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William Shakespeare

Hamlet: Ay, but sir, 'While the grass grows,' -- the proverb is something musty.

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Sir Peter Harpdon's End

In an English Castle in Poictou. Sir Peter Harpdon, a Gascon knight in the English service, and John Curzon, his lieutenant.

John Curzon

Of those three prisoners, that before you came
We took down at St. John's hard by the mill,
Two are good masons; we have tools enough,
And you have skill to set them working.


Sir Peter

So-
What are their names?


John Curzon

Why, Jacques Aquadent,
And Peter Plombiere, but-


Sir Peter

What colour'd hair
Has Peter now? has Jacques got bow legs?


John Curzon

Why, sir, you jest: what matters Jacques' hair,
Or Peter's legs to us?


Sir Peter

O! John, John, John!
Throw all your mason's tools down the deep well,
Hang Peter up and Jacques; they're no good,
We shall not build, man.


John Curzon


going.

Shall I call the guard
To hang them, sir? and yet, sir, for the tools,
We'd better keep them still; sir, fare you well.

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Gareth And Lynette

The last tall son of Lot and Bellicent,
And tallest, Gareth, in a showerful spring
Stared at the spate. A slender-shafted Pine
Lost footing, fell, and so was whirled away.
'How he went down,' said Gareth, 'as a false knight
Or evil king before my lance if lance
Were mine to use--O senseless cataract,
Bearing all down in thy precipitancy--
And yet thou art but swollen with cold snows
And mine is living blood: thou dost His will,
The Maker's, and not knowest, and I that know,
Have strength and wit, in my good mother's hall
Linger with vacillating obedience,
Prisoned, and kept and coaxed and whistled to--
Since the good mother holds me still a child!
Good mother is bad mother unto me!
A worse were better; yet no worse would I.
Heaven yield her for it, but in me put force
To weary her ears with one continuous prayer,
Until she let me fly discaged to sweep
In ever-highering eagle-circles up
To the great Sun of Glory, and thence swoop
Down upon all things base, and dash them dead,
A knight of Arthur, working out his will,
To cleanse the world. Why, Gawain, when he came
With Modred hither in the summertime,
Asked me to tilt with him, the proven knight.
Modred for want of worthier was the judge.
Then I so shook him in the saddle, he said,
"Thou hast half prevailed against me," said so--he--
Though Modred biting his thin lips was mute,
For he is alway sullen: what care I?'

And Gareth went, and hovering round her chair
Asked, 'Mother, though ye count me still the child,
Sweet mother, do ye love the child?' She laughed,
'Thou art but a wild-goose to question it.'
'Then, mother, an ye love the child,' he said,
'Being a goose and rather tame than wild,
Hear the child's story.' 'Yea, my well-beloved,
An 'twere but of the goose and golden eggs.'

And Gareth answered her with kindling eyes,
'Nay, nay, good mother, but this egg of mine
Was finer gold than any goose can lay;
For this an Eagle, a royal Eagle, laid
Almost beyond eye-reach, on such a palm
As glitters gilded in thy Book of Hours.
And there was ever haunting round the palm
A lusty youth, but poor, who often saw

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The Tragedy Of Hamlet, Prince Of Denmark!

I write with sorrow -real and stark-
'The Tragedy Of Hamlet Prince Of Denmark'

Like Othello, The Tempest and king Lear
It's a marvel by the pen of Shakespeare

Who paints the perils of his life...
Stretched by caution, crushed by strife

He cries for the matters of the Prince
Laden with sorrows, full of sufferings

Caused by the death of Hamlet, the king
Whose love was the song he used to sing.

His mother, the queen named Gertrude
Was frail n fickle but not so rude...

Again she married Claudius, the rake,
Her brother-in-law for passions sake;

Began new life with joys and rest
Which was for all a damned incest...

Black robe clad young Hamlet alone
Was tense for the honor of Danish throne.

His mourning thoughts eclipsed his looks
Fondness for books n sports forsook...

Being in grief he lost his mirth-
Lost the pleasures touching his worth

A horrid rumour reached his ears,
shook his mind, enhanced his fears

Based on a report of three sentinels
That a ghost appeared from flames of hell

Resembling the warring late Monarch
Who fought Fortinbras, an enemy of Denmark.

No sooner he heard about this wonder
decided to watch it despite the thunder.

With guards he reached the post n then
The clock struck one and shocked the men

The ghost then appeared, beckoned the son
Who trod ahead and left everyone...

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The Sorcerer: Act I

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre, an Elderly Baronet

Alexis, of the Grenadier Guards--His Son

Dr. Daly, Vicar of Ploverleigh

John Wellington Wells, of J. W. Wells & Co., Family Sorcerers

Lady Sangazure, a Lady of Ancient Lineage

Aline, Her Daughter--betrothed to Alexis

Mrs. Partlet, a Pew-Opener

Constance, her Daughter

Chorus of Villagers


ACT I -- Grounds of Sir Marmaduke's Mansion, Mid-day


SCENE -- Exterior of Sir Marmaduke's Elizabethan Mansion, mid-day.

CHORUS OF VILLAGERS

Ring forth, ye bells,
With clarion sound--
Forget your knells,
For joys abound.
Forget your notes
Of mournful lay,
And from your throats
Pour joy to-day.

For to-day young Alexis--young Alexis Pointdextre
Is betrothed to Aline--to Aline Sangazure,
And that pride of his sex is--of his sex is to be next her
At the feast on the green--on the green, oh, be sure!

Ring forth, ye bells etc.
(Exeunt the men into house.)

(Enter Mrs. Partlet with Constance, her daughter)

RECITATIVE

MRS. P. Constance, my daughter, why this strange depression?

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Lancelot And Elaine

Elaine the fair, Elaine the loveable,
Elaine, the lily maid of Astolat,
High in her chamber up a tower to the east
Guarded the sacred shield of Lancelot;
Which first she placed where the morning's earliest ray
Might strike it, and awake her with the gleam;
Then fearing rust or soilure fashioned for it
A case of silk, and braided thereupon
All the devices blazoned on the shield
In their own tinct, and added, of her wit,
A border fantasy of branch and flower,
And yellow-throated nestling in the nest.
Nor rested thus content, but day by day,
Leaving her household and good father, climbed
That eastern tower, and entering barred her door,
Stript off the case, and read the naked shield,
Now guessed a hidden meaning in his arms,
Now made a pretty history to herself
Of every dint a sword had beaten in it,
And every scratch a lance had made upon it,
Conjecturing when and where: this cut is fresh;
That ten years back; this dealt him at Caerlyle;
That at Caerleon; this at Camelot:
And ah God's mercy, what a stroke was there!
And here a thrust that might have killed, but God
Broke the strong lance, and rolled his enemy down,
And saved him: so she lived in fantasy.

How came the lily maid by that good shield
Of Lancelot, she that knew not even his name?
He left it with her, when he rode to tilt
For the great diamond in the diamond jousts,
Which Arthur had ordained, and by that name
Had named them, since a diamond was the prize.

For Arthur, long before they crowned him King,
Roving the trackless realms of Lyonnesse,
Had found a glen, gray boulder and black tarn.
A horror lived about the tarn, and clave
Like its own mists to all the mountain side:
For here two brothers, one a king, had met
And fought together; but their names were lost;
And each had slain his brother at a blow;
And down they fell and made the glen abhorred:
And there they lay till all their bones were bleached,
And lichened into colour with the crags:
And he, that once was king, had on a crown
Of diamonds, one in front, and four aside.
And Arthur came, and labouring up the pass,
All in a misty moonshine, unawares

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Sir Hornbook

I.

O'er bush and briar Childe Launcelot sprung
With ardent hopes elate,
And loudly blew the horn that hung
Before Sir Hornbook's gate.

The inner portals opened wide,
And forward strode the chief,
Arrayed in paper helmet's pride,
And arms of golden leaf.

--"What means,"--he cried,--"This daring noise,
That wakes the summer day?
I hate all idle truant boys:
Away, Sir Childe, away!"--

--"No idle, truant boy am I,"--
Childe Launcelot answered straight;
--"Resolved to climb this hill so high,
I seek thy castle gate.

"Behold the talisman I bear,
And aid my bold design:"--
Sir Hornbook gazed, and written there,
Knew Emulation's sign.

"If Emulation sent thee here,"
Sir Hornbook quick replied,
"My merrymen all shall soon appear,
To aid thy cause with shield and spear,
And I will head thy bold career,
And prove thy faithful guide."--

Loud rung the chains; the drawbridge fell;
The gates asunder flew:
The knight thrice beat the portal bell,
And thrice he call'd "Halloo."

And out, and out, in hasty rout,
By ones, twos, threes, and fours;
His merrymen rush'd the walls without,
And stood before the doors.


II.

Full six and twenty men were they,
In line of battle spread:
The first that came was mighty A,

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The Baffled Knight, Or Lady's Policy

There was a knight was drunk with wine,
A riding along the way, sir;
And there he met with a lady fine,
Among the cocks of hay, sir.

'Shall you and I, O lady faire,
Among the grass lye down-a,
And I will have a special care
Of rumpling of your gown-a?'

'Upon the grass there is a dewe
Will spoil my damask gown, sir;
My gowne and kirtle they are newe,
And cost me many a crowne, sir.'

'I have a cloak of scarlet red,
Upon the ground I'll throwe it;
Then, lady faire, come, lay thy head;
We'll play, and none shall knowe it.'

'O yonder stands my steed so free
Among the cocks of hay, sir;
And if the pinner should chance to see,
He'll take my steed away, sir.'

'Upon my finger I have a ring,
It's made of finest gold-a,
And, lady, it thy steed shall bring
Out of the pinner's fold-a.'

'O go with me to my father's hall;
Fair chambers there are three, sir;
And you shall have the best of all,
And I'll your chamberlaine bee, sir.'

He mounted himself on his steed so tall,
And her on her dapple gray, sir;
And there they rode to her father's hall,
Fast pricking along the way, sir.

To her father's hall they arrived strait;
'Twas moated round about-a;
She slipt herself within the gate,
And lockt the knight without-a.

'Here is a silver penny to spend,
And take it for your pain, sir;
And two of my father's men I'll send
To wait on you back again, sir.'

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Yes Sir, No Sir

Yes sir, no sir
Where do I go sir
What do I do sir
What do I say
Yes sir, no sir
Where do I go sir
What do I do sir
How do I behave
Yes sir, no sir
Permission to speak sir
Permission to breathe sir
What do I say, how do I behave, what do I say
So you think that youve got ambition
Stop your dreaming and your idle wishing
Youre outside and there aint no admission
To our play
Pack up your ambition in your old kit bag
Soon youll be happy with a packet of fags
Chest out stomach in
Do what I say, do what I say
Yes right away
Yes sir, no sir
Where do I go sir
What do I do sir
What do I say
Yes sir, no sir
Permission to speak sir
Permission to breathe sir
What do I say, how do I behave, what do I say
Doesnt matter who you are
Youre there and there you are
Everything is in its place
Authority must be maintained
And then we know exactly where we are
Let them feel that theyre important to the cause
But let them know that they are fighting for their homes
Just be sure that theyre contributing their all
Give the scum a gun and make the bugger fight
And be sure to have deserters shot on sight
If he dies well send a medal to his wife
Yes sir, no sir
Please let me die sir
I think this life is affecting my brain
Yes sir, no sir
Three bags full sir
What do I do sir, what do I say
What do I say, how do I behave, what do I say

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Orlando Furioso Canto 18

ARGUMENT
Gryphon is venged. Sir Mandricardo goes
In search of Argier's king. Charles wins the fight.
Marphisa Norandino's men o'erthrows.
Due pains Martano's cowardice requite.
A favouring wind Marphisa's gallery blows,
For France with Gryphon bound and many a knight.
The field Medoro and Cloridano tread,
And find their monarch Dardinello dead.

I
High minded lord! your actions evermore
I have with reason lauded, and still laud;
Though I with style inapt, and rustic lore,
You of large portion of your praise defraud:
But, of your many virtues, one before
All others I with heart and tongue applaud,
- That, if each man a gracious audience finds,
No easy faith your equal judgment blinds.

II
Often, to shield the absent one from blame,
I hear you this, or other, thing adduce;
Or him you let, at least, an audience claim,
Where still one ear is open to excuse:
And before dooming men to scaith and shame,
To see and hear them ever is your use;
And ere you judge another, many a day,
And month, and year, your sentence to delay.

III
Had Norandine been with your care endued,
What he by Gryphon did, he had not done.
Profit and fame have from your rule accrued:
A stain more black than pitch he cast upon
His name: through him, his people were pursued
And put to death by Olivero's son;
Who at ten cuts or thrusts, in fury made,
Some thirty dead about the waggon laid.

IV
Whither fear drives, in rout, the others all,
Some scattered here, some there, on every side,
Fill road and field; to gain the city-wall
Some strive, and smothered in the mighty tide,
One on another, in the gateway fall.
Gryphon, all thought of pity laid aside,
Threats not nor speaks, but whirls his sword about,
Well venging on the crowd their every flout.

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The Marriage of Sir Gawaine

Part the First
King Arthur lives in merry Carleile,
And seemely is to see;
And there with him Queene Guenever,
That bride soe bright of blee.

And there with him Queene Guenever,
That bride soe bright in bowre;
And all his barons about him stoode,
That were both stiffe and stowre.

This king a royale Christmasse kept,
With mirth and princelye cheare;
To him repaired many a knighte,
That came both farre and neare.

And when they were to dinner sette
And cups went freely round:
Before them came a faire damselle,
And knelt upon the ground.

'A boone, a boone, O Kinge Arthure,
I beg a boone of thee;
Avenge me of a carlish knighte,
Who hath shent my love and mee.

'At Tearne-Wadling his castle stands,
Near to that lake so fair,
And proudlye rise the battlements,
And streamers deck the air.

'Noe gentle knighte, nor ladye gay,
May pass that castle-wall,
But from that foule discourteous knighte,
Mishappe will them befalle.

'Hee's twice the size of common men,
Wi' thewes and sinewes stronge,
And on his backe he bears a clubbe,
That is both thicke and longe.

'This grimme barone 'twas our harde happe
But yester morne to see;
When to his bowre he bare my love,
And sore misused mee.

'And when I told him King Arthure
As lyttle shold him spare;
Goe tell, sayd hee, that cuckold kinge
To meete mee if he dare.'

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William Cowper

The 9th Satire Of Book I. Of Horace : The Description Of An Impertinent. Adapted To The Present Times

Sauntering along the street one day,
On trifles musing by the way,
Up steps a free familiar wight;
(I scarcely knew the man by sight.)
'Carlos (he cried), your hand, my dear!
Gad, I rejoice to meet you here!
Pray heaven I see you well!' 'So, so;
Even well enough as times now go.
The same good wishes, sir, to you.'
'Sir, you have business, I suppose?'
'My business, sir, is quickly done,
'Tis but to make my merit known.
Sir, I have read ---- ' 'O learned sir,
You and your learning I revere.'
Then, sweating with anxiety,
And sadly longing to get free,
Gods, how I scampered, scuffled for't,
Ran, halted, ran again, stopped short,
Beckoned my boy, and pulled him near,
And whispered nothing in his ear.
Teased with his loose unjointed chat,
'What street is this? What house is that?'
O Harlow, how I envied thee
Thy unabashed effrontery,
Who darest a foe with freedom blame,
And call a coxcomb by his name!
When I returned him answer none,
Obligingly the fool ran on,
'I see you're dismally distressed,
Would give the world to be released,
But, by your leave, sir, I shall still
Stick to your skirts, do what you will.
Pray which way does your journey tend?'
'Oh, 'tis a tedious way, my friend,
Across the Thames, the Lord knows where;
I would not trouble you so far.'
'Well, I'm at leisure to attend you.'
'Are you? (thought I) the deil befriend you!'
No ass with double panniers racked,
Oppressed, o'erladen, broken-backed,
E'er looked a thousandth part so dull
As I, nor half so like a fool.
'Sir, I know little of myself
(Proceeds the pert conceited elf),
If Gray or Mason you will deem
Than me more worthy your esteem.
Poems I write by folios,
As fast as other men write prose.
Then I can sing so loud, so clear,
That Beard cannot with me compare.

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Fourth Book

THEY met still sooner. 'Twas a year from thence
When Lucy Gresham, the sick semptress girl,
Who sewed by Marian's chair so still and quick,
And leant her head upon the back to cough
More freely when, the mistress turning round,
The others took occasion to laugh out,–
Gave up a last. Among the workers, spoke
A bold girl with black eyebrows and red lips,–
'You know the news? Who's dying, do you think?
Our Lucy Gresham. I expected it
As little as Nell Hart's wedding. Blush not, Nell,
Thy curls be red enough without thy cheeks;
And, some day, there'll be found a man to dote
On red curls.–Lucy Gresham swooned last night,
Dropped sudden in the street while going home;
And now the baker says, who took her up
And laid her by her grandmother in bed,
He'll give her a week to die in. Pass the silk.
Let's hope he gave her a loaf too, within reach,
For otherwise they'll starve before they die,
That funny pair of bedfellows! Miss Bell,
I'll thank you for the scissors. The old crone
Is paralytic–that's the reason why
Our Lucy's thread went faster than her breath,
Which went too quick, we all know. Marian Erle!
Why, Marian Erle, you're not the fool to cry?
Your tears spoil Lady Waldemar's new dress,
You piece of pity!'
Marian rose up straight,
And, breaking through the talk and through the work,
Went outward, in the face of their surprise,
To Lucy's home, to nurse her back to life
Or down to death. She knew by such an act,
All place and grace were forfeit in the house,
Whose mistress would supply the missing hand
With necessary, not inhuman haste,
And take no blame. But pity, too, had dues:
She could not leave a solitary soul
To founder in the dark, while she sate still
And lavished stitches on a lady's hem
As if no other work were paramount.
'Why, God,' thought Marian, 'has a missing hand
This moment; Lucy wants a drink, perhaps.
Let others miss me! never miss me, God!'

So Marian sat by Lucy's bed, content
With duty, and was strong, for recompense,
To hold the lamp of human love arm-high
To catch the death-strained eyes and comfort them,
Until the angels, on the luminous side

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Lohengrin

THE holy bell, untouched by human hands,
Clanged suddenly, and tolled with solemn knell.

Between the massive, blazoned temple-doors,
Thrown wide, to let the summer morning in,
Sir Lohengrin, the youngest of the knights,
Had paused to taste the sweetness of the air.
All sounds came up the mountain-side to him,
Softened to music,— noise of laboring men,
The cheerful cock-crow and the low of kine,
Bleating of sheep, and twittering of the birds,
Commingled into murmurous harmonies—
When harsh, and near, and clamorous tolled the bell.
He started, with his hand upon his sword;
His face, an instant since serene and fair,
And simple with the beauty of a boy,
Heroic, flushed, expectant all at once.
The lovely valley stretching out beneath
Was now a painted picture,— nothing more;
All music of the mountain or the vale
Rang meaningless to him who heard the bell.
'I stand upon the threshold, and am called,'
His clear, young voice shrilled gladly through the air,
And backward through the sounding corridors.

'And have ye heard the bell, my brother knights,
Untouched by human hands or winds of heaven?
It called me, yea, it called my very name!'
So, breathing still of morning, Lohengrin
Sprang 'midst the gathering circle of the knights,
Eager, exalted. 'Nay, it called us all:
It rang as it hath often rung before,—
Because the good cause, somewhere on the earth,
Requires a champion,' with a serious smile,
An older gravely answered. 'Where to go?
We know not, and we know not whom to serve.'
Then spake Sir Percivale, their holiest knight,
And father of the young Sir Lohengrin:
'All that to us seems old, familiar, stale,
Unto the boy is vision, miracle.
Cross him not, brethren, in his first desire.
I will dare swear the summons rang to him,
Not sternly solemn, as it tolled to us,
But gracious, sweet, and gay as marriage-bells.'
His pious hands above the young man's head
Wandered in blessing, lightly touching it,
As fondly as a mother. 'Lohengrin,
My son, farewell,— God send thee faith and strength.'
' God send me patience and humility,'
Murmured the boyish knight, from contrite heart,

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Sir Andrew Barton

The First Part
'When Flora with her fragrant flowers
Bedeckt the earth so trim and gaye,
And Neptune with his daintye showers
Came to present the monthe of Maye;
King Henrye rode to take the ayre,
Over the river of Thames past hee;
When eighty merchants of London came,
And downe they knelt upon their knee.

'O yee are welcome, rich merchants,
Good saylors, welcome unto mee.'
They swore by the rood, they were saylors good,
But rich merchants they cold not bee.
'To France nor Flanders dare we pass,
Nor Bordeaux voyage dare we fare;
And all for a rover that lyes on the seas,
Who robbs us of our merchant ware.'

King Henrye frownd, and turned him rounde,
And swore by the Lord that was mickle of might,
'I thought he had not beene in the world,
Durst have wrought England such unright.'
The merchants sighed, and said, 'Alas!'
And thus they did their answer frame;
'He is a proud Scott, that robbs on the seas,
And Sir Andrewe Barton is his name.'

The king loot over his left shoulder,
And an angrye look then looked hee;
'Have I never a lorde in all my realme,
Will feitch yond traytor unto mee?'
'Yea, that dare I,' Lord Howard sayes;
If it please your grace to give me leave,
Myselfe wil be the only man.'

'Thou art but yong,' the kyng replyed,
'Yond Scott hath numbred manye a yeare.'
'Trust me, my liege, Ile make him quail,
Or before my prince I will never appeare.'
'Then bowemen and gunners thou shalt have,
And chuse them over my realme so free;
Besides good mariners, and shipp-boyes,
To guide the great shipp on the sea.'

The first man that Lord Howard chose,
Was the ablest gunner in all the realme,
Thoughe he was threescore yeeres and ten;
Good Peter Simon was his name.
'Peter,' sais hee, 'I must to the sea,

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Idylls of the King: The Passing of Arthur (excerpt)

That story which the bold Sir Bedivere,
First made and latest left of all the knights,
Told, when the man was no more than a voice
In the white winter of his age, to those
With whom he dwelt, new faces, other minds.
For on their march to westward, Bedivere,
Who slowly paced among the slumbering host,
Heard in his tent the moanings of the King:
"I found Him in the shining of the stars,
I mark'd Him in the flowering of His fields,
But in His ways with men I find Him not.
I waged His wars, and now I pass and die.
O me! for why is all around us here
As if some lesser god had made the world,
But had not force to shape it as he would,
Till the High God behold it from beyond,
And enter it, and make it beautiful?
Or else as if the world were wholly fair,
But that these eyes of men are dense and dim,
And have not power to see it as it is:
Perchance, because we see not to the close;--
For I, being simple, thought to work His will,
And have but stricken with the sword in vain;
And all whereon I lean'd in wife and friend
Is traitor to my peace, and all my realm
Reels back into the beast, and is no more.
My God, thou hast forgotten me in my death:
Nay--God my Christ--I pass but shall not die."

Then, ere that last weird battle in the west,
There came on Arthur sleeping, Gawain kill'd
In Lancelot's war, the ghost of Gawain blown
Along a wandering wind, and past his ear
Went shrilling, "Hollow, hollow all delight!
Hail, King! to-morrow thou shalt pass away.
Farewell! there is an isle of rest for thee.
And I am blown along a wandering wind,
And hollow, hollow, hollow all delight."
And fainter onward, like wild birds that change
Their season in the night and wail their way
From cloud to cloud, down the long wind the dream
Shrill'd; but in going mingled with dim cries
Far in the moonlit haze among the hills,
As of some lonely city sack'd by night,
When all is lost, and wife and child with wail
Pass to new lords; and Arthur woke and call'd,
"Who spake? A dream. O light upon the wind,
Thine, Gawain, was the voice--are these dim cries
Thine? or doth all that haunts the waste and wild
Mourn, knowing it will go along with me?"

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The Passing Of Arthur

That story which the bold Sir Bedivere,
First made and latest left of all the knights,
Told, when the man was no more than a voice
In the white winter of his age, to those
With whom he dwelt, new faces, other minds.

For on their march to westward, Bedivere,
Who slowly paced among the slumbering host,
Heard in his tent the moanings of the King:

'I found Him in the shining of the stars,
I marked Him in the flowering of His fields,
But in His ways with men I find Him not.
I waged His wars, and now I pass and die.
O me! for why is all around us here
As if some lesser god had made the world,
But had not force to shape it as he would,
Till the High God behold it from beyond,
And enter it, and make it beautiful?
Or else as if the world were wholly fair,
But that these eyes of men are dense and dim,
And have not power to see it as it is:
Perchance, because we see not to the close;--
For I, being simple, thought to work His will,
And have but stricken with the sword in vain;
And all whereon I leaned in wife and friend
Is traitor to my peace, and all my realm
Reels back into the beast, and is no more.
My God, thou hast forgotten me in my death;
Nay--God my Christ--I pass but shall not die.'

Then, ere that last weird battle in the west,
There came on Arthur sleeping, Gawain killed
In Lancelot's war, the ghost of Gawain blown
Along a wandering wind, and past his ear
Went shrilling, 'Hollow, hollow all delight!
Hail, King! tomorrow thou shalt pass away.
Farewell! there is an isle of rest for thee.
And I am blown along a wandering wind,
And hollow, hollow, hollow all delight.'
And fainter onward, like wild birds that change
Their season in the night and wail their way
From cloud to cloud, down the long wind the dream
Shrilled; but in going mingled with dim cries
Far in the moonlit haze among the hills,
As of some lonely city sacked by night,
When all is lost, and wife and child with wail
Pass to new lords; and Arthur woke and called,
'Who spake? A dream. O light upon the wind,
Thine, Gawain, was the voice--are these dim cries

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Geoffrey Chaucer

Book Of The Duchesse

THE PROEM

I have gret wonder, be this lighte,
How that I live, for day ne nighte
I may nat slepe wel nigh noght,
I have so many an ydel thoght
Purely for defaute of slepe
That, by my trouthe, I take no kepe
Of no-thing, how hit cometh or goth,
Ne me nis no-thing leef nor loth.
Al is y-liche good to me --
Ioye or sorowe, wherso hyt be --
For I have feling in no-thinge,
But, as it were, a mased thing,
Alway in point to falle a-doun;
For sorwful imaginacioun
Is alway hoolly in my minde.
And wel ye wite, agaynes kynde
Hit were to liven in this wyse;
For nature wolde nat suffyse
To noon erthely creature
Not longe tyme to endure
Withoute slepe, and been in sorwe;
And I ne may, ne night ne morwe,
Slepe; and thus melancolye
And dreed I have for to dye,
Defaute of slepe and hevinesse
Hath sleyn my spirit of quiknesse,
That I have lost al lustihede.
Suche fantasies ben in myn hede
So I not what is best to do.
But men myght axe me, why soo
I may not slepe, and what me is?
But natheles, who aske this
Leseth his asking trewely.
My-selven can not telle why
The sooth; but trewely, as I gesse,
I holde hit be a siknesse
That I have suffred this eight yere,
And yet my bote is never the nere;
For ther is phisicien but oon,
That may me hele; but that is doon.
Passe we over until eft;
That wil not be, moot nede be left;
Our first matere is good to kepe.
So whan I saw I might not slepe,
Til now late, this other night,
Upon my bedde I sat upright
And bad oon reche me a book,
A romaunce, and he hit me took

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The Interloper

The Honourable TORYPHAT addressed the meeting: 'Hem!
(Prolonged applause.) Ah - Mistah Chairman, gentlemen. To stem
The tide of Socialism - rabid Socialism, sir
Which threatens to engulf us, hez - ah - always been - um - er
Hez always been ouah object in the past, and Ai may say,
We hev succeeded, somewhat, in - er - standing in the way.
We hev been firm, sir, in the past, and fought without - ah - feah
Foah the Empiah and the - ah - the uppah classes, sir. (Heah. heah.)


In ouah endeavahs to - um - ah - promote the public good
It hez always been - that is to say - been - ah - been understood.
Bai the people - bai the - um - ha - people, sir, of this - er - land
That we and the Empiah, so to speak, are hand in hand.
The British - er - authorities, at all times, hev been glad
To listen - ah - to any - er - suggestions thet we had.
We hev been the Empiah's mouthplece, in - ah - this benighted land,
And hitherto the Empiah was the - aw - best card in ouah hand.


The word 'Imperial' is, Ai maintain, sir, ouahs bai raight;
It hez been ouah battle-cry in the - ah - forefront of the faight.
And, hitherto, the pahs at Home weah quick to recognise
Ouah undoubted raight to use it in refuting Labah lies.
At Empiah celebrations we hev been the leading ones
In saluting the - aw - flag, sir, and distributing - ah - buns.
And all raight-thinking persons who - ah - who support ouah cause
Will agree that we alone - er - stand for 'Empiah.'.. (Loud applause.)


But now what do we faind, sir? Mistah Chairman, Ai'm dismayed!
It would seem that ouah - ah - trust in the - ah - pahs has been betrayed.
For they hev - aw - confided, with regard to woah and loans,
In this common Labah person named - ah - named - ah - FISAH. (Groans.)
They've actu'ly consulted him and - aw - and made a fuss;
They've told him - er - State secrets, sir, which they withhold from us !
Things that concern ouah Empiah, sir! Ai - (splutter) - Ai PROTEST!
They hev no raight to trust this PEARCE and FISHAH and the rest!


Who is he? Ai repeat, sir - ah - who is this fellow? (Jeers.)
He's gone to see the crowning of ouah gracious Soveriegn. (Cheers.)
But why, sir? Mistah Chairman, Ai repeat the question - Why?
He's gine in the ecapacity of - er - a Labah spy!
He's gone to worm out secrets, sir - State secrets, which he seeks
To use against ouah party, sir, when he returns. (Loud shrieks.)
He hopes to use his knowledge to upset our cherished schemes.
And oust us from ouah office as Empiah's champions! (Screams.)

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The Sorcerer: Act II

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre, an Elderly Baronet

Alexis, of the Grenadier Guards--His Son

Dr. Daly, Vicar of Ploverleigh

John Wellington Wells, of J. W. Wells & Co., Family Sorcerers

Lady Sangazure, a Lady of Ancient Lineage

Aline, Her Daughter--betrothed to Alexis

Mrs. Partlet, a Pew-Opener

Constance, her Daughter

Chorus of Villagers


(Twelve hours are supposed to elapse between Acts I and II)

ACT II-- Grounds of Sir Marmaduke's Mansion, Midnight


Scene--Exterior of Sir Marmaduke's mansion by moonlight. All the
peasantry are discovered asleep on the ground, as at the end
of Act I.

Enter Mr. Wells, on tiptoe, followed by Alexis and Aline. Mr. Wells
carries a dark lantern.

TRIO--ALEXIS, ALINE, and MR. WELLS

'Tis twelve, I think,
And at this mystic hour
The magic drink
Should manifest its power.
Oh, slumbering forms,
How little ye have guessed
That fire that warms
Each apathetic breast!

ALEXIS. But stay, my father is not here!

ALINE. And pray where is my mother dear?

MR. WELLS. I did not think it meet to see
A dame of lengthy pedigree,

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Balin and Balan

Pellam the King, who held and lost with Lot
In that first war, and had his realm restored
But rendered tributary, failed of late
To send his tribute; wherefore Arthur called
His treasurer, one of many years, and spake,
'Go thou with him and him and bring it to us,
Lest we should set one truer on his throne.
Man's word is God in man.'
His Baron said
'We go but harken: there be two strange knights

Who sit near Camelot at a fountain-side,
A mile beneath the forest, challenging
And overthrowing every knight who comes.
Wilt thou I undertake them as we pass,
And send them to thee?'
Arthur laughed upon him.
'Old friend, too old to be so young, depart,
Delay not thou for aught, but let them sit,
Until they find a lustier than themselves.'

So these departed. Early, one fair dawn,
The light-winged spirit of his youth returned
On Arthur's heart; he armed himself and went,
So coming to the fountain-side beheld
Balin and Balan sitting statuelike,
Brethren, to right and left the spring, that down,
From underneath a plume of lady-fern,
Sang, and the sand danced at the bottom of it.
And on the right of Balin Balin's horse
Was fast beside an alder, on the left
Of Balan Balan's near a poplartree.
'Fair Sirs,' said Arthur, 'wherefore sit ye here?'
Balin and Balan answered 'For the sake
Of glory; we be mightier men than all
In Arthur's court; that also have we proved;
For whatsoever knight against us came
Or I or he have easily overthrown.'
'I too,' said Arthur, 'am of Arthur's hall,
But rather proven in his Paynim wars
Than famous jousts; but see, or proven or not,
Whether me likewise ye can overthrow.'
And Arthur lightly smote the brethren down,
And lightly so returned, and no man knew.

Then Balin rose, and Balan, and beside
The carolling water set themselves again,
And spake no word until the shadow turned;
When from the fringe of coppice round them burst
A spangled pursuivant, and crying 'Sirs,

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