Brooke - Modernised edition



















   As soon as Tybalt had

        our Romeus espied,

He threw a thrust at him that would

        have passed from side to side;

   But Romeus ever went,

        doubting his foes, well armed,

So that the sword, kept out by mail,

        hath nothing Romeus harmed.

    “Thou dost me wrong,” quoth he,

         “for I but part the fray;

Not dread, but other weighty cause

        my hasty hand doth stay.

   Thou art the chief of thine,

        the noblest eke thou art,

Wherefore leave off thy malice now,

        and help these folk to part.

   Many are hurt, some slain,

        and some are like to die.”

89. Tybalt sees

Romeus and attacks

him; Romeus tries to

assuage him by saying

that he has come to

stop the fray, yet to no






















“No, coward, traitor boy,” quoth he,

         “straightway I mind to try,

   Whether thy sugared talk,

        and tongue so smoothly filed,

Against the force of this my sword

        shall serve thee for a shield.”

   And then at Romeus’ head

        a blow he strake so hard,

That might have clove him to the brain

        but for his cunning ward.

90. Tybalt does not

listen to Romeo and

hits him again.





































   It was but lent to him

        that could repay again,

And give him death for interest,

        a well forborne gain.

   Right as a forest boar,

        that lodgéd in the thick,

Pinchéd with dog, or else with spear

        y-prickéd to the quick,

   His bristles stiff upright

        upon his back doth set,

And in his foamy mouth his sharp

        and crooked tusks doth whet;

   Or as a lion wild

        that rampeth in his rage,

His whelps bereft, whose fury can

        no weaker beast assuage;

   Such seeméd Romeus

        in every other’s sight,

When he him shope, of wrong received

        t’avenge himself by fight.

   Even as two thunderbolts

        thrown down out of the sky,

That through the air, the massy earth,

        and seas, have power to fly;

   So met these two, and while

        they change a blow or twain,

Our Romeus thrust him through the throat,

        and so is Tybalt slain.

91. Romeus responds

to Tybalt’s attack and

kills him.















   Lo, here the end of those

        that stir a deadly strife:

Who thirsteth after other’s death,

        himself hath lost his life.

92. The narrator draws

the moral: whoever

seeks to give death

loses his own life.













   The Capulets are quailed

        by Tybalt’s overthrow,

The courage of the Montagues

        by Romeus’ sight doth grow.

   The townsmen waxen strong,

        the Prince doth send his force;

The fray hath end.

93. The fray is ended

by the Prince’s force.















                                         The Capulets

        do bring the breathless corpse

   Before the Prince, and crave

        that cruel deadly pain

May be the guerdon of his fault,

        that hath their kinsman slain.

94. The Capulets plead

for punishment.













   The Montagues do plead

        their Romeus void of fault;

95. The Montagues

defend Romeus.











The lookers-on do say, the fight

        begun was by Tybalt.

96. The onlookers

blame Tybalt.














   The Prince doth pause, and then

        gives sentence in a while,

That Romeus for slaying him

        should go into exile.

   His foes would have him hanged,

        or starve in prison strong;

His friends do think, but dare not say,

        that Romeus hath wrong.

97. The Prince

sentences Romeus to
















   Both households straight are charged

        on pain of losing life,

Their bloody weapons laid aside,

        to cease the stirréd strife.

98. The Prince

sentences the two

households to death in

case of new fights.
























   This common plague is spread

        through all the town anon,

From side to side the town is filled

        with murmur and with moan,

   For Tybalt’s hasty death

        bewailéd was of some,

Both for his skill in feats of arms,

        and for, in time to come

   He should, had this not chanced,

        been rich and of great power,

To help his friends, and serve the state;

        which hope within an hour

   Was wasted quite, and he,

        thus yielding up his breath,

More than he holp the town in life,

        hath harmed it by his death.

99. The town bewails

the loss of valiant








































   And other some bewail,

        but ladies most of all,

The luckless lot by Fortune’s guilt

        that is so late befall,

   Without his fault, unto

        the seely Romeus;

For whilst that he from native land

        shall live exiléd thus,

   From heavenly beauty’s light

        and his well-shapéd parts,

The sight of which was wont, fair dames,

        to glad your youthful hearts,

   Shall you be banished quite,

        and till he do return,

What hope have you to joy,

        what hope to cease to mourn?

   This Romeus was born

        so much in heaven’s grace,

Of Fortune and of Nature so

        beloved, that in his face,

   Beside the heavenly beau-

        ty glist’ring aye so bright,

And seemly grace that wonted so

        to glad the seer’s sight,

   A certain charm was graved

        by Nature’s secret art,

That virtue had to draw to it

        the love of many a heart.

   So every one doth wish

        to bear a part of pain,

That he releaséd of exile

   might straight return again.

100. The town bewails

the lot of Romeus and

hope that he may soon

return from exile.























































   But how doth mourn among

        the mourners Juliet!

How doth she bathe her breast in tears!

        What deep sighs doth she fet!

   How doth she tear her hair!

        Her weed how doth she rent!

How fares the lover hearing of

        her lover’s banishment!

   How wails she Tybalt’s death,

        whom she had loved so well!

Her hearty grief and piteous plaint,

        cunning I want to tell.

   For delving deeply now

        in depth of deep despair,

With wretched sorrow’s cruel sound

        she fills the empty air;

   And to the lowest hell

        down falls her heavy cry,

And up unto the heaven’s height

        her piteous plaint doth fly.

   The waters and the woods

        of sighs and sobs resound,

And from the hard resounding rocks

        her sorrows do rebound.

   Eke from her teary eyne

        down rainéd many a shower,

That in the garden where she walked

        might water herb and flower.

   But when at length she saw

        herself outragéd so,

Unto her chamber straight she hied;

        there, overcharged with woe,

   Upon her stately bed

        her painful parts she threw,

And in so wondrous wise began

        her sorrows to renew,

   That sure no heart so hard,

        but it of flint had bin,

But would have rued the piteous plaint

        that she did languish in.

   Then rapt out of herself,

        whilst she on every side

Did cast her restless eye, at length

        the window she espied,

   Through which she had with joy

        seen Romeus many a time,

Which oft the vent’rous knight was wont

        for Juliet’s sake to climb.

101. Description of

Juliet’s despair; she

retires to her room.





































   She cried, “O cursed window,

        accursed be every pane,

Through which, alas, too soon I raught

        the cause of life and bane;

   If by thy mean I have

        some slight delight received,

Or else such fading pleasure as

        by Fortune straight was reaved,

   Hast thou not made me pay

        a tribute rigorous

Of heapéd grief and lasting care,

        and sorrows dolorous,

   That these my tender parts,

        which needful strength do lack

To bear so great unwieldy load

        upon so weak a back,

   Oppressed with weight of cares

        and with these sorrows rife,

At length must open wide to death

        the gates of loathéd life;

   That so my weary sprite

        may somewhere else unload

His deadly load, and free from thrall

        may seek elsewhere abode

   For pleasant, quiet ease

        and for assuréd rest,

Which I as yet could never find

        but for my more unrest?

102. Juliet curses the

window which has let

in Romeus and given

her pleasure and

deadly sorrow.































































   O Romeus, when first

        we both acquainted were,

When to thy painted promises

        I lent my list’ning ear,

   Which to the brinks you filled

        with many a solemn oath,

And I them judged empty of guile,

        and fraughted full of troth,

   I thought you rather would

        continue our good will,

And seek t’appease our fathers’ strife,

        which daily groweth still.

   I little weened you would

        have sought occasion how

By such an heinous act to break

        the peace and eke your vow;

   Whereby your bright renown

        all whole y-clipséd is,

And I unhappy, husbandless,

        of comfort robbed and bliss.

   But if you did so much

        the blood of Capels thirst,

Why have you often sparéd mine

        mine might have quenched it first.

   Since that so many times

        and in so secret place,

Where you were wont with veil of love

        to hide your hatred’s face.

   My doubtful life hath happed

        by fatal doom to stand

In mercy of your cruel heart,

        and of your bloody hand.

   What? seemed the conquest which

        you got of me so small?

What? seemed it not enough that I,

        poor wretch, was made your thrall?

   But that you must increase

        it with that kinsman’s blood,

Which for his worth and love to me,

        most in my favour stood

   Well, go henceforth elsewhere,

        and seek another while

Some other as unhappy as I,

        by flattery to beguile.

   And, where I come, see that

        you shun to show your face,

For your excuse within my heart

        shall find no resting place.

   And I that now, too late,

        my former fault repent,

Will so the rest of weary life

        with many tears lament,

   That soon my joiceless corpse

        shall yield up banished breath,

And where on earth it restless lived,

        in earth seek rest by death.”

103. Juliet is angry

with Romeus for

breaking the peace

between their families

and beguiling her.














































   These said, her tender heart,

        by pain oppresséd sore,

Restrained her tears, and forced her tongue

        to keep her talk in store;

   And then as still she was,

        as if in sownd she lay,

And then again, wroth with herself,

        with feeble voice ’gan say:

    “Ah, cruel murdering tongue,

        murd’rer of others’ fame,

How durst thou once attempt to touch

        the honour of his name?

   Whose deadly foes do yield

        him due and earnéd praise;

For though his freedom be bereft,

        his honour not decays.

   Why blam’st thou Romeus

        for slaying of Tybalt,

Since he is guiltless quite of all,

        and Tybalt bears the fault?

   Whither shall he, alas,

        poor banished man, now fly?

What place of succour shall he seek

        beneath the starry sky?

   Since she pursueth him, and him

        defames by wrong,

That in distress should be his fort,

        and only rampire strong.

   Receive the recompense,

        O Romeus, of thy wife,

Who, for she was unkind herself,

        doth offer up her life,

   In flames of ire, in sighs,

        in sorrow and in ruth,

So to revenge the crime she did

        commit against thy truth.”

104. Juliet repents the

words and blames

herself for being

unloyal to Romeus.















   These said, she could no more;

        her senses all ’gan fail,

And deadly pangs began straightway

        her tender heart assail;

   Her limbs she stretchéd forth,

        she drew no more her breath:

105. Juliet seems to be

about to die with









Who had been there might well have seen

        the signs of present death.

106. The narrator

underlines Juliet’s

signs of present death.






















   The nurse that knew no cause

        why she absented her,

Did doubt lest that some sudden grief

        too much tormented her.

   Each where but where she was

        the careful beldam sought;

Last, of the chamber where she lay

        she haply her bethought;

   Where she with piteous eye

        her nurse-child did behold,

Her limbs stretched out, her outward parts

        as any marble cold.

   The nurse supposed that she

        had paid to death her debt,

And then, as she had lost her wits,

        she cried to Juliet:

107. The nurse looks

for Juliet and finally

finds her in her































    “Ah, my dear heart,” quoth she,

         “how grieveth me thy death!

Alas, what cause hast thou thus soon

        to yield up living breath?”

   But while she handled her,

        and chaféd every part,

She knew there was some spark of life

        by beating of her heart,

   So that a thousand times

        she called upon her name;

There is no way to help a trance

        but she hath tried the same:

   She openeth wide her mouth,

        she stoppeth close her nose,

She bendeth down her breast, she wrings

        her fingers and her toes,

   And on her bosom cold

        she layeth clothés hot;

A warméd and a wholesome juice

        she poureth down her throat.

   At length doth Juliet

        heave faintly up her eyes,

And then she stretcheth forth her arm,

        and then her nurse she spies.

108. The nurse thinks

her dead but then

helps her to come




























   But when she was awaked

        from her unkindly trance,

“Why dost thou trouble me,” quoth she,

         “what drove thee, with mischance,

   To come to see my sprite

        forsake my breathless corpse?

Go hence, and let me die, if thou

        have on my smart remorse.

   For who would see her friend

        to live in deadly pain?

Alas, I see my grief begun

        for ever will remain.

   Or who would seek to live,

        all pleasure being past?

My mirth is done, my mourning moan

        for aye is like to last.

   Wherefore since that there is

        none other remedy,

Come, gentle death, and rive my heart

        at once, and let me die.”

109. Juliet rebukes the

nurse for reviving her,

as she wants to be































   The nurse with trickling tears,

        to witness inward smart,

With hollow sigh fetched from the depth

        of her appalléd heart,

   Thus spoke to Juliet,

        y-clad with ugly care:

“Good lady mine, I do not know

        what makes you thus to fare;

   Ne yet the cause of your

        unmeasured heaviness.

But of this one I you assure,

        for care and sorrow’s stress,

   This hour large and more

        I thought, so God me save,

That my dead corpse should wait on yours

        to your untimely grave.”

    “Alas, my tender nurse

        and trusty friend,” quoth she,

“Art thou so blind that with thine eye

        thou canst not easily see

   The lawful cause I have

        to sorrow and to mourn,

Since those the which I held most dear,

        I have at once forlorn.”

110. Juliet discloses

the reason of her

suffering to the nurse.






















































   Her nurse then answered thus:

         “Methinks it sits you ill

To fall in these extremities

        that may you guiltless spill.

   For when the storms of care

        and troubles do arise,

Then is the time for men to know

        the foolish from the wise.

   You are accounted wise,

        a fool am I your nurse;

But I see not how in like case

        I could behave me worse.

   Tybalt your friend is dead;

        what, ween you by your tears

To call him back again? think you

        that he your crying hears?

   You shall perceive the fault,

        if it be justly tried,

Of his so sudden death, was in

        his rashness and his pride.

   Would you that Romeus

        himself had wrongéd so,

To suffer himself causeless to be

        outraged of his foe,

   To whom in no respect

        he ought a place to give?

Let it suffice to thee, fair dame,

        that Romeus doth live,

   And that there is good hope

        that he, within a while,

With greater glory shall be called

        home from his hard exile.

   How well y-born he is,

        thyself, I know, canst tell,

By kindred strong, and well allied,

        of all belovéd well.

   With patience arm thyself,

        for though that Fortune’s crime,

Without your fault, to both your griefs,

        depart you for a time,

   I dare say, for amends

        of all your present pain,

She will restore your own to you,

        within a month or twain,

   With such contented ease

        as never erst you had;

Wherefore rejoice a while in hope,

        and be no more so sad.

111. The nurse

reassures Juliet and

tells her that Romeus

will return from exile











































   And that I may discharge

        your heart of heavy care,

A certain way I have found out,

        my pains ne will I spare,

   To learn his present state,

        and what in time to come

He minds to do; which known by me,

        you shall know all and some.

   But that I dread the whilst

        your sorrows will you quell,

Straight would I hie where he doth lurk,

        to Friar Laurence’ cell.

   But if you ’gin eftsoons,

        as erst you did, to mourn,

Whereto go I? you will be dead,

        before I thence return.

   So I shall spend in waste

        my time and busy pain.

So unto you, your life once lost,

        good answer comes in vain;

   So shall I rid myself

        with this sharp-pointed knife;

So shall you cause your parents dear

        wax weary of their life;

   So shall your Romeus,

        despising lively breath,

With hasty foot, before his time,

        run to untimely death.

   Where, if you can awhile,

        by reason, rage suppress,

I hope at my return to bring

        the salve of your distress.

   Now choose to have me here

        a partner of your pain,

Or promise me to feed on hope

        till I return again.”

112. The nurse will go

to Frair Laurence’s cell

to find Romeus, and

urges Juliet to be














   Her mistress sends her forth,

        and makes a grave behest

With reason’s reign to rule the thoughts

        that rage within her breast.

113. Juliet sends the

nurse to look for



























   When hugy heaps of harms

        are heaped before her eyes,

Then vanish they by hope of  ’scape;

        and thus the lady lies

   ’Twixt well assuréd trust,

        and doubtful lewd despair:

Now black and ugly be her thoughts;

        now seem they white and fair.

   As oft in summer tide

        black clouds do dim the sun,

And straight again in clearest sky

        his restless steeds do run,

   So Juliet’s wand’ring mind

        y-clouded is with woe,

And by and by her hasty thought

        the woes doth overgo.

114. Juliet is tossed

between hope and











   But now is time to tell,

        whilst she was tosséd thus,

What winds did drive or haven did hold

        her lover, Romeus.

115. Narrative shift

from Juliet to Romeus.


















   When he had slain his foe

        that ’gan this deadly strife,

And saw the furious fray had end

        by ending Tybalt’s life,

   He fled the sharp revenge

        of those that yet did live,

And doubting much what penal doom

        the troubled prince might give,

   He sought somewhere unseen

        to lurk a little space,

And trusty Laurence’ secret cell

        he thought the surest place.

116. Romeus hides

away and goes to the

































   In doubtful hap aye best

        a trusty friend is tried;

The friendly friar in this distress

        doth grant his friend to hide.

   A secret place he hath,

        well sealed round about,

The mouth of which so close is shut,

        that none may find it out;

   But room there is to walk,

        and place to sit and rest,

Beside a bed to sleep upon,

        full soft and trimly drest.

   The floor is planked so,

        with mats it is so warm,

That neither wind nor smoky damps

        have power him aught to harm.

   Where he was wont in youth

        his fair friends to bestow,

There now he hideth Romeus,

        whilst forth he goeth to know

   Both what is said and done,

        and what appointed pain,

Is publishéd by trumpet’s sound;

        then home he hies again.

117. The friar hides

him in a secret place

inside his cell, and

goes out to learn what

has been said.


















   By this, unto his cell

        the nurse with speedy pace

Was come the nearest way; she sought

        no idle resting place.

   The friar sent home the news

        of Romeus’ certain health,

And promise made, what so befell,

        he should that night by stealth

   Come to his wonted place,

        that they in needful wise

Of their affairs in time to come

        might thoroughly devise.

118. The nurse arrives

at the friar’s cell and is

informed by him that

that night Romeus will

go to Juliet’s room.











   Those joyful news the nurse

        brought home with merry joy;

And now our Juliet joys to think

        she shall her love enjoy.

119. The nurse gives

the joyful news to































   The friar shuts fast his door,

        and then to him beneath,

That waits to hear the doubtful news

        of life or else of death,

    “Thy hap,” quoth he, “is good,

        danger of death is none,

But thou shalt live, and do full well,

        in spite of spiteful fone.

   This only pain for thee

        was erst proclaimed aloud,

A banished man, thou may’st thee not

        within Verona shroud.”

   These heavy tidings heard,

        his golden locks he tare,

And like a frantic man hath torn

        the garments that he ware.

   And as the smitten deer

        in brakes is walt’ring found,

So wal’treth he, and with his breast

        doth beat the trodden ground.

   He rises eft, and strikes

        his head against the walls,

He falleth down again, and loud

        for hasty death he calls:

120. Romeo learns

from the Friar that the

Prince banished him

from Verona and

plunges into deep

























































































































    “Come speedy death,” quoth he,

         “the readiest leech in love;

Since nought can else beneath the sun

        the ground of grief remove,

   Of loathsome life break down

        the hated, staggering stays,

Destroy, destroy at once the

        life that faintly yet decays.

   But you, fair dame, in whom

        dame Nature did devise

With cunning hand to work that might

        seem wondrous in our eyes,

   For you, I pray the Gods,

        your pleasures to increase,

And all mishap, with this my death,

        for evermore to cease.

   And mighty Jove with speed

        of justice bring them low,

Whose lofty pride, without our guilt,

        our bliss doth overblow.

   And Cupid grant to those

        their speedy wrongs’ redress,

That shall bewail my cruel death

        and pity her distress.”

   Therewith a cloud of sighs

        he breathed into the skies,

And two great streams of bitter tears

        ran from his swollen eyes.

   These things the ancient friar

        with sorrow saw and heard,

Of such beginning, eke the end,

        the wise man greatly feared.

   But lo, he was so weak,

        by reason of his age,

That he ne could by force repress

        the rigour of his rage.

   His wise and friendly words

        he speaketh to the air,

For Romeus so vexéd is

        with care and with despair,

   That no advice can pierce

        his close forestoppéd ears;

So now the friar doth take his part

        in shedding ruthful tears.

   With colour pale and wan,

        with arms full hard y-fold,

With woeful cheer his wailing friend

        he standeth to behold.

   And then our Romeus

        with tender hands y-wrung,

With voice with plaint made hoarse, with sobs,

        and with a falt’ring tongue,

   Renewed with novel moan

        the dolours of his heart;

His outward dreary cheer bewrayed

        his store of inward smart.

   First Nature did he blame,

        the author of his life,

In which his joys had been so scant,

        and sorrows aye so rife;

   The time and place of birth

        he fiercely did reprove,

He cried out, with open mouth,

        against the stars above;

   The fatal sisters three,

        he said, had done him wrong,

The thread that should not have been spun,

        they had drawn forth too long.

   He wished that he had

        before this time been born,

Or that as soon as he wan light,

        his life he had forlorn.

   His nurse he curséd,

        and the hand that gave him pap,

The midwife eke with tender grip

        that held him in her lap;

   And then did he complain

        on Venus’ cruel son,

Who led him first unto the rocks

        which he should warely shun:

   By means whereof he lost

        both life and liberty,

And died a hundred times a day,

        and yet could never die.

   Love’s troubles lasten long,

        the joys he gives are short;

He forceth not a lover’s pain,

        their earnest is his sport.

   A thousand things and more

        I here let pass to write,

Which unto Love this woeful man

        did speak in great despite.

   On Fortune eke he railed,

        he called her deaf and blind,

Unconstant, fond, deceitful, rash,

        unruthful, and unkind.

   And to himself he laid

        a great part of the fault,

For that he slew and was not slain,

        in fighting with Tybalt.

   He blamed all the world,

        and all he did defy,

But Juliet for whom he lived,

        for whom eke would he die.

   When after raging fits

        appeaséd was his rage,

And when his passions, poured forth,

        ’gan partly to assuage,

   So wisely did the friar

        unto his tale reply,

That he straight cared for his life,

        that erst had care to die.

121. Romeo threatens

to kill himself.








































































































































































































































































    “Art thou,” quoth he, “a man?

        Thy shape saith, so thou art;

Thy crying, and thy weeping eyes

        denote a woman’s heart.

   For manly reason is

        quite from off thy mind outchased,

And in her stead affections lewd

        and fancies highly placed:

   So that I stood in doubt,

        this hour, at the least,

If thou a man or woman wert,

        or else a brutish beast.

   A wise man in the midst

        of troubles and distress

Still stands not wailing present harm,

        but seeks his harm’s redress.

   As when the winter flaws

        with dreadful noise arise,

And heave the foamy swelling waves

        up to the starry skies,

   So that the bruiséd bark

        in cruel seas betost,

Despaireth of the happy haven,

        in danger to be lost,

   The pilot bold at helm,

        cries, ‘Mates, strike now your sail,’

And turns her stem into the waves

        that strongly her assail;

   Then driven hard upon

        the bare and wrackful shore,

In greater danger to be wracked

        than he had been before,

   He seeth his ship full right

        against the rock to run,

But yet he doth what lieth in him

        the perilous rock to shun:

   Sometimes the beaten boat,

        by cunning government,

The anchors lost, the cables broke,

        and all the tackle spent,

   The rudder smitten off,

        and overboard the mast,

Doth win the long desiréd port,

        the stormy danger past:

   But if the master dread,

        and overpressed with woe

Begin to wring his hands, and lets

        the guiding rudder go,

   The ship rents on the rock,

        or sinketh in the deep,

And eke the coward drenchéd is:

        so, if thou still beweep

   And seek not how to help

        the changes that do chance,

Thy cause of sorrow shall increase,

        thou cause of thy mischance.

   Other account thee wise,

        prove not thyself a fool;

Now put in practice lessons learned

        of old in wisdom’s school.

   The wise man saith, ‘Beware

        thou double not thy pain,

For one perhaps thou may’st abide,

        but hardly suffer twain.’

   As well we ought to seek

        things hurtful to decrease,

As to endeavour helping things

        by study to increase.

   The praise of true freedom

        in wisdom’s bondage lies,

He winneth blame whose deeds be fond,

        although his words be wise.

   Sickness the body’s gaol,

        grief gaol is of the mind,

If thou canst ’scape from heavy grief,

        true freedom shalt thou find.

   Fortune can fill nothing

        so full of hearty grief,

But in the same a constant mind

        finds solace and relief.

   Virtue is always thrall

        to troubles and annoy,

But wisdom in adversity

        finds cause of quiet joy.

   And they most wretched are

        that know no wretchedness,

And after great extremity

        mishaps aye waxen less.

   Like as there is no weal

        but wastes away sometime,

So every kind of wailéd woe

        will wear away in time.

   If thou wilt master quite

        the troubles that thee spill,

Endeavour first by reason’s help

        to master witless will.

   A sundry med’cine hath

        each sundry faint disease,

But patience, a common salve,

        to every wound gives ease.

   The world is always full

        of chances and of change,

Wherefore the change of chance must not

        seem to a wise man strange.

   For tickle Fortune doth,

        in changing, but her kind,

But all her changes cannot change

        a steady constant mind.

   Though wavering Fortune turn

        from thee her smiling face,

And Sorrow seek to set himself

        in banished Pleasure’s place,

   Yet may thy marred state

        be mended in a while,

And she eftsoons that frowneth now,

        with peasant cheer shall smile,

   For as her happy state

        no long while standeth sure,

Even so the heavy plight she brings,

        not always doth endure.

   What need so many words

        to thee that art so wise?

Thou better canst advise thyself,

        than I can thee advise.

   Wisdom, I see, is vain,

        if thus in time of need

A wise man’s wit unpractised

        doth stand him in no steed.

   I know thou hast some cause

        of sorrow and of care,

But well I wot thou hast no cause

        thus franticly to fare.

   Affection’s foggy mist

        thy feebled sight doth blind;

But if that reason’s beams again

        might shine into thy mind,

   If thou would’st view thy state

        with an indifferent eye,

I think thou would’st condemn thy plaint,

        thy sighing, and thy cry.

   With valiant hand thou mad’st

        thy foe yield up his breath,

Thou hast escaped his sword and eke

        the laws that threaten death.

   By thy escape thy friends

        are fraughted full of joy,

And by his death thy deadly foes

        are laden with annoy.

   Wilt thou with trusty friends

        of pleasure take some part?

Or else to please thy hateful foes

        be partner of their smart?

   Why cry’st thou out on love?

        Why dost thou blame thy fate?

Why dost thou so cry after death?

        Thy life why dost thou hate?

   Dost thou repent the choice

        that thou so late didst choose?

Love is thy Lord; thou ought’st obey

        and not thy prince accuse.

   For thou hast found, thou know’st,

        great favour in his sight.

He granted thee, at thy request,

        thy only heart’s delight.

   So that the gods envied

        the bliss thou lived’st in;

To give to such unthankful men

        is folly and a sin.

   Methinks I hear thee say,

        the cruel banishment

Is only cause of thy unrest;

        only thou dost lament

   That from thy native land

        and friends thou must depart,

Enforced to fly from her that

        hath the keeping of thy heart:

   And so oppressed with weight

        of smart that thou dost feel,

Thou dost complain of Cupid’s brand,

        and Fortune’s turning wheel.

   Unto a valiant heart

        there is no banishment,

All countries are his native soil

        beneath the firmament.

   As to the fish the sea,

        as to the fowl the air,

So is like pleasant to the wise

        each place of his repair.

   Though froward Fortune chase

        thee hence into exile,

With doubled honour shall she call

        thee home within a while.

   Admit thou should’st abide

        abroad a year or twain,

Should so short absence cause so long

        and eke so grievous pain?

   Though thou ne may’st thy friends

        here in Verona see,

They are not banished Mantua,

        where safely thou may’st be.

   Thither they may resort,

        though thou resort not hither,

And there in surety may you talk

        of your affairs together.

   Yea, but this while, alas,

        thy Juliet must thou miss,

The only pillar of thy health,

        and anchor of thy bliss.

   Thy heart thou leav’st with her,

        when thou dost hence depart,

And in thy breast incloséd bear’st

        her tender friendly heart.

   But if thou rue so much

        to leave the rest behind,

With thought of passéd joys content

        thy uncontented mind.

   So shall the moan decrease

        wherewith thy mind doth melt,

Compared to the heavenly joys

        which thou hast often felt.

   He is too nice a weakling

        that shrinketh at a shower,

And he unworthy of the sweet,

        that tasteth not the sour.

   Call now again to mind

        thy first consuming flame,

How didst thou vainly burn in love

        of an unloving dame?

   Hadst thou not well-nigh wept

        quite out thy swelling eyne

Did not thy parts, fordone with pain,

        languish away and pine?

   Those griefs and others like

        were haply overpast,

And thou in height of Fortune’s wheel

        well placéd at the last!

   From whence thou art now fall’n,

        that, raiséd up again,

With greater joy a greater while

        in pleasure may’st thou reign.

   Compare the present while

        with times y-past before,

And think that Fortune hath for thee

        great pleasure yet in store.

   The whilst, this little wrong

        receive thou patiently,

And what of force must needs be done,

        that do thou willingly.

   Folly it is to fear

        that thou canst not avoid,

And madness to desire it much

        that cannot be enjoyed.

   To give to Fortune place,

        not aye deserveth blame,

But skill it is, according to

        the times thyself to frame.”

122. The friar rebukes









































   Whilst to this skilful lore

        he lent his list’ning ears,

His sighs are stopped and stoppéd are

        the conduits of his tears.

   As blackest clouds are chased

        by winter’s nimble wind,

So have his reasons chased

        care out of his careful mind.

   As of a morning foul

        ensues an evening fair,

So banished hope returneth home

        to banish his despair.

   Now is affection’s veil

        removed from his eyes,

He seeth the path that he must walk,

        and reason makes him wise.

   For very shame the blood

        doth flash in both his cheeks,

He thanks the father for his lore,

        and farther aid he seeks.

   He saith, that skilless youth

        for counsel is unfit,

And anger oft with hastiness

        are joined to want of wit;

   But sound advice abounds

        in heads with hoarish hairs,

For wisdom is by practice won,

        and perfect made by years.

   But aye from this time forth

        his ready bending will

Shall be in awe and governed

        by Friar Laurence’ skill.

123. Romeus is

convinced and

reassured by the wise




























   The governor is now

        right careful of his charge,

To whom he doth wisely discourse

        of his affairs at large.

   He tells him how he shall

        depart the town unknown,

Both mindful of his friend’s safety,

        and careful of his own;

   How he shall guide himself,

        how he shall seek to win

The friendship of the better sort,

        how warely to creep in

   The favour of the Mantuan prince

         and how he may

Appease the wrath of Escalus,

        and wipe the fault away;

   The choler of his foes

        by gentle means t’assuage,

Or else by force and practices

        to bridle quite their rage:

124. The friar gives

him instructions on

how to leave Verona,

gain the favour of the

Mantuan Prince and

appease Escalus.

















   And last he chargeth him

        at his appointed hour

To go with manly, merry cheer

        unto his lady’s bower,

   And there with wholesome words

        to salve her sorrow’s smart,

And to revive, if need require,

        her faint and dying heart.

125. The friar tells him

to pay a last visit to

his wife.











































   The old man’s words have filled

        with joy our Romeus’ breast,

And eke the old wife’s talk hath set

        our Juliet’s heart at rest.

   Whereto may I compare,

        O lovers, this your day?

Like days the painful mariners

        are wonted to assay;

   For, beat with tempest great,

        when they at length espy

Some little beam of Phoebus’ light,

        that pierceth through the sky,

   To clear the shadowed earth

        by clearness of his face,

They hope that dreadless they shall run

        the remnant of their race;

   Yea, they assure themselves,

        and quite behind their back

They cast all doubt, and thank the gods

        for ’scaping of the wrack;

   But straight the boisterous winds

        with greater fury blow,

And overboard the broken mast

        the stormy blasts do throw;

   The heavens large are clad

        with clouds as dark as hell,

And twice as high the striving waves

        begin to roar and swell;

   With greater dangers dread

        the men are vexéd more,

In greater peril of their life

        than they had been before.

126. Romeus and Juliet

feel reassured, but the

narrator anticipates

that a new storm is

looming ahead.







































   The golden sun was gone

        to lodge him in the west,

The full moon eke in yonder south

        had sent most men to rest,

   When restless Romeus

        and restless Juliet

In wonted sort, by wonted mean,

        in Juliet’s chamber met.

   And from the window’s top

        down had he leapéd scarce,

When she with arms outstretchéd wide

        so hard did him embrace,

   That well-nigh had the sprite,

        not forced by deadly force,

Flown unto death, before the time

        abandoning the corpse,

   Thus muet stood they both

        the eighth part of an hour,

And both would speak, but neither had

        of speaking any power;

   But on his breast her

        head doth joyless Juliet lay,

And on her slender neck his chin

        doth ruthful Romeus stay.

   Their scalding sighs ascend,

        and by their cheeks down fall

Their trickling tears, as crystal clear,

        but bitterer far than gall.

   Then he, to end the grief

        which both they lived in,

Did kiss his love, and wisely thus

        his tale he did begin:

127. At night Romeus

and Juliet meet in her

chamber and embrace.









































































    “My Juliet, my love,

        my only hope and care,

To you I purpose not as now

        with length of word declare

   The diverseness and eke

        the accidents so strange

Of frail unconstant Fortune, that

        delighteth still in change;

   Who in a moment heaves

        her friends up to the height

Of her swift-turning slippery wheel,

        then fleets her friendship straight.

   O wondrous change, even with

        the twinkling of an eye

Whom erst herself had rashly set

        in pleasant place so high,

   The same in great despite

        down headlong doth she throw,

And while she treads and spurneth at

        the lofty state laid low,

   More sorrow doth she shape

        within an hour’s space,

Than pleasure in an hundred years;

        so geason is her grace.

   The proof whereof in me,

        alas, too plain appears,

Whom tenderly my careful friends

        have fostered with my feres,

   In prosperous high degree,

        maintainéd so by fate,

That, as yourself did see, my foes

        envied my noble state.

   One thing there was I did

        above the rest desire,

To which as to the sovereign good

        by hope I would aspire.

   That by our marriage mean

        we might within a while,

To work our perfect happiness,

        our parents reconcile:

   That safely so we might,

        not stopped by sturdy strife,

Unto the bounds that God hath set,

        guide forth our pleasant life.

   But now, alack, too soon

        my bliss is overblown,

And upside down my purpose and

        my enterprise are thrown.

   And driven from my friends,

        of strangers must I crave;

Oh, grant it God, from dangers dread

        that I may surety have.

   For lo, henceforth I must

        wander in lands unknown

(So hard I find the Prince’s doom),

        exiléd from mine own.

   Which thing I have thought good

        to set before your eyes

And to exhort you now to prove

        yourself a woman wise,

   That patiently you bear

        my absent long abode,

For what above by fatal dooms

        decreéd is, that God”.

128. Romeus’ speech

on inconstant Fortune

and report of his own























































































































   And more than this to say,

        it seeméd, he was bent,

But Juliet in deadly grief,

        with brackish tears besprent,

   Brake off his tale begun,

        and whilst his speech he stayed,

These selfsame words, or like to these,

        with dreary cheer she said:

    “Why, Romeus, can it be

        thou hast so hard a heart;

So far removed from ruth; so far

        from thinking on my smart;

   To leave me thus alone,

        thou cause of my distress,

Besiegéd with so great a camp

        of mortal wretchedness,

   That every hour now,

        and moment in a day,

A thousand times Death brags, as he

        would reave my life away?

   Yet such is my mishap,

        O cruel destiny,

That still I live, and wish for death,

        but yet can never die;

   So that just cause I have

        to think, as seemeth me,

That froward Fortune did of late

        with cruel Death agree

   To lengthen loathéd life,

        to pleasure in my pain,

And triumph in my harm, as in

        the greatest hopéd gain.

   And thou, the instrument

        of Fortune’s cruel will,

Without whose aid she can no way

        her tyrannous lust fulfil,

   Art not a whit ashamed,

        as far as I can see,

To cast me off, when thou hast culled

        the better part of me.

   Whereby, alas, too soon,

        I, seely wretch, do prove,

That all the ancient sacred laws

        of friendship and of love

   Are quelled and quenchéd quite,

        since he, on whom alway

My chief hope and my steady trust

        was wonted still to stay,

   For whom I am become

        unto myself a foe,

Disdaineth me, his steadfast friend,

        and scorns my friendship so.

   Nay, Romeus, nay, thou may’st

        of two things choose the one,

Either to see thy castaway,

        as soon as thou art gone,

   Headlong to throw herself

        down from the window’s height,

And so to break her slender neck

        with all the body’s weight,

   Or suffer her to be

        companion of thy pain,

Whereso thou go, Fortune thee guide,

        till thou return again.

   So wholly into thine

        transforméd is my heart,

That even as oft as I do think

        that thou and I shall part,

   So oft, methinks, my life

        withdraws itself away,

Which I retain to no end else

        but to the end I may,

   In spite of all thy foes,

        thy present parts enjoy,

And in distress to bear with thee

        the half of thine annoy.

   Wherefore, in humble sort,

        Romeus, I make request,

If ever tender pity yet

        were lodged in gentle breast,

   Oh, let it now have place

        to rest within thy heart;

Receive me as thy servant, and

        the fellow of thy smart.

   Thy absence is my death,

        thy sight shall give me life;

But if perhaps thou stand in dread

        to lead me as a wife,

   Art thou all counsel-less?

        Canst thou no shift devise?

What letteth but in other

        weed I may myself disguise?

   What, shall I be the first?

        Hath none done so ere this,

To ’scape the bondage of their friends?

        Thyself can answer, yes.

   Or dost thou stand in doubt

        that I thy wife ne can

By service pleasure thee as much

        as may thy hiréd man?

   Or is my loyalty

        of both accompted less?

Perhaps thou fear’st lest I for gain

        forsake thee in distress.

   What, hath my beauty now

        no power at all on you,

Whose brightness, force, and praise, sometime

        up to the skies you blew?

   My tears, my friendship and

        my pleasures done of old,

Shall they be quite forgot indeed?”

129. Juliet interrupts

him and blames

Fortune and Romeus

for leaving her in

Verona: she either will

die without him, or

will be his companion

in exile.


























































































































        When Romeus did behold

   The wildness of her look,

        her colour pale and dead,

The worst of all that might betide

        to her, he ’gan to dread;

   And once again he did

        in arms his Juliet take,

And kissed her with a loving kiss,

        and thus to her he spake:

    “Ah, Juliet,” quoth he,

         “the mistress of my heart,

For whom, even now, thy servant doth

        abide in deadly smart,

   Even for the happy days

        which thou desir’st to see,

And for the fervent friendship’s sake

        that thou dost owe to me,

   At once these fancies vain

        out of thy mind root out,

Except, perhaps, unto thy blame,

        thou fondly go about

   To hasten forth my death,

        and to thine own to run,

Which Nature’s law and wisdom’s lore

        teach every wight to shun.

   For, but thou change thy mind,

        I do foretell the end,

Thou shalt undo thyself for aye,

        and me thy trusty friend.

   For why, thy absence known,

        thy father will be wroth,

And in his rage so narrowly

        he will pursue us both,

   That we shall try in vain

        to ’scape away by flight,

And vainly seek a lurking place

        to hide us from his sight.

   Then we, found out and caught,

        quite void of strong defence,

Shall cruelly be punished

        for thy departure hence;

   I as a ravisher,

        thou as a careless child,

I as a man who doth defile,

        thou as a maid defiled;

   Thinking to lead in ease

        a long-contented life,

Shall short our days by shameful death:

        but if, my loving wife,

   Thou banish from thy mind

        two foes that counsel hath,

That wont to hinder sound advice,

        rash hastiness and wrath;

   If thou be bent t’obey

        the lore of reason’s skill

And wisely by her princely power

        suppress rebelling will,

   If thou our safety seek,

        more than thine own delight,

Since surety stands in parting, and

        thy pleasures grow of sight,

   Forbear the cause of joy,

        and suffer for a while,

So shall I safely live abroad,

        and safe turn from exile,

   So shall no slander’s blot

        thy spotless life distain,

So shall thy kinsmen be unstirred,

        and I exempt from pain.

   And think thou not, that aye

        the cause of care shall last;

These stormy broils shall overblow,

        much like a winter’s blast.

   For Fortune changeth more

        than fickle fantasy;

In nothing Fortune constant is

        save in unconstancy.

   Her hasty running wheel

        is of a restless course,

That turns the climbers headlong down,

        from better to the worse,

   And those that are beneath

        she heaveth up again:

So we shall rise to pleasure’s mount,

        out of the pit of pain.

   Ere four months overpass,

        such order will I take,

And by my letters and my friends

        such means I mind to make,

   That of my wand’ring race

        ended shall be the toil,

And I called home with honour great

        unto my native soil.

   But if I be condemned

        to wander still in thrall,

I will return to you, mine own,

        befall what may befall.

   And then by strength of friends,

        and with a mighty hand,

From Verona will I carry thee

        into a foreign land,

   Not in man’s weed disguised,

        or as one scarcely known,

But as my wife and only fere,

        in garment of thine own.

   Wherefore repress at once

        the passions of thy heart,

And where there is no cause of grief,

        cause hope to heal thy smart.

   For of this one thing thou

        may’st well assuréd be,

That nothing else but only death

        shall sunder me from thee.”

130. Romeus urges

Juliet to remain

behind to avoid being

prosecuted and

condemned. He

promises that he will

either return for good

after four months, or

will escape with her


































   The reasons that he made

        did seem of so great weight,

And had with her such force, that she

        to him ’gan answer straight:

    “Dear sir, nought else wish I

        but to obey your will;

But sure whereso you go, your heart

        with me shall tarry still,

   As sign and certain pledge,

        till here I shall you see,

Of all the power that over you

        yourself did grant to me;

   And in his stead take mine,

        the gage of my good will:

One promise crave I at your hand,

        that grant me to fulfil;

   Fail not to let me have,

        at Friar Laurence’ hand,

The tidings of your health, and how

        your doubtful case shall stand.

   And all the weary while

        that you shall spend abroad,

Cause me from time to time to know

        the place of your abode.”

131. Juliet agrees but

wants to be kept

informed by Friar

















   His eyes did gush out tears,

        a sigh brake from his breast,

When he did grant and with an oath

        did vow to keep the hest.

   Thus these two lovers pass

        away the weary night,

In pain and plaint, not, as they wont,

        in pleasure and delight.

132. The lovers agree

and spend the night in

pain and plaint.








































   But now (somewhat too soon)

        in farthest east arose

Fair Lucifer, the golden star

        that lady Venus chose;

   Whose course appointed is

        with speedy race to run,

A messenger of dawning day

        and of the rising sun.

   Then fresh Aurora with

        her pale and silver glade

Did clear the skies, and from the earth

        had chaséd ugly shade.

   When thou ne lookest wide,

        ne closely dost thou wink

When Phoebus from our hemisphere

        in western wave doth sink,

   What colour then the heavens

        do show unto thine eyes,

The same, or like, saw Romeus

        in farthest eastern skies.

   As yet he saw no day,

        ne could he call it night

With equal force decreasing dark

        fought with increasing light.

   Then Romeus in arms

        his lady ’gan to fold,

With friendly kiss, and ruthfully

        she ’gan her knight behold.

   With solemn oath they both

        their sorrowful leave do take;

They swear no stormy troubles shall

        their steady friendship shake.

133. At dawn the two

lovers sadly part.
































   Then careful Romeus

        again to cell returns,

And in her chamber secretly

        our joyless Juliet mourns.

   Now hugy clouds of care,

        of sorrow, and of dread,

The clearness of their gladsome hearts

        hath wholly overspread.

   When golden-crested Phoebus

        boasteth him in sky,

And under earth, to ’scape revenge,

        his deadly foe doth fly

   Then hath these lovers’ day

        an end, their night begun,

For each of them to other is

        as to the world the sun,

   The dawning they shall see,

        ne summer any more,

But blackfaced night with winter rough,

        ah, beaten over sore.

134. Romeus goes to

the friar’s cell, Juliet to

her room. The

narrator depicts their

 days of sorrow

deprived of each

other’s sun.



























   The weary watch discharged

        did hie them home to sleep,

The warders and the scouts were charged

        their place and course to keep,

   And Verona gates awide

        the porters had set open,

When Romeus had of his affairs

        with Friar Laurence spoken.

   Warely he walked forth,

        unknown of friend or foe,

Clad like a merchant venturer,

        from top even to the toe.

   He spurred apace, and came,

        without stop or stay,

To Mantua gates, where lighted down,

        he sent his man away

   With words of comfort to

        his old afflicted sire;

135. After the

discharging of the

guards at Verona

gates, Romeus goes

away disguised as a

merchant and once in

Mantua sends back his

































































































And straight, in mind to sojourn there,

        a lodging doth he hire,

   And with the nobler sort

        he doth himself acquaint,

And of his open wrong received

        the duke doth hear his plaint.

   He practiseth by friends

        for pardon of exile;

The whilst he seeketh every way

        his sorrows to beguile.

   But who forgets the coal

        that burneth in his breast?

Alas, his cares deny his heart

        the sweet desiréd rest;

   No time finds he of mirth,

        he finds no place of joy,

But everything occasion gives

        of sorrow and annoy.

   For when in turning skies

        the heaven’s lamps are light,

And from the other hemisphere

        fair Phoebus chaseth night,

   When every man and beast

        hath rest from painful toil,

Then in the breast of Romeus

        his passions ’gin to boil.

   Then doth he wet with tears

        the couch whereon he lies,

And then his sighs the chamber fill,

        and out aloud he cries

   Against the restless stars

        in rolling skies that range,

Against the fatal sisters three,

        and Fortune full of change.

   Each night a thousand times

        he calleth for the day,

He thinketh Titan’s restless steeds

        of restiness do stay;

   Or that at length they have

        some baiting place found out,

Or, guided ill, have lost their way

        and wandered far about.

   While thus in idle thoughts

        the weary time he spendeth,

The night hath end, but not with night

        the plaint of night he endeth.

   Is he accompanied?

        Is he in place alone?

In company he wails his harm,

        apart he maketh moan:

   For if his feres rejoice,

        what cause hath he to joy,

That wanteth still his chief delight,

        while they their loves enjoy?

   But if with heavy cheer

        they show their inward grief,

He waileth most his wretchedness

        that is of wretches chief.

   When he doth hear abroad

        the praise of ladies blown,

Within his thought he scorneth them,

        and doth prefer his own.

   When pleasant songs he hears,

        while others do rejoice,

The melody of music doth

        stir up his mourning voice.

   But if in secret place

        he walk somewhere alone,

The place itself and secretness

        redoubleth all his moan.

   Then speaks he to the beasts,

        to feathered fowls and trees,

Unto the earth, the clouds, and to

        whatso beside he sees.

   To them he shew’th his smart,

        as though they reason had.

Each thing may cause his heaviness,

        but nought may make him glad.

   And, weary of the day,

        again he calleth night,

The sun he curseth, and the hour

        when first his eyes saw light.

   And as the night and day

        their course do interchange,

So doth our Romeus’ nightly cares

        for cares of day exchange.

136. Romeus finds a

lodging in Mantua,

makes noble

acquaintances and

complains about the

wrong he received

with the duke. Yet

time passes and

nothing makes him











































   In absence of her knight

        the lady no way could

Keep truce between her griefs and her,

        though ne’er so fain she would;

   And though with greater pain

        she cloakéd sorrow’s smart,

Yet did her paléd face disclose

        the passions of her heart.

   Her sighing every hour,

        her weeping everywhere,

Her reckless heed of meat, of sleep,

        and wearing of her gear,

   The careful mother marks;

        then of her health afraid,

Because the griefs increaséd still,

        thus to her child she said:

    “Dear daughter, if you should

        long languish in this sort,

I stand in doubt that oversoon

        your sorrows will make short

   Your loving father’s life

        and mine, that love you more

Than our own proper breath and life.

        Bridle henceforth therefore

   Your grief and pain, yourself

        on joy your thought to set,

For time it is that now you should

        our Tybalt’s death forget.

   Of whom since God hath claimed

        the life that was but lent,

He is in bliss, ne is there cause

        why you should thus lament.

   You cannot call him back

        with tears and shriekings shrill:

It is a fault thus still to grudge

        at God’s appointed will.”

137. Juliet pines away,

and her mother urges

her to give up

suffering for Tybalt’s



























   The seely soul had now

        no longer power to feign,

No longer could she hide her harm,

        but answered thus again,

   With heavy broken sighs,

        with visage pale and dead:

“Madam, the last of Tybalt’s tears

        a great while since I shed.

   Whose spring hath been ere this

        so laded out by me,

That empty quite and moistureless

        I guess it now to be.

   So that my painéd heart

        by conduits of the eyne

No more henceforth, as wont it was,

        shall gush forth dropping brine.”

138. Juliet can no

longer hide her pain

but denies that it is

due to Tybalt’s death.




























   The woeful mother knew

        not what her daughter meant,

And loth to vex her child by words,

        her peace she warely hent.

   But when from hour to hour,

        from morrow to the morrow,

Still more and more she saw increased

        her daughter’s wonted sorrow,

   All means she sought of her

        and household folk to know

The certain root whereon her grief

        and bootless moan doth grow.

   But lo, she hath in vain

        her time and labour lore,

Wherefore without all measure is

        her heart tormented sore.

   And sith herself could not

        find out the cause of care,

She thought it good to tell the sire

        how ill his child did fare.

139. Juliet’s mother

does not understand

her behaviour and

decides to talk it over

with her husband.






















































































   And when she saw her time,

        thus to her fere she said:

“Sir, if you mark our daughter well,

        the countenance of the maid,

   And how she fareth since

        that Tybalt unto death,

Before his time, forced by his foe,

        did yield his living breath,

   Her face shall seem so changed,

        her doings eke so strange,

That you will greatly wonder at

        so great and sudden change.

   Not only she forbears

        her meat, her drink, and sleep,

But now she tendeth nothing else

        but to lament and weep.

   No greater joy hath she,

        nothing contents her heart

So much as in the chamber close

        to shut herself apart;

   Where she doth so torment

        her poor afflicted mind,

That much in danger stands her life,

        except some help we find.

   But, out, alas, I see not

        how it may be found,

Unless that first we might find whence

        her sorrows thus abound.

   For though with busy care

        I have employed my wit,

And used all the ways I knew

        to learn the truth of it,

   Neither extremity

        ne gentle means could boot;

She hideth close within her breast

        her secret sorrow’s root.

   This was my first conceit,

        that all her ruth arose

Out of her cousin Tybalt’s death,

        late slain of deadly foes;

   But now my heart doth hold

        a new repugnant thought;

Some greater thing, not Tybalt’s death,

        this change in her hath wrought.

   Herself assuréd me

        that many days ago

She shed the last of Tybalt’s tears;

        which word amazed me so

   That I then could not guess

        what thing else might her grieve;

But now at length I have bethought

        me; and I do believe

   The only crop and root

        of all my daughter’s pain

Is grudging envy’s faint disease:

        perhaps she doth disdain

   To see in wedlock yoke

        the most part of her feres,

Whilst only she unmarried

        doth lose so many years.

   And more perchance she thinks

        you mind to keep her so;

Wherefore despairing doth she wear

        herself away with woe.

   Therefore, dear sir, in time

        take on your daughter ruth;

For why, a brickle thing is glass,

        and frail is frailless youth.

   Join her at once to some

        in link of marriage,

That may be meet for our degree,

        and much about her age:

   So shall you banish care

        out of your daughter’s breast,

So we her parents, in our age,

        shall live in quiet rest.”

140. Juliet’s mother

urges her husband to

find out the true cause

of Juliet’s pain and

suggests that they find

a good party for her,

assuming that she is

envious of her mates

who are already


















































   Whereto ’gan easily

        her husband to agree,

And to the mother’s skilful talk

        thus straightway answered he:

    “Oft have I thought, dear wife,

        of all these things ere this,

But evermore my mind me gave,

        it should not be amiss

   By farther leisure had

        a husband to provide;

Scarce saw she yet full sixteen years:

        too young to be a bride!

   But since her state doth stand

        on terms so perilous,

And that a maiden daughter is

        a treasure dangerous,

   With so great speed I will

        endeavour to procure

A husband for our daughter young,

        her sickness faint to cure,

   That you shall rest content,

        so warely will I choose,

And she recover soon enough

        the time she seems to lose.

   The whilst seek you to learn,

        if she in any part

Already hath, unware to us,

        fixéd her friendly heart;

   Lest we have more respect

        to honour and to wealth,

Than to our daughter’s quiet life,

        and to her happy health;

   Whom I do hold as dear

        as th’apple of mine eye,

And rather wish in poor estate

        and daughterless to die,

   Than leave my goods and her

        y-thralled to such a one,

Whose churlish dealing, I once dead,

        should be her cause of moan.”

141. Capulet replies

that although she is

only 16, he has long

thought about this

matter and will find a

prompt solution to

cure her.























   This pleasant answer heard,

        the lady parts again,

And Capulet, the maiden’s sire,

        within a day or twain,

   Conferreth with his friends

        for marriage of his daughter,

And many gentlemen there were

        with busy care that sought her;

   Both for the maiden was

        well shapéd, young, and fair,

As also well brought up, and wise;

        her father’s only heir.

142. Capulet starts

searching for a good























   Among the rest was one

        inflamed with her desire,

Who County Paris clepéd was;

        an earl he had to sire.

   Of all the suitors him

        the father liketh best,

And easily unto the earl

        he maketh his behest,

   Both of his own good will,

        and of his friendly aid,

To win his wife unto his will,

        and to persuade the maid.

   The wife did joy to hear

        the joyful husband say

How happy hap, how meet a match,

        he had found out that day;

143. Among the

suitors, Capulet likes

Count Paris best and

tells his wife.





























   Ne did she seek to hide

        her joys within her heart,

But straight she hieth to Juliet;

        to her she tells, apart,

   What happy talk, by mean

        of her, was past no rather

Between the wooing Paris and

        her careful, loving father.

   The person of the man,

        the features of his face,

His youthful years, his fairness, and

        his port, and seemly grace,

   With curious words she paints

        before her daughter’s eyes,

And then with store of virtue’s praise

        she heaves him to the skies.

   She vaunts his race, and gifts

        that Fortune did him give,

Whereby, she saith, both she and hers

        in great delight shall live.

144. Lady Capulet

informs Juliet and

praises the beauty of




































































   When Juliet conceived

        her parents’ whole intent,

Whereto both love and reason’s right

        forbade her to assent,

   Within herself she thought,

        rather than be forsworn,

With horses wild her tender parts

        asunder should be torn.

   Not now, with bashful brow,

        in wonted wise, she spoke,

But with unwonted boldness straight

        into these words she broke:

    “Madam, I marvel much

        that you so lavish are

Of me your child, your jewel once,

        your only joy and care,

   As thus to yield me up

        at pleasure of another,

Before you know if I do like

        or else mislike my lover.

   Do what you list, but yet

        of this assure you still,

If you do as you say you will,

        I yield not there until.

   For had I choice of twain,

        far rather would I choose

My part of all your goods and eke

        my breath and life to lose,

   Than grant that he possess

        of me the smallest part;

First, weary of my painful life,

        my cares shall kill my heart,

   Else will I pierce my breast

        with sharp and bloody knife;

And you, my mother, shall become

        the murd’ress of my life,

   In giving me to him

        whom I ne can, ne may,

Ne ought, to love: wherefore on knees,

        dear mother, I you pray,

   To let me live henceforth,

        as I have lived tofore;

Cease all your troubles for my sake,

        and care for me no more;

   But suffer Fortune fierce

        to work on me her will,

In her it lieth to do me boot,

        in her it lieth to spill.

   For whilst you for the best

        desire to place me so,

You haste away my ling’ring death,

        and double all my woe.

145. Juliet firmly

rejects her mother’s
























   So deep this answer made

        the sorrows down to sink

Into the mother’s breast, that she

        ne knoweth what to think

   Of these her daughter’s words,

        but all appalled she stands,

And up unto the heavens she throws

        her wond’ring head and hands.

   And, nigh beside herself,

        her husband hath she sought;

She tells him all; she doth forget

        ne yet she hideth aught.

146. Lady Capulet is

taken aback and

wishes her husband

had been with her.

She informs him.
























   The testy old man, wroth,

        disdainful without measure,

Sends forth his folk in haste for her,

        and bids them take no leisure:

   Ne on her tears or plaint

        at all to have remorse,

But, if they cannot with her will,

        to bring the maid perforce.

   The message heard, they part,

        to fetch that they must fet,

And willingly with them walks forth

        obedient Juliet.

147. Capulet summons


























   Arrivéd in the place,

        when she her father saw,

Of whom, as much as duty would,

        the daughter stood in awe,

   The servants sent away,

         (the mother thought it meet)

The woeful daughter all bewept

        fell grovelling at his feet,

   Which she doth wash with tears

        as she thus grovelling lies.

So fast, and eke so plenteously

        distil they from her eyes:

   When she to call for grace

        her mouth doth think to open,

Muet she is, for sighs and sobs

        her fearful talk have broken.

148. Once in front of

her father Juliet

despairs and cannot

speak for sobs and




































































































   The sire, whose swelling wrath

        her tears could not assuage,

With fiery eyne, and scarlet cheeks,

        thus spoke her in his rage,

   Whilst ruthfully stood by

        the maiden’s mother mild:

“Listen,” quoth he, “unthankful and

        thou disobedient child,

   Hast thou so soon let slip

        out of thy mind the word

That thou so oftentimes hast heard

        rehearséd at my board?

   How much the Roman youth

        of parents stood in awe,

And eke what power upon their seed

        the fathers had by law?

   Whom they not only might pledge,

        alienate, and sell,

Whenso they stood in need, but more,

        if children did rebel,

   The parents had the power

        of life and sudden death.

What if those good men should again

        receive the living breath,

   In how strait bonds would they

        thy stubborn body bind?

What weapons would they seek for thee?

        what torments would they find?

   To chasten, if they saw,

        the lewdness of thy life,

Thy great unthankfulness to me,

        and shameful sturdy strife?

   Such care thy mother had,

        so dear thou wert to me,

That I with long and earnest suit

        provided have for thee

   One of the greatest lords

        that wons about this town,

And for his many virtues’ sake

        a man of great renown.

   Of whom both thou and I

        unworthy are too much,

So rich ere long he shall be left,

        his father’s wealth is such,

   Such is the nobleness

        and honour of the race,

From whence his father came: and yet,

        thou playest in this case

   The dainty fool, and stubborn

        girl; for want of skill

Thou dost refuse thy offered weal,

        and disobey my will.

   Even by His strength I swear,

        that first did give me life,

And gave me in my youth the strength

        to get thee on my wife,

   Unless by Wednesday next

        thou bend as I am bent,

And at our castle called Freetown

        thou freely do assent

   To County Paris’ suit,

        and promise to agree

To whatsoever then shall pass

        ’twixt him, my wife, and me,

   Not only will I give

        all that I have away

From thee, to those that shall me love,

        me honour, and obey,

   But also to so close

        and to so hard a gaol

I shall thee wed, for all thy life,

        that sure thou shalt not fail

   A thousand times a day

        to wish for sudden death,

And curse the day and hour when first

        thy lungs did give thee breath.

   Advise thee well, and say

        that thou art warnéd now,

And think not that I speak in sport,

        or mind to break my vow.

   For were it not that I

        to County Paris gave

My faith, which I must keep unfalsed,

        my honour so to save,

   Ere thou go hence, myself

        would see thee chastened so,

That thou should’st once for all be taught

        thy duty how to know;

   And what revenge of old

        the angry sires did find

Against their children that rebelled

        and showed themselves unkind.”

149. Capulet gets

incensed and orders

Juliet to marry Paris

and go to their castle

Freetown on Wednesday to assent.

He reminds her of the

power of Roman

fathers over their
























   These said, the old man straight

        is gone in haste away,

Ne for his daughter’s answer would

        the testy father stay.

   And after him his wife

        doth follow out of door,

And there they leave their chidden

        child kneeling upon the floor:

150. Capulet and his

wife go away without

waiting for Juliet to

reply, who remains

kneeling on the floor.






























   Then she that oft had seen

        the fury of her sire,

Dreading what might come of his rage,

        nould farther stir his ire.

   Unto her chamber she

        withdrew herself apart,

Where she was wonted to unload

        the sorrows of her heart.

   There did she not so much

        busy her eyes in sleeping,

As overpressed with restless thoughts

        in piteous bootless weeping.

   The fast falling of tear

        make not her tears decrease,

Ne, by the pouring forth of plaint,

        the cause of plaint doth cease.

   So that to th’end the moan

        and sorrow may decay,

The best is that she seek some mean

        to take the cause away.

151. Juliet retires to

her room and cries.

























































   Her weary bed betime

        the woeful wight forsakes,

And to Saint Francis’ church to mass

        her way devoutly takes.

   The friar forth is called;

        she prays him hear her shrift;

Devotion is in so young years

        a rare and precious gift.

   When on her tender knees

        the dainty lady kneels,

In mind to pour forth all the grief

        that inwardly she feels,

   With sighs and salted tears

        her shriving doth begin,

For she of heapéd sorrows hath

        to speak, and not of sin.

   Her voice with piteous plaint

        was made already hoarse,

And hasty sobs, when she would speak,

        brake off her words perforce.

   But as she may, piece-meal,

        she poureth in his lap

The marriage news, a mischief new,

        preparéd by mishap,

   Her parents’ promise erst

        to County Paris past,

Her father’s threats she telleth him,

        and thus concludes at last:

    “Once was I wedded well,

        ne will I wed again;

For since I know I may not be

        the wedded wife of twain,

   For I am bound to have

        one God, one faith, one make,

My purpose is as soon as I

        shall hence my journey take,

   With these two hands, which joined

        unto the heavens I stretch,

The hasty death which I desire,

        unto myself to reach.

   This day, O Romeus,

        this day thy woeful wife

Will bring the end of all her cares

        by ending careful life.

   So my departed sprite

        shall witness to the sky,

And eke my blood unto the earth

        bear record, how that I

   Have kept my faith unbroken,

        steadfast unto my friend.”

152. In the morning

Juliet goes to Saint

Francis’ church,

informs the friar of the

organized match with

Paris and threatens






































When this her heavy tale was told,

        her vow eke at an end,

   Her gazing here and there,

        her fierce and staring look,

Did witness that some lewd attempt

        her heart had undertook.

   Whereat the friar astound,

        and ghastfully afraid

Lest she by deed perform her word,

        thus much to her he said:

    “Ah, Lady Juliet,

        what need the words you spoke?

I pray you, grant me one request,

        for blesséd Mary’s sake.

   Measure somewhat your grief,

        hold here awhile your peace;

Whilst I bethink me of your case,

        your plaint and sorrows cease.

   Such comfort will I give you,

        ere you part from hence,

And for th’assaults of Fortune’s ire

        prepare so sure defence,

   So wholesome salve will I

        for your afflictions find,

That you shall hence depart again

        with well contented mind.”

153. The friar

reassures Juliet and

promises to help her

against ill Fortune.





























   His words have chaséd straight

        out of her heart despair,

Her black and ugly dreadful thoughts

        by hope are waxen fair.

   So Friar Laurence now

        hath left her there alone,

And he out of the church in haste

        is to his chamber gone;

   Where sundry thoughts within

        his careful head arise;

The old man’s foresight divers doubts

        hath set before his eyes,

   His conscience one while

        condemns it for a sin

To let her take Paris to spouse,

        since he himself had been

   The chiefest cause, that she

        unknown to father or mother,

Not five months past, in that self-place

        was wedded to another.

154. Juliet feels

relieved and the friar

retires to his chamber

to think the matter

out. He feels

responsible for having

married her not five

months before.























   Another while an hugy

        heap of dangers dread

His restless thought hath heapéd up

        within his troubled head.

   Even of itself th’attempt

        he judgeth perilous;

The execution eke he deems

        so much more dangerous,

   That to a woman’s grace

        he must himself commit,

That young is, simple and unware,

        for weighty affairs unfit;

   For if she fail in aught,

        the matter publishéd,

Both she and Romeus were undone,

        himself eke punishéd.

155. The friar is

troubled by fears for

the lovers and himself

in case Juliet fails to

cope with such a

weighty affair and it is


























   When to and fro in mind

        he divers thoughts had cast,

With tender pity and with ruth

        his heart was won at last;

   He thought he rather would

        in hazard set his fame,

Than suffer such adultery.

        Resolving on the same,

   Out of his closet straight

        he took a little glass,

And then with double haste returned

        where woeful Juliet was;

   Whom he hath found well-nigh

        in trance, scarce drawing breath,

Attending still to hear the news

        of life or else of death.

156. Eventually he

decides that it is better

to risk his own

reputation than

Juliet’s honesty. He

takes a little glass, and

goes back to Juliet.

















   Of whom he did enquire

        of the appointed day:

“On Wednesday next,” quoth Juliet,

         “so doth my father say,

   I must give my consent;

        but, as I do remember,

The solemn day of marriage is

        the tenth day of September.”

157. The friar asks

Juliet when she must

consent and learns

that it is on

Wednesday, while the

marriage is set on

September 10.









































    “Dear daughter,” quoth the friar,

         “of good cheer see thou be,

For lo, Saint Francis of his grace

        hath showed a way to me,

   By which I may both thee

        and Romeus together

Out of the bondage which you fear

        assurédly deliver.

   Even from the holy font

        thy husband have I known,

And, since he grew in years, have kept

        his counsels as mine own.

   For from his youth he would

        unfold to me his heart,

And often have I curéd him

        of anguish and of smart;

   I know that by desert

        his friendship I have won,

And I him hold as dear as if

        he were my proper son.

   Wherefore my friendly heart

        cannot abide that he

Should wrongfully in aught be harmed,

        if that it lay in me

   To right or to revenge

        the wrong by my advice,

Or timely to prevent the same

        in any other wise.

   And sith thou art his wife,

        thee am I bound to love,

For Romeus’ friendship’s sake, and seek

        thy anguish to remove,

   And dreadful torments, which

        thy heart besiegen round;

158. The friar vows to

help and stand loyal to

both Romeus and


















Wherefore, my daughter, give good ear

        unto my counsels sound.

   Forget not what I say,

        ne tell it any wight,

Not to the nurse thou trustest so,

        as Romeus is thy knight;

   For on this thread doth hang

        thy death and eke thy life,

My fame or shame, his weal or woe

        that chose thee to his wife.

159. The friar bids

Juliet to secrecy.




















































   Thou art not ignorant,

        because of such renown

As everywhere is spread of me,

        but chiefly in this town,

   That in my youthful days

        abroad I travelléd,

Through every land found out by men,

        by men inhabited;

   So twenty years from home,

        in lands unknown a guest,

I never gave my weary limbs

        long time of quiet rest,

   But in the desert woods,

        to beasts of cruel kind,

Or on the seas to drenching waves,

        at pleasure of the wind,

   I have committed them,

        to ruth of rover’s hand,

And to a thousand dangers more,

        by water and by land.

   But not in vain, my child,

        hath all my wand’ring been;

Beside the great contentedness

        my sprite abideth in,

   That by the pleasant thought

        of passéd things doth grow,

One private fruit more have I plucked,

        which thou shalt shortly know:

   What force the stones, the plants,

        and metals have to work,

And divers other things that in

        the bowels of earth do lurk,

   With care I have sought out,

        with pain I did them prove;

With them eke can I help myself

        at times of my behove,

   Although the science be

        against the laws of men,

When sudden danger forceth me;

        but yet most chiefly when

   The work to do is least

        displeasing unto God,

Not helping to do any sin

        that wreakful Jove forbode.

160. The friar

describes his past

adventures when he

learned about a

“private fruit” which

will serve Juliet’s








1      2      3