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And you , my sinews , grow not instant old !
C H A P. x x x. Hamlet's Soliloquy on Death. T.
o be, or not to be ? ---that is the question.Whether 'tis obler in the mind to suffer The stings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them?-Todieto sleep No more : and by a sleep, to say, we end The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to :- Tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish'd. To die-to sleepTo sleep? perchance to dream ?-ay, there's the
rub! For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause.-- There's the respect That makes calamity of so long life : For who would bear the whips and scorns of the Th' oppressor's wrong
proud man's contumely, The pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay, The insolence of office, and the spurns That patient merit of th' unworthy takes; When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear
To groan and sweat under a weary life;
On ! my offence is rank , it smells to hear'n,
! It hath the primal, eldest cirse upon't ; A brother's murder-Pray I cannot : Though inclination be as sharp as 'twill, My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent : And like a man to double business bound , I stand in pause , where I shall first begin, -And both neglect. What if this cursed hand Were thicker than itself with brother's blood ? Is there not rain enough in the sweet heav'ns To wash it hite as snow? Whereto serves mercy, But to confront the visage of offence ? And what's in prayer, but this two-fold force To be forestalled ere we come to fall, Or pardon'd being down ?-Then I'll look up : My fault is past. -But oh, what form of prayer Can serve my turn ? Forgive me my
foul mura der? That cannot be , since I am still possess'd Of those effects for which I did the murder, My crown , mine own ambition, and my queen. May one be pardon'd, and retain th’ offence ? In the corrupted currents of this world,
Offence's gilded hand may shove by justice;
Be soft as sinews of the new-born babe!
Nine! descend and sing,
In a sadly-pleasing strain
Let the loud trumpet sound,
The shrill echoes rebound :
Hark! the numbers soft and clear
And fill with spreading sounds the skies; Exulting in triumph now swell the bold notes, In broken air, trembling, the wild music toats!
Till, by degrees, remote and small,
The strains decay,
In a dying, dying fall.
And melt away
By Music, minds an equal temper know,
Nor swell too high, sink too low. If in the breast tumultuous joys arise, Music her soft, assuasive voice applies;
Or, when the soul is press'd with cares,
Exalts her in enlivening airs.
Melancholy lifts her head,
List'ning Envy drops her snakes;
wagen And giddy Factions hear away their rage.
While Argo saw her kindred trees
Transported demi-gods stood round,
heroes at the sound,
Love, strong as Death, the poet led
To the pale nations of the dead,
Fires that glow,
See, shady forms advance!
And the pale spectres dance!
"O'er th’Elysian flow'rs;
Or Amaranthine bow'rs;
Wand'ring in the myrtle grove,
sung : and hell consented
Thus song could prevail
O'er death and o'er hell,
Tho' fate had fast bound her,
With Styx nine times round her, Yet music and love were victorious.
6. But soon , too soon,
the lover turns his eyes : Again she falls, again she dies , she dies ! How wilt thou now the fatal sisters move?