wonder at this chaunge,
So great, so sodainly befalne, unlooked for, and straunge.
For I that in the space of sixty yeres and tenne,
Since fyrst I did begin, to soone, to lead my lyfe with men,
Ne is there any stander by can make me gylty blushe;
Myselfe to be the sinfulst wretch of all this mighty presse.
My great accompt, which no man els for me shall undertake;
Even then, am I, most wretched wight, as eche of you doth
Through my most haynous deede, with hedlong sway throwne
In greatest daunger of my lyfe, and damage of renowne.
The spring, whence in your head this new conceite doth ryse, (And in your hart increaseth still your vayne and wrong sur
May be the hugenes of these teares of myne, percase,
You say these present yrons are, and the suspected time:
As though all howres alike had not been made above!
Did Christ not say, the day had twelve? whereby he sought to
That no respect of howres ought justly to be had;
But at all times men have the choyce of doing good or bad;
As for the yrons that were taken in my hand,
As now I deeme, I nede not seeke to make ye understand
How of it selfe it helpeth not, ne yet can hurt a man.
The thing that hurteth is the malice of his will,
That such indifferent thinges is wont to use and order yll,
That neither these my piteous teares, though nere so fast they flowe,
Ne yet these yron tooles, nor the suspected time,
Can justly prove the murther donne, or damne me of the cryme:
But sure my conscience, if I so gylt deserve,
For an appeacher, witnesse, and a hangman, eke should serve ;
But to the end I may set all your hartes at rest,
And pluck out all the scrupuls that are rooted in your brest,
Of this most wofull tragedy, and shew both thend and sourse
With strong and patient hart dyd yelde them selfe to cruell death:
And of theyr promyst frend shippes fayth so stedy was the troth." And then the auncient fryer began to make discourse,
Even from the first, of Romeus and Juliets amours;
How first by sodayn sight the one the other chose,
And twixt themselfe dyd knitte the knotte which onely death might lose;
And how, within a while, with hotter love opprest,
Under confessions cloke, to him themselfe they have addrest;
And all thinges peysed well, it seemed meet to bee
(For lyke they were of noblenesse, age, riches, and degree);
Of Montagewes and Capelets, that led in hate theyr lyfe,
In secret shrift he wedded them; and they the selfe same night
As well doth know (if she be askt) the nurce of Juliet.
He told how Romeus fled for reving Tybalts lyfe,
And how, the whilst, Paris the earle was offred to his wife;
And how to shrift unto his church she came to him agayne;
His soule to be spotted somdeale with small and easy cryme,
Murther her selfe, and daunger much her seely soule by death:
A certain powder gave he her, that made her slepe so sure,
With letters sent to Romeus to Mantua is gone;
Of whom he knoweth not as yet, what is become;
And how that dead he found his frend within her kindreds tombe..
And how they could not save her, so they were afeard,
And hidde themselfe, dreading the noyse of watchmen, that they