Shakespeare’s Narrative Sources: Italian Novellas and Their European Dissemination

Tragical History – Semidiplomatic Edition 1562

The Tragical Historye of Romeus and Iuliet, written firſt in Italian by Bandell, and nowe in Engliſhe by Ar. Br. In aedibus Richardi Tottelli. Cum Privilegio.


To the Reader.

The God of all glorye created vniverſallye all creatures, to ſette forth hiſ prayſe, both thoſe whiche we eſteme profitable in vſe and pleaſure, and alſo thoſe, whiche we accompte noyſome, and lothſome. But principally he hath appointed man, the chiefeſt inſtrument of his honour, not onely, for miniſtryng matter thereof in man himſelf: but as well in gathering out of other, the occaſions of publiſhing Godſ goodnes, wiſdome, & power. And in like ſort, euerye dooyng of man hath by Goddes dyſpenſacion ſome thynge, whereby God may, and ought to be honored. So the good doynges of the good, & the euill actes of the wicked, the hapy ſucceſſe of the bleſſed, and the wofull procedinges of the miſerable, doe indiuers ſorte ſound one prayſe of God. And as eche flower yeldeth hony to the bee: ſo euery exaumple miniſtreth good leſsons, to the well diſpoſed mynd. The glorious triumphe of the continent man vpon the luſtes of wanton fleſhe, incourageth men to honeſt reſtraynt of wyld affections the ſhamefull and wretchedendeſ of ſuch, as haue yelded their libertie thrall to fowle deſires, teache men to witholde them ſelues from the hedlong fall of looſe diſhoneſtie. So, to lyke effect, by ſundry meanes, the good mans exaumple byddeth men to be good, and the euill mans miſchefe; warneth men not to be euyll. To this good ende, ſerue all ill endes, of yll begynnynges. And to this ende (good Reader) is this tragicall matter written, to deſcribe vnto thee a coople of vnfortunate lovers, thralling themſelues to vnhoneſt deſire, neglecting the authoritie and aduiſe of parents and frends, conferring their principall counſels with dronken goſſyppes, and ſuperſtitious friers (the naturally fite inſtrumentes of vnchaſtitie) attemptyng all aduentures of peryll, for th attaynyng of their wiſhed luſt, vſyng auriculer confeſſion (the kay of whoredome, and treaſon) for furtheraunce of theyr purpoſe, abuſyng the honorable name of lawefull mariage, to cloke the ſhame of ſtolne contracts , finallye, by all meanes of vnhoneſt lyfe, haſtyng to moſt vnhappye death. This preſident (good Reader) ſhall be to thee, as the ſlaues of Lacedemon, oppreſſed with exceſſe of drinke, deformed and altered from likenes of men, both in mynde, and vſe of body, were to the free borne children, ſo ſhewed to them by their parentes, to thintent to rayſe in them an hateful lothying of ſo filthy beaſtlynes. Hereunto if you applye it, ye ſhall deliuer my dooing from offence, and profit your ſelues. Though I ſaw the ſame argument lately ſet foorth on ſtage with more commendation, then I can looke for: (being there much better ſet forth then I haue or can dooe) yet the ſame matter penned aſ it is, may serue to lyke good effect, if the readers do brynge with them lyke good myndes, to conſider it. Which hath the more incouraged me to publishe it, ſuche as it is. Ar. Br.


                    To the Reader.

Amid the desert rockes, the mountaine beare,

   Bringes forth vnformed, vnlyke her selfe her yong:

   Nought els but lumpes of fleshe withouten heare,

   In tract of time, her often lycking tong

Geues them such shape, as doth (ere long) delight

   The lookers on: Or when one dogge doth shake

   With moosled mouth, the ioyntes too weake to fight.

   Or when vpright he standeth by his stake,

(A noble creast,) or wylde in sauage wood,

   A dosyn dogges one holdeth at a baye,

   With gaping mouth, and stayned iawes with blood,

   Or els, when from the farthest heauens, they

The lode stares are, the wery pilates marke,

   In stormes to gyde to hauen the tossed barke.

                                                   Right so my muse

   Hath (now at length) with trauell long brought forth

   Her tender whelpes, her diuers kindes of style,

   Such as they are, or nought, or little worth,

   Which carefull trauell, and a longer whyle,

May better shape. The eldest of them loe,

   I offer to the stake, my youthfull woorke,

   Which one reprochefull mouth might ouerthrowe:

   The rest (vnlickt as yet) a whyle shall lurke,

Tyll tyme geue strength, to meete and match in fight

   With slaunders whelpes. Then shall they tell of stryfe

   Of noble tryumphes, and deedes of martial might,

   And shall geue rules of chast and honest lyfe.

The whyle I pray that ye with fauour blame,

   Or rather not reproue the laughing game

                                        Of this my muse.


                    The Argument.

Loue hath inflamed twayne by ſodayn ſight.

   And both do graunt the thing that both deſire

   They wed in ſhrift by counſellof a frier.

   Yong Romeus clymes fayre Juliets bower by night.

Three monthes he doth enioy his cheefe delight.

   By Tybalts rage, provoked vnto yre,

   He payeth death to Tybalt for his hyre.

   A baniſht man he ſcapes by ſecret flight.

New mariage is offred to his wyfe.

   She drinkes a drinke that ſeemes to reave her breath.

   They bury her, that ſleping yet hath lyfe.

Her huſband heares the tydinges of her death.

   He drinkes his bane. And ſhe with Romeus knyfe,

When ſhe awakes, her ſelfe (alas) ſhe  ſleath.



There is beyond the Alps,

         a towne of auncient fame,

Whoſe bright renoune yet ſhineth cleare,

         Verona men it name.

   Bylt in an happy time,

         bylt on a fertile ſoyle:

Maynteined by the heavenly fates,

         and by the towniſh toyle.

   The fruitfull hilles aboue,

         the pleaſant uales belowe,

The ſilver ſtreame with channell depe,

         that through the towne doth flow:

   The ſtore of ſpringes that ſerue

         for vſe, and eke for eaſe:

And other moe commodittes

         which profite may and pleaſe.

   Eke many certaine ſignes

         of thinges betyde of olde,

To fyll the houngry eyes of thoſe

         that curiouſly beholde:

   Doe make this towne to be

         preferde aboue the reſt

Of Lumbard townes, or at the leaſt,

         compared with the beſt.

   In which while Eſcalus,

         as prince alone dyd raigne,

To reache rewarde vnto the good,

         to pay the lewde with payne.

   Alas (I rewe to thinke)

         an heauy happe befell:

Which Boccace ſkant (not my rude tong)

         were able forth to tell.

   Within my trembling hande,

         my penne doth ſhake for feare:

And on my colde amſed head,

         upright doth ſtand my heare.

   But ſith ſhe doth commaunde,

         whoſe heſt I muſt obaye,

In moorning verſe, a wofull chaunce

         to tell I will aſſaye.

   Helpe learned Pallas, helpe,

         ye muſes with your arte,

Helpe all ye damned feendes to tell,

         of ioyes retournd to ſmart.

   Helpe eke ye ſiſters three,

         my ſkilleſſe penne tindyte:

For you it cauſd which I (alas)

         unable am to wryte.

   There were two auncient ſtockes,

         which Fortune high dyd place

Aboue the reſt, indewd with welth,

         and nobler of their race.

   Loued of the common ſort,

         loued of the Prince alike:

And like vnhappy were they both,

         when fortune liſt to ſtrike.

   Whoſe prayſe with equall blaſt,

         fame in her trumpet blew:

The one was clipd Capelet,

         and thother Montagew.

   A wonted vſe it is,

         that men of likely ſorte,

(I wot not by what furye forſd)

         envye eche others porte.

   So theſe, whoſe egall ſtate

         bred enuye pale of hew,

And then, of grudging enuyes roote,

         blacke hate and rancor grewe.

   As of a little ſparke,

         oft ryſeth mighty fyre,

So of a kyndled ſparke of grudge,

         in flames flaſhe out theyr yre.

   And then theyr deadly foode,

         firſt hatched of trifling ſtryfe:

Did bathe in bloud of ſmarting woundes,

         it reued breth and lyfe.

   No legend lye I tell,

         ſcarce yet theyr eyes be drye:

That did behold the griſly ſight,

         with wet and weping eye.

   But when the prudent prince,

         who there the ſcepter helde,

So great a new diſorder in

         his common weale beheld:

   By ientyl meane he ſought,

         their choler to aſſuage:

And by perſwaſion to appeaſe,

         their blameful furious rage.

   But both his woordes and tyme,

         the prince hath ſpent in vayne:

So rooted was the inward hate,

         he loſt his buyſy payne.

   When friendly ſage aduiſe,

         ne ientyll woords auayle:

By thondring threats, and princely powere

         their courage gan he quayle.

   In hope that when he had

         the waſting flame ſuppreſt,

In time he ſhould quyte quench the ſparks

         that boornd within their breſt.

   Now whilſt thee kyndreds do

         remayne in this eſtate,

And eceh with outward frendly ſhew

         dooth hyde his inward hate:

   One Romeus, who was

         of race a Montague,

Upon whoſe tender chyn, as yet,

         no manlyke beard there grewe.

   Whoſe beauty and whoſe ſhape

         ſo farre the reſt did ſtayne:

That from the cheefe of Veron youth

         he greateſt fame dyd gayne.

   Hath founde a mayde ſo fayre

          (he found ſo foule his happe)

Whoſe beauty, ſhape, and comely grace,

         did ſo his heart entrappe,

   That from his owne affayres,

         his thought ſhe did remoue:

Onely he ſought to honor her,

         to ſerue her, and to loue.

   To her he writeth oft,

         oft meſſengers are ſent:

At length (in hope of better ſpede)

         himſelfe the louer went:

   Preſent to pleade for grace,

         which abſent was not founde:

And to diſcouer to her eye

         his new receaued wounde.

   But ſhe that from her youth

         was foſtred euermore

With vertues foode, and taught in ſchole

         of wiſdomes ſkilfull lore:

   By aunſwere did cutte of

         thffections of his loue,

That he no more occaſion had

         ſo vayne a ſuite to moue.

   So ſterne ſhe was of chere,

          (for all the payne he tooke)

That in reward of toyle, ſhe would

         not geue a frendly looke.

   And yet how much ſhe did

         with conſtant mind retyre;

So much the more his feruent minde

         was prickt fourth by deſyre.

   But when he many monthes,

         hopeleſſe of his recure,

Had ſerued her, who forced not

         what paynes he did endure:

   At length he thought to leaue

         Verona, and to proue,

If chaunge of place might chaunge awaye

         his ill beſtowed loue.

   And ſpeaking to himſelfe,

         thus gan he make his mone:

What booteth me to loue and ſerue

         a fell vnthankfull one,

   Sith that my humble ſute

         and labour ſowede in vayne,

Can reap none other fruiet at all

         but ſcorne and proude diſdayne:

   What way ſhe ſeekes to goe,

         the ſame I ſeeke to runne:

But ſhe the path wherein I treade,

         with ſpedy flight doth ſhunne.

   I can not liue, except

         that nere to her I be:

She is ay beſt content when ſhe

         is fartheſt of from me.

   Wherefore henceforth I will

         farre from her take my flight:

Perhaps mine eye once baniſhed

         by abſence from her ſight:

   This fyre of myne, that by

         vher pleaſant eyne is fed:

Shall little and little weare away,

         and quite at laſt be ded.

   But whileſt he did decree

         this purpoſe ſtill to kepe:

A contrary repugnant thought

         ſanke in his breſt ſo depe:

   That doutefull is he now,

         which of the twayne is beſt:

In ſighs, in teares,in plainte,in care,

         in ſorow and vnreſt.

   He mones the daye, he wakes

         the long and wery night,

So deepe hath loue with pearcing hand,

         ygraud her bewty bright.

   Within his breſt, and hath

         ſo maſtred quite his hart:

 That he of force muſt yeld as thrall,

         no way is left to ſtart.

   He can not ſtaye his ſteppe,

         but forth ſtill muſt he ronne,

 He languiſheth and melts awaye,

         as ſnow againſt the ſonne.

   His kyndred and alyes,

         do wonder what he ayles,

And eche of them in frendly wiſe,

         his heauy hap bewayles.

   But one emong the reſt,

         the truſtieſt of his feeres.

 Farre more then he with counſel fild,

         and ryper of his years.

   Gan ſharply him rebuke,

         ſuche loue to him he bare:

 That he wasfelow of his ſmart,

         and partner of his care.

   What meaneſt thou Romeus

          (quoth he) what doting rage

Dooth make thee thus conſume away,

         the beſt parte of thine age,

   In ſeking her that ſcornes,

         and hydes her from thy ſight:

 Not forſing all thy great expence,

         ne yet thy honor bright.

   Thy teares, thy wretched lyfe,

         ne thine unſpotted truth:

Which are of force (I weene) to moue

         the hardeſt heart to ruthe.

   Now for our frendſhips ſake,

         and for thy health I pray:

That thou hencefoorth become thyne owne,

         O geue no more away.

   Unto a thankles wight,

         thy precious free eſtate:

In that thou loueſt ſuch a one,

         thou ſeemſt thy ſelfe to hate.

   For ſhe doth loue els where,

          (and then thy time is lorne)

Or els (what booteth thee to ſue)

         loues court ſhe hath forſworne.

   Both yong thou art of yeares,

         and high in Fortunes grace:

What man is better ſhapd than thou?

         Who hath a ſwetter face?

   By painfull ſtudies meane,

         great learning haſt thou wonne:

Thy parentes haue none other heyre,

         thou art theyr onely ſonne.

   What greater griefe (trowſt thou?)

         what wofull dedly ſmart

Should ſo be able to diſſtraine

         thy ſeely fathers heart?

   As in his age to ſee

         thee plonged deepe in vyce:

When greateſt hope he hath to heare

         thy vertues fame ariſe.

   What ſhall thy kinſmen thinke,

         thou cauſe of all theyr ruthe?

Thy dedly foes do laugh to ſkorne

         thy yll employed youth.

   Wherefore my counſell is,

         that thou henceforth beginne

To knowe and flye the errour which

         to long thou liuedſt in.

   Remoue the veale of loue,

         that keepes thine eyes ſo blynde:

That thou ne canſt the ready path

         of thy forefatherſfynde.

   But if vnto thy will

         ſo much in thrall thou art:

Yet in ſome other place beſtowe

         thy witles wandring hart.

   Chooſe out ſome worthy dame,

         her honor thou and ſerue,

Who will geue eare to thy complaint

         and pitty ere thou ſterue.

   But ſow no more thy paynes

         in ſuch a barrayne ſoyle:

As yeldes in harueſt time no crop

         in recompence of toyle.

   Ere long the towniſhe dames

         together will reſort:

Some one of bewty, favour, ſhape,

         and of ſo louely porte:

   With ſo faſt fixed eye,

         perhaps thou mayſt beholde:

That thou ſhalt quite forget thy loue,

         and paſſions paſt of olde.

   The young mans liſtning eare

         receiude the holeſome ſounde,

And reaſons truth yplanted ſo,

         within his head had grounde:

   That now with healthy cool

         ytempred is the heate:

And piecemeale wears away the greefe

         that erſt his heart dyd freate.

   To his approued frend,

         a ſolemne othe he plight:

At euery feaſt ykept by day,

         and banquet made by night:

   At pardons in the churche,

         at games in open ſtreate:

And euery where he would reſort

         where Ladies wont to meete.

   Eke ſhould his ſauage heart

         lyke all indifferently:

For he would view and iudge them all

         with vnallured eye.

   How happy had he been.

         had he not been forſworne:

But twyſe as happy had he been

         had he been neuer borne.

   For ere the Moone could thryſe

         her waſted hornes renew,

Falſe Fortune caſt for him poore wretch,

         a myſſchiefe newe to brewe.

   The wery winter nightes

         reſtore the Chriſtmas games:

And now the ſeaſon doth inuite

         to banquet towniſh dames.

   And fyrſt in Capels houſe,

         the chiefe of all the kyn:

Sparth for no coſt, the wonted vſe

         of banquets to begyn.

   No Lady fayre or fowle,

         was in Verona towne:

No knight or gentleman

         of high or lowe renowne:

   But Capilet himſelfe

         hath byd vnto his feaſt:

Or by his name in paper ſent,

         appoynted as a geaſt.

Yong damſels thether flocke,

         of bachelers a route:

Not ſo much for the banquets ſake,

         as bewties to ſearch out.

   But not a Montaguew

         would enter at his gate:

For as you heard, the Capilets,

         and they were at debate.

   Saue Romeus, and he.

         in maſke with hidden face:

The ſupper done, with other fiue

         dyd preaſe into the place.

   When they had maſkd a whyle,

         with dames in courtly wiſe:

All dyd vnmaſke, the reſt dyd ſhew

         them to theyr ladies eyes.

   But baſhfull Romeus,

         with ſhamefaſt face forſooke

The open preaſes, and him withdrew

         into the chambers nook.

   But brighter than the ſunne,

         the waxen torches ſhone:

That mauger what he could, he was

         eſpyd of every one.

   But of the women cheefe,

         theyr gaſing eyes that threwe,

To wonder at his ſightly ſhape

         and bewties ſpotles hewe.

   With which the heauens him had

         and nature ſo bedect:

That Ladies thought the faireſt dames

         were foule in his reſpect.

   And in theyr head beſide,

         an other wonder roſe,

How he durſt put himſelfe in throng

         among ſo many foes.

   Ofcourage ſtoute they thought

         his cumming to procede:

And women loue an hardy hart

         as I in ſtories rede.

   The Capilets diſdayne

         the preſence of theyr foe:

Yet they ſuppreſſe theyr ſtyred yre,

         the cauſe I do not knowe

   Perhaps toffend their geſtes

         the courteous knights are loth,

Perhaps they ſtay from ſharp reuenge,

         dreadyng the Princes wroth.

   Perhaps for that they ſhamd

         to exerciſe theyr rage:

Within their houſe, gainſt one alone

         and him of tender age.

   They vſe no taunting talk,

         ne harme himby theyr deede:

They neyther ſay, what makſt thou here,

         ne yet they ſay God ſpede.

   So that he freely might

         the Ladies view at eaſe.

And they alſo behelding him,

         their chaunge of fanſies pleaſe.

   Which nature had him taught

         to doe with ſuch a grace,

That there was none but ioyed at

         his being there in place.

   With upright beame he weyd

         the bewty of eche dame,

And iudgd who beſt, and who next her,

         was wrought in natures frame.

   At length he ſaw a mayd,

         right fayr, of perfect ſhape:

Which Theſeus, or Paris would

         haue choſen to their rape.

   Whom erſt he neuer ſawe,

         of all ſhe pleaſde him moſt:

Within himſelfe he ſaid to her,

         thou iuſtly mayſt thee boſte.

   Of perfit ſhapes renoune,

         and Beauties ſounding prayſe:

Whoſe like ne hath, ne ſhale ſeene,

         ne liueth in our dayes

   And whileſt he fixd on her

         his partiall perced eye,

His former loue, for which of late

         he ready was to dye.

   Is nowe as quite forgotte,

         as it had neuer been:

The prouerb ſaith vnminded oft

         are they that are vnſeene.

   And as out of a planke

         a nayle a nayle doth driue:

So nouell loue out of the minde

         the auncient loue doth riue.

   This ſodain kindled fyre

         in time is wox ſo great:

That only death, and both theyr blouds

         might quench the fiery heate.

   When Romeus ſaw himſelfe

         in this new tempest toſt:

Where both was hope of pleaſant port,

         and daunger to be loſt:

   He doubtefull, ſkaſely knew

         what countenance to keepe

In Lethies floud his wonted flames

         were quenchd and drenchd deepe.

   Yea he forgets himſelfe,

         ne is the wretch ſo bolde

To aſke her name, that without force

         hath him in bondage folde.

   Ne how tunlooſe his bondes

         doth the poore foole deviſe,

But onely ſeeketh by her ſight

         to feede his haungry eyes.

   Through them he ſwalloweth downe

         loues ſweete empoyſonde baite,

How ſurely are the wareles wrapt

         by thoſe that lye in wayte?

   So is the poyſon ſpred

         throughout his bones and veines:

That in a while (alas the while)

         it haſteth deadly paines

   Whilſt Iuliet (for ſo

         this gentle damſell hight)

From ſyde to ſyde on euery one

         dyd caſt about her ſight:

   At laſt her floating eyes

         were ancored faſt on him,

Who for her ſake dyd baniſhe health

         and fredome from eceh limme.

   He in her ſight did ſeeme

         to paſſe the reſt as farre

As Phoebus ſhining beames do paſſe

         the brightnes of a ſtarre.

   In wayte laye warlike loue

         with golden bowe and ſhaft,

And to his ear with ſteady hand

         the bowſtring vp he raft.

   Till now ſhe had eſcapde

         his ſharpe inflaming darte:

Till now he liſted not aſſaulte

         her yong and tender hart.

   His whetted arrow looſde,

         ſo touchd her to the quicke:

That through the eye it ſtrake the hart,

         and there the hedde did ſticke.

   It booted not to ſtriue,

         for why, ſhe wanted ſtrength:

The weaker aye vnto the ſtrong

         of force muſt yeld at length.

   The pomps now of the feaſt

         her heart gyns to deſpyſe:

And onely ioyeth when her eyen

         meete with her louers eyes.

   When their new ſmitten heartes

         had fed on louing gleames:

Whilſt, paſſing too and fro theyr eyes,

         ymingled were theyr beames.

   Each of theſe louers gan

         by others lookes to knowe:

That frendſhip in their breſt had roote,

         and both would haue it grow.

   When thus in both theyr harts

         had Cupide made his breache:

And eche of them had ſought the meane

         to end the warre by ſpeache.

   Dame Fortune did aſſent

         theyr purpoſe to aduaunce:

With torche in hand a comly knight

         did fetch her foorth to daunce.

   She quit her ſelfe ſo well,

         and with ſo trim a grace:

That ſhe the cheefe prayſe wan that night

         from all Verona race.

   The whilſt our Romeus,

         a place had warely wonne:

Nye to the ſeate where ſhe muſt ſit,

         the daunce once beyng donne.

   Fayre Iuliet tourned to,

         her chayre with pleaſant cheere:

And glad ſhe was her Romeus

         approched was ſo neere.

   At thone ſide of her chayre,

         her louer Romeo:

And on the other ſide there ſat

         one cald Mercutio.

   A courtier that eche where

         was highly had in pryce:

For he was coorteous of his ſpeche,

         and pleaſant of deviſe.

   Euen as a Lyon would

         among the lambes be bolde:

Such was among the baſhfull maydes,

         Mercutio to beholde.

   With frendly gripe he ſeiſd

         fayre Iuliets ſnowiſh hand:

A gyft he had that nature gaue

         him in his ſwathing band.

   That froſen mountayne yſe

         was neuer halfe ſo cold

As were his handes, though nere ſo neer

         the fire he dyd them holde.

   As ſoone as had the knight

         the vyrgins right hand raught:

Within his trembling hand her left

         hath louing Romeus caught.

   For he wiſt well himſelfe

         for her abode moſt payne:

And well he wiſt ſhe loued him beſt,

         vnles ſhe liſt to fayne.

   Then ſhe with tender hand

         his tender palme hath preſt:

What ioy trow you was graffed ſo

         in Romeus clouen breaſt:

   The ſwdain ſweete delight

         hath ſtopped quite his tong.

Ne can he claime of her his right,

         ne craue redreſſe of wrong.

   But ſhe eſpyd ſtraight waye

         by chaunging of his hwe

From pale to red, from red to pale,

         and ſo from pale anew:

   That vehment loue was cauſe,

         why ſo his tong dyd ſtay:

And ſo much more ſhe longed to heare

         what loue could teache him ſaye.

   When ſhe had longed long,

         and he long held his peace,

And her deſire of hearing him,

         by ſylence dyd encreaſe.

   At laſt with trembling voyce

         and ſhamefaſt chere, the mayde

Unto her Romeus tournde her ſelfe,

         and thus to him ſhe ſayde.

   O bleſſed be the time

         of thy arriuall here:

But ere ſhe could ſpeak forth the reſt,

         to her loue drewe ſo nere:

   And ſo within her mouth,

         her tongue he glewed faſt,

That no one woord could ſcape her more,

         then what already paſt.

   In great contented eaſe

         the yong man ſtraight is rapt,

What chaunce (ȹ he) vnware to me

         O lady myne is hapt:

   That geues you worthy cauſe,

         my cumming here to bliss:

Fayre Iuliet was come agayne

         vnto her ſelfe by this.

   Fyrſt ruthfully ſhe lookd,

         then ſayd with ſmylyng chere:

Meruayle no whit my heartes delight,

         my onely knight and fere,

   Mercutious yſy hande

         had all to froſen myne,

And of thy goodnes thou agayne

         haſt warmed it with thine.

   Whereto with ſtayed brow,

         gan Romeus to replye

If ſo the gods haue graunted me,

         ſuche fauour from the ſkye,

   That by my being here,

         ſome ſeruice I haue donne

That pleaſeth you I am as glad,

         as I a realme had wonne,

   O well beſtowed time.

         that hath the happy hyre,

Which I woulde wyſh if I might haue,

         my wiſhed harts deſire.

   For I of God woulde craue,

         as pryſe of payines forpaſt.

To ſerue, obey and honour you,

         ſo long as lyfe ſhall laſt.

   As proofe ſhall teache you playne,

         if that you like to trye

His faltles truth, that nill for ought,

         vnto his lady lye.

   But if my tooched hand,

         haue warmed yours ſome dele

Aſſure your ſelf the heat is colde,

         which in your hand you fele.

   Compard to ſuche quick ſparks

         and glowing furious gleade,

As from your bweuties pleaſaunt eyne,

         loue cauſed to proceade.

   Which haue ſo ſet on fyre,

         eche feling parte of myne.

   That lo, my mynde doeth melt awaye:

         my vtwerdparts doe pyne.

   And but you helpe all whole,

         to aſhes ſhall I toorne:

Wherefore (alas) haue ruth on him,

         whom you do force to boorne.

   Euen with his ended tale,

         the torches daunce had ende,

And Iuliet of force muſt part

from her new choſen frend.

   His hand ſhe claſped hard,

         and all her partes did ſhake:

When lay ſureles with whiſpring voyce

         thus did ſhe aunſwer make.

   You are no more your owne

          (dear friend) then I am yours

(My honour ſaued) preſt tobey

         your will, while life endures,

   Lo here the lucky lot

         that ſild true louers finde:

Eche takes away the others hart,

         and leaues the owne behinde.

   A happy life is loue

         if God graunt from aboue,

That hart with hart by euen waight

         doo make exchaunge of loue.

   But Romeus gone from her,

         his heart for care is colde:

He hath forgot to aſke her name

         that hath his hart in holde.

   With forged careles cheere,

         of one he ſeekes to knowe,

Both how ſhe hight, and whence ſhe cammee,

         that him enchuanted ſo.

   So hath he learnd her name,

         and knowth ſhe is no geaſt.

Her father was a Capilet,

         and maſter of the feaſt.

   Thus hath hiſfoe in choyſe

         to geue him lyfe or death:

That ſcarſely can his wofull breaſt

         keepe in the liuely breath.

   Wherefore with piteous plaint

         feerce Fortune doth he blame:

That in his ruth and wretched plight

         doth ſeeke her laughing game.

   And he reproueth loue,

         cheefe cauſe of his vnreſt:

Who eaſe and freedome hath exilde

         out of his youthfull breſt.

   Twiſe hath he made him ſerue,

         hopeles of his rewarde:

Of both the ylles to chooſe the leſſe,

         I weene the choice were hard.

   Fyrſt to a ruthleſſe one

         he made him ſue for grace:

And now with ſpurre he forceth him

         to ronne an endles race.

   Amyd theſe ſtormy ſeas

         one ancor doth him holde,

He ſerueth not a cruell one,

         as he had done of olde.

   And therfore is content,

         and chooſeth ſtill to ſerue:

Though hap ſhould ſwear that guerdonles

         the wretched wight ſhould ſterue.

   The lot of Tantalus

         is Romeus lyke to thine

For want of foode amid his fwde,

         the myſer ſtyll doth pine.

   As carefull was the mayde

         what way were beſt deuiſe

To learne his name, that entertaind

         her in ſo gentle wiſe.

   Of whome her hart receiued

         ſo deepe, ſo wyde a wounde,

An auncient dame ſhe calde to her,

         and in her ear gan rounde.

   This olde dame in her youth,

         had nurſt her with her mylke,

With ſlender nedle taught her ſow,

         and how to ſpin with ſilke.

   What twayne are thoſe (quoth ſhe)

         which preaſe vnto the doore,

Whoſe pages in theyr hand doe beare,

         two toorches light before.

   And then as eche of them

         had of his houſhold name,

So ſhe him namde yet once agayne

         the yong and wyly dame.

   And tell me who is he

         with vyſor in his hand

That yCheck-out:nder doth in maſking weede

         beſyde the window ſtand.

   His name is Romeus

          (ſayd ſhe) a Montegewe.

Whoſe fathers pryde firſt ſtyrd the ſtrife

         which both your houſholdes rewe.

   The woord of Montegew,

         her ioyes did ouerthrow,

And ſtraight in ſteade of happy hope,

         dyſpayre began to growe.

   What hap haue I quoth ſhe,

         to loue my fathers foe?

What, am I wery of my wele?

         What, doe I wiſhe my woe?

   But though her grieuous paynes

         diſtrained her tender hart,

Yet with an outward ſhewe of ioye

         ſhe cloked inward ſmart.

   And of the courtlyke dames

         her leaue ſo courtly tooke,

That none dyd geſſe the ſodain change

         by changing of her looke.

   Then at her mothers heſt

         to chamber ſheher hyde

So well ſhe faynde, mother ne nurce,

         the hidden harme deſcride.

   But when ſhe ſhould haue ſlept

         as wont ſhe was, in bed,

Not halfe a winke of quiet ſlepe

         could harber in her bed.

   For loe, an hugy heape

         of dyuers thoughtes ariſe

That reſt haue baniſht from her hart,

         and ſlumber from her eyes.

   And now from ſide to ſide

         ſhe toſſeth and ſhe turnes,

And now for feare ſhe ſheuereth,

         and now for loue ſhe burnes.

   And now ſhe lykes her choyſe,

         and now her choyſe ſhe blames,

And now eche houre within her head,

         a thouſand fanſies frames

   Sometime in mynde to ſtop,

         amyd her courſe begonne

Sometime ſhe vowes what ſo betyde,

         thattempted race to ronne.

   Thus dangers dred and loue,

         within the mayden fought,

The fight was feerce continuyng long

         by their contrary thought.

   In tourning maſe of loue

         ſhe wandreth too and fro,

Then ſtandeth doutfull what to doe,

         laſt ouerpreſt with woe.

   How ſo her fanſies ceaſe,

         her teares dyd neuer blyn,

With heauy cheere and wringed hands,

         thus doth her plaint begyn.

   Ah ſily foole (quoth ſhe)

         ycought in ſoottill ſnare:

Ah wretched wench bewrapt in woe,

         ah caytife clad with care.

   Whence come theſe wandring thoughtes

         to thy vnconſtant breſt?

By ſtraying thus from rayſons lore,

         that reue thy wonted reſt.

   What if his ſuttell brayne,

         to fayne haue taught his tong?

And ſo the ſnake that lurkes in graſſe,

         thy tender hart hath ſtong?

   What if with frendly ſpeache

         the traytor lye in wayte?

As oft the poyſond hooke is hid,

         wrapt in the pleaſant bayte?

   Oft vnder cloke of truth,

         hath falſhood ſerued her luſt:

And toornd theyr honor into ſhame,

         that did ſo ſlightly truſt.

   What, was not Dido ſo,

         a crouned Queene: defamd?

And eke for ſuch an heynouſ cryme,

         haue men not Theſeus blamd?

   A thouſand ſtories more,

         to teache me to beware:

In Boccace, and in Ouids bookes

         too playnely written are.

   Perhaps the great reuenge

         he cannot woorke by ſtrength:

By ſuttel ſleight (my honor ſtaynde)

         he hopes to worke at length.

   So ſhall I ſeeke to finde

         my fathers foe his game:

So I befylde, report ſhall take

         her trompe of blacke defame.

   Whence ſhe with puffed cheeke

         ſhall blowe a blaſt ſo ſhrill

Of my diſprayſe, that with the noyſe

         Verona ſhall ſhe fill.

   Then I a laughing ſtocke

         through all the towne becomme:

Shall hide my ſelfe, but not my ſhame,

         within an hollowe toombe.

   Straight vnderneth her foote,

         ſhe treadeth in the duſt

Her troubleſom thought as wholy vaine,

         ybred of fond diſtruſt.

   No no by God aboue,

         I wot it well quoth ſhee,

Although I raſhely ſpake before,

         in no wiſe can it bee.

   That where ſuch perfet ſhape,

         with pleaſant bewty reſtes:

There crooked craft and trayſon blacke,

         ſhould be appoynted geſtes.

   Sage writers ſay, the thoughts

         are dwelling in the eyne:

Then ſure I am aſ Cupid raignes

         that Romeus is myne.

   The tong the meſſenger,

         eke call they of the mynd:

So that I ſee he loueth me,

         ſhall I then be vnkynd?

   His faces roſy hew,

         I ſaw full oft to ſeeke:

And ſtraight againe it flaſhed foorth,

         and ſpred in eyther cheeke.

   His fyxed heauenly Check-out:yne,

         that through me quite did perce

His thoughts vnto my hart, my thought

         they ſemed to rehearce.

   What ment his foltring tunge,

         in telling of his tale:

The trembling of his ioynts and eke

         his cooller waxen pale?

   And whilſt I take with him,

         hym ſelf he hath exylde,

Out of him ſelf (as ſeemed me)

         ne was I ſure begylde.

   Thoſe arguments of loue,

         craft wrate not in his face

But natures hande when all deceyte,

         was baniſhd out of place

   What other certain ſignes

         ſeke I of his good wil?

Theſe doo ſuffiſe, and ſtedfaſt I

         will loue and ſerue him ſtill.

   Till Attropos ſhall cut,

         my fatall thread of lyfe,

So that he mynde to make of me

         his lawfull wedded wyfe.

   For ſo perchaunce this new

         aliance may procure

Vnto our houſes ſuche a peace

         as euer ſhall endure

   Oh how we can perſwade,

         our ſelf to what we like

And how we can diſwade our mynd,

         if ought our mynd miſlyke.

   Weake arguments are ſtronge,

         our fanſies ſtreyght to frame,

To pleaſing things, and eke to ſhonne,

         if we miſlike the ſame.

   The mayde had ſcarſely yet

         ended the wery warre,

Kept in her heart by ſtriuing thoughtes

         when euery ſhining ſtarre

   Had payd his borowed light,

         and Phebus ſpred in ſkies

His golden rayes, which ſeemd to ſay:

         now time it is to riſe.

   And Romeus had by this

         forſaken his wery bed:

Where reſtles he a thouſand thoughts

         had forged in his hed.

   And while with lingring ſtep

         by Iuliets houſe he paſt:

And vpward to her windowes high

         his gredy eyes did caſt:

   His loue that looked for him,

         there gan he ſtraight eſpie,

With pleaſant cheere eche greeted is,

         ſhe followeth with her eye

   His parting ſteppes, and he

         oft looketh backe againe:

But not ſo oft as he deſyres,

         warely he doth refraine.

   What life were lyke to loue,

         if dred of ieopardy,

Yſowred not the ſweete, if loue

         were free from ieloſy.

   But ſhe more ſure within,

         vnſeene of any wight,

When ſo he comes, lookes after him,

         till he be out of ſight.

   In often paſſing ſo,

         his buſy eyes he threw,

That euery pane and tooting hole

         the wily louer knew.

   In happy houre he doth

         a garden plot eſpye:

From which except he warely walke,

         men may his loue deſcrye.

   For lo, it fronted full,

         vpon her leaning place:

Where ſhe is woont to ſhew her heart

         by cheerefull frendly face.

   And leſt the arbors might

         theyr ſecret loue bewraye:

He doth keepe backe his forward foote

         from paſſing there by daye.

   But when on earth the night

         her mantel blacke hath ſpred:

Well armd he walketh foorth alone,

         ne dreadfull foes doth dred.

   Whom maketh loue not bold,

         naye whom makes he not blynde?

He reueth daungers dread oft times

         out of the loues minde.

   By night he paſſeth here,

         a weeke or two in vayne:

And for the miſſing of his marke.

         his griefe hath him nye ſlaine.

   And Iuliet that now

         both lacke her hearts releefe:

Her Romeus pleaſant eyen (I meene)

         is almoſt dead for greefe.

   Eche day ſhe chaungeth howres,

          (for louers keepe an howre)

When they are ſure to ſee theyr loue

         in paſſing by their howre.

   Impacient of her woe,

         ſhe hapt to leane one night

Within her window, and anon

         the Moone did ſhine ſo bright.

   That ſhe eſpyde her loue,

         her hart reuiued, ſprang,

And now for ioy ſhe clappes her handes,

         which erſt for woe ſhe wrang.

   Eke Romeus when he ſawe

         his long deſired ſight:

His moorning cloke of mone caſt of,

         hath clad him with delight.

   Yet dare I ſay, of both,

         that ſhe reioyced more:

His care was great, hers twiſe as great,

         was all the tyme before:

   For whilſt ſhe knew not why

         he dyd himſelfe abſent:

Ay douting both his health and lyfe,

         his death ſhe dyd lament.

   For loue is fearefull oft,

         where is no cauſe of feare:

And what loue feares, that loue laments,

         as though it chaunced weare.

   Of greater cauſe alway

         iſ greater woorkeybred:

While he nought douteth of her helth,

         ſhe dreads leſt he be ded.

   When onely abſence is

         the cauſe of Romeus ſmart:

By happyhope of ſight agayne

         he feedes his faynting hart.

   What woonder then if he

         were wrapt in leſſe annoye?

What maruell if by ſodain ſight

         ſhe fed of greater ioye?

   His ſmaller greefe or ioy,

         no ſmaller loue doo proue:

   Ne for ſhe paſſed him in both,

         did ſhe him paſſe in loue.

   But eche of them alike

         dyd burne in equall flame:

The welbelouing knight, and eke

         the welbeloued dame.

   Now whilſt with bitterteares

         her eyes as fountaynes ronne:

With whiſpering voyce ybroke with ſobs,

         thus is her tale begonne.

   Oh Romeus (of your lyfe)

         too lauas ſure yon are:

That in this place, and at thys tyme

         to hasard it you dare.

   What if your dedly foes

         my kynſmen, ſaw you here?

Lyke Lyons wylde, your tender partes

         aſonder would they teare.

In ruth and in diſdayne,

         I weary of my lyfe:

With cruell hand my moorning hart

         would perce with bloudy knyfe.

   For you myne owne once dead,

         what ioy ſhould I haue heare?

And eke my honor ſtaynde which I

         then lyfe doe holde more deare.

   Fayre lady myne dame Iuliet

         my lyfe (quod he)

Euen from my byrth committed was

         to fatall ſiſters three.

   They may in ſpyte of foes,

         draw foorth my liuely threed:

And they alſo, who ſo ſayth nay,

         a ſonder may it ſhreed.

   But who to reaue my lyfe,

         his rage and force would bende:

Perhaps ſhould trye vnto his payne

         how I it could defende.

   Ne yet I loue it ſo,

         but alwayes for your ſake,

A ſacrifice to death I would

         my wounded corps betake.

   If my miſhappe were ſuch,

         that here before your ſight,

I ſhould reſtore agayne to death,

         of lyfe my borowde light:

   This one thing and no more

         my parting ſprite would rewe:

That part he ſhould, before that you

         by certaine triall knew

   The loue I owe to you,

         the thrall I languiſh in:

And how I dread to looſe the gayne

         which I doe hope to win.

   And how I wiſhe for lyfe,

         not for my propre eaſe:

But that in it, you might I loue,

         you honor, ſerue and pleaſe.

   Tyll dedly pangs the ſprite

         out of the corps ſhall ſend:

And therupon he ſware an othe,

         and ſo his tale had ende.

Now loue and pitty boyle,

         in Iuliets ruthfull breſt,

In windowe on her leaning arme,

         her weary hed doth reſt.

   Her boſome bathd in teares,

         to witnes inward payne:

With dreary chere to Romeus,

         thus aunſwerd ſhe agayne.

   Ah my deere Romeus,

         keepe in theſe woordes (quod ſhe)

For lo, the thought of ſuch miſchaunce,

         already maketh me

   For pitty and for dred,

         welnigh to yelde vp breath:

In euen ballance payſed are

         my life and eke my death.

   For so my hart is knitte,

         yea, made one ſelfe with yours:

That ſure there iſ no greefe ſo ſmall,

         by which your mynde endures.

   But as you ſuffer payne,

         ſo I doe beare in part:

(Although it leſſens not your greefe)

         the halfe of all your ſmart.

   But theſe thinges ouerpaſt,

         if of your health and myne

You haue reſpect, or pitty ought

         my teary weping eyen:

   In few vnfained woords,

         your hidden mynd vnfolde,

That as I ſee your pleaſant face,

         your heart I may beholde.

    For if you doe intende

         my honor to defile:

In error ſhall you wander ſtill

         as you haue done this whyle,

    But if your thought be chaſte,

         and haue on vertue ground

If wedlocke be the ende and marke

         which your deſire hath found:

    Obedience ſet aſide,

         vnto my parentes dewe:

The quarell eke that long agoe

         betwene our houſholdes grewe:

    Both me and myne I will

         all whole to you betake:

And following you where ſo you goe,

         my fathers houſe forſake.

   But if by wanton loue,

         and by vnlawfull ſute.

You thinke in ripeſt yeres to plucke

         my maydenhods dainty frute:

   You are begylde, and now

         your Iuliet you be ſeekes

To ceaſe your ſute, and ſuffer her

         to liue emong her likes.

   Then Romeus, whoſe thought

         was free from fowle deſyre:

And to the top of vertues haight,

         did worthely aſpyre:

   Was fild with greater ioy

         then can my pen expreſſe:

Or till they haue enioyd the like

         the hearers hart can geſſe.

   And then with ioyned hands

         heaud vp into the ſkies:

He thankes the Gods, and from the heauens

         for vengeance downe he cries.

   If he haue other thought,

         but as his lady ſpake:

And then his looke he toornd to her,

         and thus did aunſwer make.

   Since Lady that you like

         to honor me ſo much,

As to accept me for your ſpouſe,

         I yeld my ſelfe for ſuch.

   In true witnes wherof,

         becauſe I muſt depart,

Till that my deede do proue my woord,

         I leaue in pawne my hart.

   To morow eke betimes.

         before the ſunne ariſe:

To fryer Lawrence will I wende,

         to learne his ſage aduiſe.

   He is my goſtly ſyre,

         and oft he hath me taught

What I ſhould doe in things of wayght,

         when I his ayde haue ſought.

   And at this ſelfe ſame houre,

         I plyte you here my fayth:

I wil be here (if you thinke good)

         to tell you what he ſayth.

   She was contented well,

         els fauour found he none,

That night at lady Iuliets hand,

         ſaue pleaſant woordes alone.

   This barefoote fryer gyrt,

         with cord his grayiſh weede,

For he of Frauncis order was,

         a fryer as I reede,

    Not as the moſt was he,

         a groſſe vnlearned foole:

But doctor of diuinitie

         proceded he in ſchoole.

   The ſecretes eke he knew,

         in natures woorkes that loorke:

By magiks arte moſt men ſuppoſd

         that he could wonders woorke.

   Ne doth it ill beſeeme

         deuines thoſe ſkils to know:

If on no harmefull deede they do

         ſuch ſkilfulnes beſtow.

   For iuſtly of no arte

         can men condemne the vſe:

But right and reaſons lore crye out

         agaynſt the lewd abuſe.

   The bounty of the fryer

         and wiſdom hath ſo wonne

The townes folks herts, that welnigh all

         to fryer Lawrence ronne.

   To ſhriue them ſelfe the olde,

         the yong, the great and ſmall:

Of all he is beloued well,

         and honord much of all.

   And for he did the reſt

         in wiſdome farre exceede:

The prince by him (his counſell craude)

         was holpe at time of neede.

   Betwixt the Capilets

         and him great frendſhip grew:

A ſecret and aſſured frend

         vnto the Montegue.

   Loued of this yong man more

         then any other geſt,

The frier eke of Verone youth,

         aye liked Romeus beſt.

   For whom he euer hath

         in time of his diſtres:

(As erſt you heard) by ſkilfull lore,

         found out his harmes redreſſe.

   To him is Romeus gonne,

         ne ſtayth he till the morowe:

To him he paynteth all his caſe,

         his paſſed ioy and ſorow.

   How he hath her eſpyde

         with other dames in daunce,

And how that firſt to talke with her,

         himſelfe he did aduaunce.

   Their talke and change of lookes

         he gan to him declare:

And how ſo faſt by fayth and troth

         they both ycoupled are.

   That neither hope of lyfe,

         nor dreed of cruel death,

Shall make him falſe his fayth to her

         while lyfe ſhall lend him breath.

   And then with weping eyes

         he prayes his goſtly ſyre

To further and accompliſh all

         theyr honeſt hartes deſire.

   A thouſand doutes and moe

         in thold mans hed aroſe:

A thouſand daungers like to come,

         the olde man doth diſcloſe.

   And from the ſpouſall rites

         he readeth him refrayne:

Perhaps he ſhalbe bet aduiſde

         within a weeke or twayne.

   Aduiſe is baniſhd quite

         from thoſe that followe loue,

Except aduiſe to what they like

         theyr bending mynde do moue.

   As well the father might

         haue counſeld him to ſtay

That from a mountaines top thrown downe,

         is falling halfe the way:

   As warne his frend to ſtop,

         amyd his race begonne,

Whom Cupid with his ſmarting whip

         enforceth foorth to ronne.

   Part wonne by earneſt ſute,

         the fryer doth graunt at laſt:

And part, becauſe he thinkes the ſtormes

         so lately ouerpaſt,

   Of both the houſholdes wrath:

         this mariage might apeaſe,

So that they ſhould not rage agayne,

         but quite for euer ceaſe.

   The reſpite of a day,

         he aſketh to deuyſe:

What way were beſt vnknowne to ende

         ſo great an enterpriſe.

   The wounded man that now

         doth dedly paines endure:

Scarce pacient tarieth whilſt his leeche

         doth make the ſalue to cure.

   So Romeus hardly graunts

         a ſhort day and a night,

Yet nedes he muſt, els muſt he want

         his onely hearts delight.

   You ſee that Romeus

         no time or payne doth ſpare:

Thinke that the whilſt fayre Iuliet

         is not deuoyde of care.

   Yong Romeus powreth foorth

         his hap and his miſhap,

Into the friers breſt, but where

         ſhall Iuliet vnwrap

   The ſecretes of her hart?

         to whom ſhall ſhe vnfolde,

Her hidden burning loue, and eke

         her thought and cares ſo colde.

   The nurce of whom I ſpake

         within her chaumber laye:

Vpon the mayde ſhe wayteth ſtill,

         to her ſhe doth bewray

   Her new receiued wound,

         and then her ayde doth craue:

In her ſhe ſaith it lyes to ſpill,

         in her her life to ſaue.

   Not eaſely ſhe made

         the froward nurce to bowe:

But wonne at length, with promeſt hyre

         ſhe made a ſolemne vowe.

   To do what ſhe commaundes,

         as handmayd of her heſt:

Her miſtres ſecrets hide ſhe will,

         within her couert breſt.

   To Romeus ſhe goes

         of him ſhe doth deſyre,

To know the meane of mariage

         by councell of the fryre.

   On Saterday quod he,

         if Iuliet come to ſhrift,

She ſhalbe ſhriued and maried,

         how lyke you noorſe this driſt?

   Now by my truth (quod ſhe)

         gods bleſſing haue your hart:

For yet in all my life I haue

         not heard of ſuch a part.

   Lord how you yong men can

         ſuch crafty wiles deuiſe,

If that you loue the daughter well

         to bleare the mothers eyes.

   An eaſy thing it is,

         with cloke of holines,

To mocke the ſely mother that

         ſuſpecteth nothing leſſe

   But that it pleaſed you

         to tell me of the caſe.

For all my many yeres perhaps,

         I ſhould haue found it ſcarſe.

   Now for the reſt let me

         and Iuliet alone:

To get her leaue, ſome feate excuſe

         I will deuiſe anone.

   For that her golden lockes

         by ſloth haue been vnkempt:

Or for vnwares ſome wanton dreame

         the youthfull damſell drempt,

   Or for in thoughts of loue

         her ydel time ſhe ſpent:

Or otherwiſe within her hart

         deſerued to be ſhent.

   I know her mother will

         in no caſe ſay her nay:

I warrant you ſhe ſhall not fayle

         to come on Saterday.

   And then ſhe ſweares to him,

         the mother loues her well:

And how ſhe gaue her ſucke in youth

         ſhe leaueth not to tell.

   A prety babe (quod ſhe)

         it was when it was yong:

Lord how it could full pretely

         haue prated with it tong.

   A thouſand times and more

         I laid her on my lappe,

And clapt her on the buttocke ſoft

         and kiſt where I did clappe.

   And gladder then was I

         of ſuch a kiſſe forſooth:

Then I had been to haue a kiſſe

         of ſome olde lechers mouth.

   And thus of Iuliets youth

         began this prating noorſe,

And of her preſent ſtate to make

         a tedious long diſcoorſe.

   For though he pleaſure tooke

         in hearing of his loue:

The meſſage aunſwer ſeemed him

         to be of more behoue.

   But when theſe Beldams ſit

         at eaſe vpon theyr tayle:

The day and eke the candle light

         before theyr talke ſhall fayle.

   And part they ſay is true,

         and part they do deuiſe:

Yet boldly do they that of both

         when no man checkes theyr lyes.

   Then he. vi. crownes of gold

         out of his pocket drew:

And gaue them her, a ſlight reward

          (quod he) and ſo adiew.

   In ſeuen yeres twiſe tolde

         ſhe had not bowd ſo lowe,

Her crooked knees, as now they bowe,

         ſhe ſweares ſhe will beſtowe.

   Her crafty wit, her time,

         and all her buſy payne,

To helpe him to his hoped bliſſe,

         and cowring downe agayne:

   She takes her leaue, and home

         ſhe hyes with ſpedy pace:

The chaumber doore ſhe ſhuts, and then

         ſhe ſaith with ſmyling face.

   Good newes for thee my gyrle,

         good tidinges I thee bring:

Leaue of thy woonted ſong of care

         and now of pleaſure ſing.

   For thou mayſt hold thy ſelfe

         the happieſt vnder ſonne:

That in ſo little while, ſo well

         ſo worthy a knight haſt wonne.

   The beſt yſhapde is he,

         and hath the fayreſt face,

Of all this towne, and there is none

         hath halfe ſo good a grace.

   So gentle of his ſpeche,

         and of his counſell wiſe:

And ſtill with many prayſes more

         ſhe heaued him to the ſkies.

   Tell me els what (quod ſhe)

         this euermore I thought:

But of our mariage ſay at once,

         what aunſwer haue you brought?

   Nay ſoft quoth ſhe, I feare,

         your hurt by ſodain ioye:

I liſt not play quoth Iuliet,

         although thou liſt to toye.

   How glad trow you was ſhe,

         when ſhe had heard her ſay:

No farther of then Saterday,

         differred was the day.

   Againe the auncient nurce

         doth ſpeake of Romeus,

And then (ſaid ſhe) he ſpake to me,

         and then I ſpake him thus.

   Nothing was done or ſaid,

         that ſhe hath left vntolde,

Saue onely one, that ſhe forgot

         the taking of the golde.

   There is no loſſe quod ſhe,

          (ſweete wench) to loſſe of time:

Ne in thine age ſhalt thou repent

         ſo much of any crime.

   For when I call to mynde,

         my former paſſed youth:

One thing there is which moſt of all

         doth cauſe my endles ruth.

   At ſixtene yeres I firſt

         did chooſe my louing feere:

And I was fully ripe before,

          (I dare well ſay) a yere.

   The pleaſure that I loſt.

         that yere ſo ouerpaſt:

A thouſand times I haue be wept,

         and ſhall while lyfe doth laſt.

   In fayth it were a ſhame,

         yea ſinne it were ywiſſe,

When thou mayſt liue in happy ioy

         to ſet light by thy bliſſe.

   She that this mornyng could

         her miſtres mynde diſſwade,

Is now becomme an Oratreſſe,

         her lady to perſwade.

   If any man be here

         whom loue hath clad with care:

To him I ſpeake, if thou wilt ſpede,

         thy purſe thou muſt not ſpare.

   Two ſortes of men there are,

         ſeeld welcome in at doore:

The welthy ſparing nigard, and

         the ſutor that is poore.

   For glittring gold is woont

         by kynd to mooue the hart:

And often times a ſlight rewarde

         doth cauſe a more deſart.

   Ywritten haue I red,

         I wot not in what booke:

There is no better way to fiſhe,

         then with a golden hooke.

   Of Romeus theſe two,

         doe ſitte and chat a while,

And to them ſelfe they laugh, how they

         the mother ſhall begyle.

   A feate excuſe they finde,

         but ſure I know it not:

And leaue for her to goe to ſhrift

         on Saterday ſhe got.

   So well this Iuliet,

         this wyly wench dyd know

Her mothers angry houres, and eke

         the true bent of her bowe.

   The Saterday betimes

         in ſober weede yelad,

She tooke her leaue, and forth ſhe went

         with viſage graue and ſad.

   With her the nurce is ſent

         as brydle of her luſt:

With her the mother ſendes a mayde,

         almoſt of equall truſt.

   Betwixt her teeth the bytte,

         the Ienet now hath cought:

So warely eke the vyrgin walkes

         her mayde perceiueth nought.

   She gaſeth not in churche,

         on yong men of the towne:

Ne wandreth ſhe from place to place,

         but ſtraight ſhe kneleth downe

   Vpon an alters ſtep,

         where ſhe deuoutly prayes:

And there vpon her tender knees

         the wery lady ſtayes:

   Whilſt ſhe doth ſend her mayde

         the certain truth to know,

If fryer Lawrence layſure had,

         to heare her ſhrift, or no.

   Out of his ſhriuing place

         he commes with pleaſant cheere:

The ſhamefaſt mayde with baſhfull brow

         to himward draweth neere.

   Some great offence (ȹ he)

         you haue committed late:

Perhaps you haue diſpleaſd your frend,

         by geuing him a mate.

   Then turning to the nurce,

         and to the other mayde:

Goe heare a maſſe or two quod be,

         which ſtraight way ſhalbe ſayde.

   For her confeſſion heard,

         I will vnto you twayne

The charge that I receiud of you,

         reſtore to you agayne.

   What, was not Iuliet

         trow you right well apayde?

That for this truſty fryre hath chaungde

         her yong miſtruſting mayde?

   I dare well ſay there is

         in all Verona none:

But Romeus, with whom ſhe would

         ſo gladly be alone.

   Thus to the fryers cell,

         they both foorth walked bin:

He ſhuts the doore as ſoone as he

         and Iuliet were in.

   But Romeus her frend

         was entred in before:

And there had wayted for his loue,

         two howers large and more.

   Eche minute ſeemde an howre,

         and euery howre a day:

Twixt hope he liued and deſpayre,

         of cumming or of ſtay.

   Now wauering hope and feare,

         are quite fled out of ſight.

For what he hopde he hath at hande

         his pleaſant cheefe delight.

   And ioyfull Iuliet

         is healde of all her ſmart:

For now the reſt of all her parts,

         haue found her ſtraying hart.

   Both theyr confeſſions firſt

         the fryer hath heard them make:

And then to her with lowder voyce

         thus fryer Lawrence ſpake.

   Fayre lady Iuliet

         my goſtly doughter deere:

As farre as I of Romeus learne

         who by you ſtandeth here:

   Twixt you it is agreed

         that you ſhalbe his wyfe:

And he your ſpouſe in ſteady truth

         till death ſhall end your life.

   Are you both fully bent

         to kepe this great beheſt?

And both the louers ſaid it was

         theyr onely harts requeſt.

   When he did ſee theyr myndes

         in linkes of loue so faſt:

When in the prayſe of wedlocks ſtate

         ſomme ſkilfull talke was paſt.

   When he had told at length

         the wife what was her due:

His duety eke by goſtly talke

         the youthfull huſband knew.

   How that the wife in loue

         muſt honor and obay:

What loue and honor he doth owe,

         and dette that he muſt pay.

   The woords pronounced were

         which holy church of olde

Appointed hath for mariage:

         and ſhe a ring of golde

   Receiued of Romeus:

         and then they both aroſe.

To whom the frier then ſaid, perchaunce

         a part you will diſcloſe

   Betwixt your ſelfe alone

         the bottome of your hart:

Say on at once, for time it is

         that hence you ſhould depart.

   Then Romeus ſaid to her,

          (both loth to part ſo ſoone:)

Fayre lady ſend to me agayne

         your nurce this after noone.

   Of corde I will beſpeake,

         a ladder by that time:

By which, this night, while other ſleepe,

         I will your window clime.

   Then will we talke of loue,

         and of our olde diſpayres:

And then with longer layſure had,

         diſpoſe our great affaires.

   Theſe ſaid, they kiſſe, and then

         part to theyr fathers houſe:

The ioyfull bryde vnto her home,

         to his eke goth the ſpouſe.

   Contented both, and yet

         both vncontented ſtill:

Till night and Venus child, geue leaue

         the wedding to fulfill.

   The painfull ſouldiour ſore

         ybet with wery warre:

The merchant eke that nedefull things

         doth dred to fetch from farre:

   The plowman that for doute

         of feerce inuading foes,

Rather to ſit in ydle eaſe

         then ſowe his tilt hath choſe:

   Reioyce to heare proclaymd

         the tydinges of the peace:

Not pleaſurd with the ſound ſo much:

         but when the warres do ceaſe.

   Then ceaſed are the harmes

         which cruell warre bringes foorth.

The merchant then may boldly fetch,

         his wares of precious woorth.

   Dredeleſſe the huſband man

         doth till his fertile feeld:

For welth her mate, not for her ſelfe,

         is peace ſo precious held.

   So louers liue in care,

         in dread, and in vnreſt:

And dedly warre by ſtriuing thoughts

         they kepe within their breſt.

   But wedlocke is the peace

         wherby is freedome wonne,

To do a thouſand pleaſant thinges

         that ſhould not els be donne.

   The newes of ended warre

         theſe two haue hard with ioy:

But now they long the fruite of peace

         with pleaſure to enioy.

   In ſtormy wind and waue,

         in daunger to be loſt:

Thy ſtearles ſhip (O Romeus)

         hath been long while betoſt.

   The ſeas are now appeaſd,

         and thou by happy ſtarre

Art comme in ſight of quiet hauen:

         and now the wrackfull barre

   Is hid with ſwelling tyde,

         boldly thou mayſt reſort

Vnto thy wedded ladies bed,

         thy long deſyred port.

   God graunt no follies miſt

         ſo dymme thy inward ſight,

That thou do miſſe the chanell, that

         doth leade to thy delight.

   God graunt no daungers rocke

         ylurking in the darke

Before thou win the happy port

         wracke thy ſea beaten barke.

   A ſeruant Romeus had,

         of woord and deede ſo iuſt:

That with his life (if nede requierd)

         his maſter would him truſt,

   His faithfulnes had oft

         our Romeus proued of olde

And therfore all that yet was done

         vnto his man he tolde.

   Who ſtraight as he was charged,

         a corden ladder lookes:

To which he hath made faſt two ſtrong

         and crooked yron hookes.

   The bryde to ſend the nurce

         at twylight fayleth not:

To whom the bridegroome yeuen hath.

         the ladder that he got.

   And then to watch for him

         appointeth her an howre:

For whether Fortune ſmyle on him,

         or if ſhe liſt to lowre,

   He will not miſſe to comme

         to his appoynted place,

Where wont he was to take by ſtelth

         the view of Iuliets face.

   How long theſe louers thought

         the laſting of the day,

Let other iudge that woonted are

         lyke paſſions to aſſay.

   For my part, I do geſſe

         eche howre ſeemes twenty yere:

So that I deeme if they might haue

          (as of Alcume we heare)

   The ſunne bond to theyr will,

         if they the heauens might gyde:

Black ſhade of night and doubled darke

         ſhould ſtraight all oner hyde.

   Thappointed howre is comme,

         he clad in riche araye,

Walkes toward his deſyred home,

         good Fortune gyde his way.

   Approching nere the place

         from whence his hart had lffe:

So light he wox, he lept the wall,

         and there he ſpyde his wife.

   Who in the windowe watcht

         the cumming of her lorde:

Where ſhe ſo ſurely had made faſt

         the ladder made of corde:

   That daungerles her ſpouſe

         the chaumber window climes,

Where he ere then had wiſht himſelfe

         aboue ten thouſand times.

   The windowes cloſe are ſhut,

         els looke they for no geſt,

To light the waxen quariers,

         the auncient nurce is preſt,

   Which Iuliet had before

         prepared to be light,

That ſhe at pleaſure might beholde

         her huſbandes bewty bright.

   A Carchef white as ſnowe,

         ware Iuliet on her hed,

Such as ſhe wonted was to weare,

         attyre meete for the bed.

   As ſoone as ſhe him ſpyde,

         about his necke ſhe clong:

And by her long and ſlender armes

         a great while there ſhe hong.

   A thouſand times ſhe kiſt,

         and him vnkiſt agayne:

Ne could ſhe ſpeake a woord to him

         though would ſhe nere ſo fayne.

   And like betwixt his armes

         to faynt his lady is:

She fettes a ſigh, and clappeth cloſe

         her cloſed mouth to his.

   And ready then to ſownde

         ſhe looked ruthfully:

That loe, it made him both at once

         to liue and eke to dye.

   Theſe piteous painfull panges

         were haply ouerpaſt:

And ſhe vnto her ſelfe agayne

         retorned home at laſt.

   Then through her troubled breſt,

         euen from the fartheſt part,

An hollow ſigh, a meſſenger

         ſhe ſendeth from her hart.

   O Romeus quoth ſhe,

         in whome all vertues ſhyne:

Welcome thou art into this place

         where from theſe eyes of myne,

   Such teary ſtreames dyd flowe,

         that I ſuppoſe welny

The ſource of all my bitter teares

         is altogether drye.

   Abſence ſo pynde my heart,

         which on thy preſence fed:

And of thy ſafetie and thy health

         ſo much I ſtood in dred.

   But now what is decreed

         by fatall deſteny:

I force it not, let Fortune do

         and death their woorſt to me.

Full recompenſd am I

         for all my paſſed harmes,

   In that the Gods haue graunted me

         to claſpe thee in myne armes.

The chriſtall teares began

         to ſtand in Romeus eyes,

   When he vnto his ladies woordes

         gan aunſwere in this wiſe.

Though cruell Fortune be

         ſo much my dedly foe:

   That I ne can by liuely proofe

         cauſe thee (fayre dame) to knowe

How much I am by loue

         enthralled vnto thee:

   Ne yet what mighty powre thou haſt

         by thy deſert on me.

Ne tormentes that for thee

         I did ere this endure:

   Yet of thus much (ne will I fayne)

         I may thee well aſſure.

The leaſt of many paynes

         which of thy abſence ſprong:

   More paynefully then death it ſelfe

         my tender hart hath wroong.

Ere this one death had reft

         a thouſand deathes away:

   But lyfe prolonged was by hope,

         of this deſired day.

Which ſo iuſt tribute payes

         of all my paſſed mone:

   That I as well contented am,

         as if my ſelfe alone

Did from the Occean reigne

         vnto the ſea of Inde:

   Wherfore now let vs wipe away

         old cares out of our mynde.

For as the wretched ſtate

         is now redreſt at laſt,

   So is it ſkill behinde our backe

         the curſed care to caſt.

Since Fortune of her grace

         hath place and time aſſinde

   Where we with pleaſure may content

         our vncontented minde.

In Lethes hyde we deepe

         all greefe and all annoy,

   Whilſt we do bath in bliſſe, and fill

         our hungry harts with ioye.

And for the time to comme,

         let be our buſy care:

   So wiſely to direct our loue

         as no wight els be ware.

Leſt enuious foes by force

         deſpoyle our new delight,

   And vs throwe backe from happy ſtate

         to more vnhappy plight.

Fayre Iuliet began

         to aunſwere what he ſayde:

   But foorth in haſt the olde nurce ſtept,

         and ſo her aunſwere ſtayde.

Who takes not time (quoth ſhe)

         when time well offred is,

   An other time ſhall ſeeke for time,

         and yet of time ſhall miſſe.

And when occaſion ſerues,

         who ſo doth let it ſlippe,

   Is woorthy ſure (if I might iudge)

         of laſhes with a whippe.

Wherfore, if eche of you

         hath harmde the other ſo,

   And eche of you hath been the cauſe

         of others wayled woe,

Loe here a fielde, (ſhe ſhewd

         a fieeldbed ready dight)

   Where you may, if you liſt, in armes,

         reuenge your ſelfe by fight.

Wherto theſe louers both

         gan eaſely aſſent,

And to the place of mylde reuenge

         with pleaſant cheere they went.

   Where they were left alone,

         the nurce is gone to reſt:

How can this be? they reſtles lye,

         ne yet they feele vnreſt.

   I graunt that I enuie

         the bliſſe they liued in:

Oh that I might haue found the like.

         I wiſh it for no ſin.

   But that I might as well

         with pen their ioyes depaynt,

As here to fore I haue diſplayd

         their ſecret hidden playnt.

   Of ſhyuering care and dred,

         I haue felt many a fit,

But Fortune ſuch delight as theyrs

         dyd neuer graunt me yet.

   By proofe no certain truth

         can I vnhappy write:

But what I geſſe by likelihod,

         that dare I to endite.

   The blyndfyld goddeſſe that

         with frowning face doth fraye,

And from theyr ſeate the mighty kinges

         throwes downe with hedlong ſway:

   Begynneth now to turne,

         to theſe her ſmyling face,

Nedes muſt they taſt of great delight,

         ſo much in Fortunes grace.

   If Cupid, God of loue,

         be God of pleaſant ſport,

I thinck O Romeus Mars himſelfe

         enuies thy happy ſort.

   Ne Venus iuſtly might,

          (aſ I ſuppoſe) repent,

If in thy ſtead (O Iuliet)

         this pleaſant time ſhe ſpent.

   This paſſe they foorth the night

         in ſport, in ioly game:

The haſtines of Phoebus ſteeds

         in great deſpyte they blame.

   And now the virgins fort

         hath warlike Romeus got,

In which as yet no breache was made

         by force of canon ſhot.

   And now in eaſe he doth

         poſſeſſe the hoped place:

How glad was he, ſpeake you that may

         your louers parts embrace?

   The mariage thus made vp,

         and both the parties pleaſd:

The nigh approche of dayes retoorne

         theſe ſeely foles diſeaſd.

   And for they might no while

         in pleaſure paſſe theyr time,

Ne leyſure had they much to blame

         the haſty mornings crime:

   With frendly kiſſe in armes

         of her his leaue he takes,

And euery other night to come,

         a ſolemne othe he makes.

   By one ſelfe meane, and eke

         to come at one ſelfe howre:

And ſo he doth till Fortune liſt

         to ſawſe his ſweete with ſowre.

   But who is he that can

         his preſent ſtate aſſure?

And ſay vnto himſelf, thy ioyes

         ſhall yet a day endure.

   So wauering Fortunes whele

         her chaunges be ſo ſtraunge.

And euery wight ythralled is

         by ſate vnto her chaunge.

   Who raignes ſo ouer all,

         that eche man hath his part:

(Although not aye perchaunce alike)

         of pleaſure and of ſmart.

   For after many ioyes,

         ſome feele but little payne:

And from that little greefe they toorne

         to happy ioy againe.

   But other ſomme there are,

         that liuing long in woe,

At length they be in quiet eaſe,

         but long abide not ſo.

   Whoſe greefe is much increaſt

         by myrth that went before:

Becauſe the ſodayne chaunge of thinges

         doth make it ſeeme the more.

   Of this vnlucky ſorte

         our Romeus is one

For all his hap turnes to miſhap,

         and all his myrth to mone.

   And ioyfull Iuliet

         an other leafe muſt toorne:

As wont ſhe was (her ioyes bereft)

         ſhe muſt begin to moorne.

   The ſummer of their bliſſe,

         doth laſt a month or twayne:

But winters blaſt with ſpedy foote

         doth bring the fall agayne.

   Whom glorious fortune erſt

         had heaued to the ſkies:

By enuious fortune ouerthrowne

         on earth now groueling lyes.

   She payd theyr former greefe

         with pleaſures doubled gayne:

But now for pleaſures vſery

         ten folde redoubleth payne.

   The prince could neuer cauſe

         thoſe houſholds ſo agree,

But that ſome ſparcles of their wrath,

         as yet remaining bee.

   Which lye this while raakd vp,

         in aſhes pale and ded,

Till tyme do ſerue that they agayne

         in waſting flame may ſpred.

   At holieſt times men ſay

         moſt heynous crimes are donne,

The morowe after Eaſter day

         the miſchiefe new begonne.

   A band of Capilets

         did meete (my hart it rewes)

Within the walles by Purſers gate,

         a band of Montagewes.

   The Capilets as cheefe,

         a yong man haue choſe out:

Beſt exerciſd in feates of armes,

         and nobleſt of the rowte.

   Our Iuliets vnkles ſonne

         that cliped was Tibalt:

He was of body tall and ſtrong,

         and of his courage halt.

   They neede no trumpet ſounde

         to byd them geue the charge,

So lowde he cryde with ftrayned voyce

            and mouth out ſtretched large.

   Now, now, (quod he) my frends,

         our ſelfe ſo let vs wreake,

That of this dayes reuenge, and vs,

         our childrens heyres may ſpeake.

   Now once for all let vs

         their ſwelling pride aſſwage,

Let none of them eſcape aliue,

         then he with furious rage

   And they with him gaue charge,

         vpon they preſent foes,

And then forthwith a ſkyrmiſhe great

         vpon this fray aroſe.

   For loe, the Montagewes

         thought ſhame away to flye,

And rather then to liue with ſhame,

         with prayſe did chooſe to dye.

   The woordes that Tybalt vſd

         to ſtyrre his folke to yre,

Haue in the breſtes of Montegewes

         kindled a furious fyre.

   With Lyons hartes they fight,

         warely themſelfe defende:

To wound his foe, his preſent wit

         and force eche one doth bend.

   This furious fray is long,

         on eche ſide ſtoutly fought,

That whether part had got the woorſt

         full doutfull were the thought.

   The noyſe hereof anon,

         throughout the towne doth flye:

And partes are taken on euery ſide.

         both kinreds thether hye.

   Here one doth gaſpe for breth,

         his frend beſtrideth him,

And he hath loſt a hand, and he

         another maymed lim.

   His leg is cutte whilſt he

         ſtrikes at an other full:

And whō he would haue thruſt quite through

         hath cleft his cracked ſkull.

   Theyr valiant harts forbode

         theyr foote to geue the grounde,

With vnappauled cheere they tooke

         full deepe and doutfull wounde.

   Thus foote by foote long while,

         and ſhield to ſhield ſet faſt:

One foe doth make another faynt

         but makes him not agaſt.

   And whilſt this noyſe is ryfe

         in euery townes mans eare,

Eke walking with his frendes, the noyſe

         doth wofull Romeus heare.

   With ſpedy foote he ronnes

         vnto the fray apace:

With him thoſe fewe that were with him

         he leadeth to the place.

   They pittie much to ſee

         the ſlaughter made ſo greate:

That wetſhod they might ſtand in blood

         on eyther ſide the ſtreate.

   Part frendes (ſayd he) part frendes,

         helpe frendes to part the fray:

And to the reſt, enough (he cryes)

         now time it is to ſtaye.

   Gods farther wrath you ſtyrre,

         beſide the hurt you feele:

And with this new vprore confounde

         all this our common wele.

   But they ſo buſy are

         in fight ſo egar and feerce,

That through theyr eares his ſage aduiſe

         no leyſure had to pearce.

   Then lept he in the throng,

         to part, and barre the blowes,

As well of thoſe that were his frendes:

         as of his dedly foes.

   As ſoone as Tybalt had

         our Romeus eſpyde:

He threw a thruſt at him that would

         haue paſt from ſide to ſide.

   But Romeus euer went

          (douting his foes) well armde:

So that the ſwerd (kept out by mayle)

         hath nothing Romeus harmde.

   Thou doeſt me wrong (quoth he)

         for I but part the fraye,

Not dread, but other waighty cauſe

         my haſty hand doth ſtay.

   Thou art the cheefe of thine,

         the nobleſt eke thou art:

Wherfore leaue of thy malice now,

         and helpe theſe folke to parte.

   Many are hurt, ſome ſlayne,

         and ſome are like to dye.

No, coward traytor boy (ȹ he)

         ſtraight way I mynd to trye

   Whether thy ſugred talke,

         and tong ſo ſmootely fylde:

Againſt the force of this my ſwerd

         ſhall ſerue thee for a ſhylde.

   And then at Romeus hed,

         a blow he ſtrake ſo hard,

That might haue cloue him to the brayne

         but for his cunning ward.

   It was but lent to him

         that could repay agayne:

And geue him death for intereſt,

         a well forborne gayne.

   Right as a foreſt bore,

         that lodged in the thicke,

Pinched with dog, or els with ſpeare

         ypricked to the quicke:

   His briſtles ſtiffe vpright

         vpon his backe doth ſet,

And in his fomy mouth, his ſharp

         and crooked tuſkes doth whet.

   Or as a Lyon wylde

         that rampeth in his rage,

His whelpes bereft, whoſe fury can

         no weaker beaſt aſſwage.

   Such ſeemed Romeus,

         in euery others ſight:

When he him ſhope, of wrong receaude

         tauenge himſelfe by fight.

   Euen as two thunderboltes,

         throwne downe out of the ſkye,

That through the ayre the maſſy earth

         and ſeas haue power to flye:

   So met theſe two, and while

         they chaunge a blowe or twayne,

Our Romeus thruſt him through the throte

         and ſo is Tybalt ſlayne.

   Loe here the ende of thoſe

         that ſtyrre a dedly ſtryfe:

Who thyrſteth after others death,

         himſelfe hath loſt his life.

   The Capilets are quaylde,

         by Tybalts ouerthrowe:

The courage of the Mountagewes,

         by Romeus ſight doth growe,

   The townes men waren ſtrong,

         the prince doth ſend his force:

The fray hath end, the Capilets

         do bring the brethles corce,

   Before the prince: and craue,

         that cruell dedly payne

May be the guerdon of his falt,

         that hath their kinſman ſlaine.

   The Montagewes do pleade,

         theyr Romeus voyde of falt:

The lookers on do ſay, the fight

         begonne was by Tybalt.

   The prince doth pawſe, and then

         geues ſentence in a while,

That Romeus, for ſleying him

         ſhould gone into exyle.

   His foes would haue him hangde,

         or ſterue in priſon ſtrong:

His frendes do think (but dare not ſay)

         that Romeus hath wrong.

   Both houſholds ſtraight are charged

         on payne of loſing lyfe:

Theyr bloudy weapons layd aſide,

         to ceaſe the ſtyrred ſtryfe.

   This common plage is ſpred,

         through all the towne anon:

From ſide to ſyde the towne is fild

         with murmour and with mone.

   For Tybalts haſty death,

         bewayled was of ſomme,

Both for his ſkill in feates of armes,

         and for in time to comme:

   He ſhould (had this not chaunced)

         been riche, and of great powre:

To helpe his frendes, and ſerue the ſtate,

         which hope within an howre

   Was waſted quite, and he

         thus yelding vp his breath,

More then he holpe the towne in lyfe,

         hath harmde it by his death.

   And other ſomme bewayle,

          (but ladies moſt of all)

The lookeles lot by Fortunes gylt,

         that is ſo late befall,

   (Without his falt,) vnto

         the ſeely Romeus,

For whilſt that he from natife land

         ſhall liue exyled thus.

   From heauenly bewties light,

         and his welſhaped parts:

The ſight of which, was wont (faire dames)

         to glad your youthfull harts.

   Shall you be baniſhd quite:

         and tyll he do retoorne

What hope haue you to ioy?

         what hope to ceaſe to moorne?

   This Romeus was borne

         ſo much in heauens grace

Of Fortune, and of nature ſo

         beloued, that in his face

   (Beſide the heauenly bew=

         ty gliſtring ay ſo bright:

And ſeemely grace, that wonted ſo

         to glad the ſeers ſight.)

   A certain charme was graued

         by natures ſecret arte:

That vertue had to draw to it,

         the loue of many a hart.

   So euery one doth wiſh,

         to beare a part of payne:

That he releaſed of exyle,

         might ſtraight retorne agayne.

   But how doth moorne emong

         the moorners Iuliet?

How doth ſhe bathe her breſt in teares?

         what depe ſighes doth ſhe fet?

   How doth ſhe tear her heare?

         her weede how doth ſhe rent?

How fares the louer hearing of

         her louers baniſhment?

   How wayles ſhe Tibalts death,

         whom ſhe had loued ſo well?

Her hearty greefe and piteous plaint,

         cunning I want to tell

   For deluing depely now

         in depth of depe diſpayre:

With wretched ſorowes cruell ſound

         ſhe fils the empty ayre.

   And to the loweſt hell,

         downe falles her heauy crye,

And vp vnto the heauens haight

         her piteous plaint doth flye.

   The waters and the woods,

         of ſighes and ſobs reſounde:

And from the hard reſounding rockes

         her ſorowes do rebounde.

   Eke from her teary eyne,

         downe rayned many a ſhowre:

That in the garden where ſhe walkd

         might water herbe and flowre.

   But when at length ſhe ſaw

         her ſelfe outraged ſo:

Vnto her chaumber ſtraight ſhe hide

         there ouercharged with wo.

   Vpon her ſtately bed,

         her painfull parts ſhe threw:

And in ſo wondrous wiſe began

         her ſorowes to renewe:

   That ſure no hart ſo hard,

          (but it of flint had byn:)

But would haue rude the pitious plaint

         that ſhe did languiſhe in.

   Then rapt out of her ſelfe,

         whilſt ſhe on euery ſide

Did caſt her reſtles eye, at length

         the windowe ſhe eſpide,

   Through which ſhe had with ioy

         ſeene Romeus many a time:

Which oft the ventrous knight was wont

         For Iuliets ſake toclyme.

   She cryde O curſed windowe,

         a curſt be euery pane,

Through which (alas) to one I raught

         the cauſe of life and bane.

   If by thy meane I haue

         ſome ſlight delight receaued,

Or els ſuch fading pleaſure as

         by Fortune ſtraight was reaued:

   Haſt thou not made me pay

         a tribute rigorous?

Of heaped greefe, and laſting care:

         and ſorowes dolorous?

   That theſe my tender partes,

         which nedefull ſtrength do lacke,

To beare ſo great vnweldy lode?

         vpon ſo weake a backe:

   Oppreſt with waight of cares

         and with theſe ſorowes rife:

At length muſt open wide to death,

         the gates of lothed lyfe.

   That ſo my wery ſprite,

         may ſomme where els vnlode

His dedly lode, and free from thrall

         may ſeeke els where abrode:

   For pleaſant quiet eaſe,

         and for aſſured reſt,

Which I as yet could neuer finde,

         but for my more vnreſt.

   O Romeus, when firſt

         we both acquainted were,

When to thy paynted promiſes

         I lent my liſtning eare:

   Which to the brinkes you fild

         with many a ſolemne othe,

And I them iudgde empty of gyle,

         and fraughted full of troth:

   I thought you rather would

         continue our good will,

And ſeeke tappeaſe our fathers ſtrife

         which daily groweth ſtill.

   I little wend you would

         haue ſought occaſion how

By ſuch an heynous act to breake

         the peace, and eke your vowe

   Wherby your bright renoune,

         all whole yclipſed is,

And I vnhappy huſbandles,

         of cumfort robde, and bliſſe.

   But if you did ſo much

         the blood of Capels thyrſt,

Why haue you often ſpared mine?

         myne might haue quencht it firſt.

   Since that ſo many times,

         and in ſo ſecret place

(Where you were wont with vele of loue

         to hyde your hatreds face.)

   My doutfull lyfe hath hapt

         by fatall dome to ſtand,

In mercy of your cruell hart,

         and of your bloudy hand.

   What? ſeemd the conqueſt which

         you got of me, ſo ſmall?

What? ſeemd it not enough that I

         poore wretch, was made your thrall?

   But that you muſt increaſe

         it with that kinſmans blood,

Which for his woorth and loue to me

         moſt in my fauour ſtood?

   Well, goe hencefoorth els where,

         and ſeeke another whyle,

Some other aſ vnhappy as I,

         by flattry to begyle.

   And where I comme, ſee that

         you ſhonne to ſhew your face:

For your excuſe within my hart

         ſhall finde no reſting place.

   And I that now too late

         my former fault repent:

Will ſo the reſt of wery life

         with many teares lament:

   That ſoone my ioyceles corps,

         ſhall yeld vp baniſhd breath,

And where on earth it reſtles liued,

         in earth ſeeke reſt by death.

   Theſe ſayde, her tender hart,

         by payne oppreſſed ſore:

Reſtraynd her teares, and forced her tong

         to keepe her talke in ſtore.

   And then as ſtill ſhe was,

         as if in ſownd ſhe lay:

And then agayne, wroth with her ſelfe,

         with feble voyce gan ſay.

   Ah cruell murthering tong,

         murthrer of others fame:

How durſt thou once attempt to tooch

         the honor of his name?

   Whoſe dedly foes doe yelde

         him dewe and earned prayſe:

For though his fredome be bereft,

         his honor not decayes.

   Why blamſt thou Romeus

         for ſleying of Tybalt,

Since he is gyltles guite of all,

         and Tybalt beares the falt?

   Whether ſhall he (alas)

         poore baniſhd man now flye?

What place of ſuccor ſhall he ſeeke

         beneth the ſtarry ſkye?

   Synce ſhe purſueth him,

         and him defames by wrong:

That in diſtres ſhould be his fort,

         and onely rampier ſtrong.

   Receiue the recompence,

         O Romeus of thy wife:

Who for ſhe was vnkind her ſelfe,

         doth offer vp her lyfe.

   In flames of yre, in ſighes,

         in ſorow and in ruth:

So to reuenge the crime ſhe did

         commit againſt thy truth.

   Theſe ſaid, ſhe could no more,

         her ſenſes all gan fayle:

And dedly panges began ſtraight way

         her tender hart aſſayle.

   Her limmes ſhe ſtretched forth,

         ſhe drew no more her breath,

Who had been there, might well haue ſeene

         the ſigness of preſent death.

   The nurce that knew no cauſe,

         why ſhe abſented her,

Did doute leſt that ſome ſodain greefe

         too much tormented her.

   Eche where but where ſhe was

         the carefull Beldam ſought,

Laſt, of the chamber where ſhe lay,

         ſhe haply her bethought.

   Where ſhe with piteous eye,

         her nurce childe did beholde:

Her limmes ſtretched out, her vtward parts

         as any marble colde.

   The nurce ſuppoſde that ſhe

         had payde to death her det:

And then as ſhe had loſt her wittes,

         ſhe cryed to Iuliet.

   Ah my dere hart (quoth ſhe)

         how greeueth me thy death?

Alas what cauſe haſt thou thus ſoone,

         to yelde vp liuing breath?

   But while ſhe handled her,

         and chafed euery part,

She knew there was ſome ſparke of life

         by beating of her hart.

   So that a thouſand times

         ſhe cald vpon her name,

There is no way to helpe a traunce,

         but ſhe hath tryde the ſame.

   She openeth wide her mouth,

         ſhe ſtoppeth cloſe her noſe,

She bendeth downe her breſt, ſhe wringes

         her fingers and her toes.

   And on her boſome colde,

         ſhe layeth clothes hot,

A warmed and a holeſome iuyce

         ſhe powreth downe her throte.

   At length doth Iuliet,

         heaue fayntly vp her eyes,

And then ſhe ſtretcheth forth her arme,

         and then her nurce ſhe ſpyes.

   But when ſhe was awakde,

         from her vnkindly traunce:

Why doſt thou trouble me (quoth ſhe)

         what draue thee (with miſchaunce)

   To come to ſee my ſprite,

         forſake my brethles corce?

Goe hence, and let me dye, if thou

         haue on my ſmart remorſe.

   For who would ſee her frend

         to liue in dedly payne?

Alas, I ſee my greefe begoone,

         for euer will remayne.

   Or who would ſeeke to liue,

         all pleaſure being paſt?

My myrth is donne, my moorning mone

         for ay is like to laſt.

   Wherfore ſince that there is

         none other remedy,

Comme gentle death, and ryue my hart,

         at once, and let my dye.

   The nurce with tricling teares,

         to witnes inward ſmart,

With holow ſigh fetchd from the depth,

         of her appauled hart.

   Thus ſpake to Iuliet,

         yclad with ougly care.

Good lady myne, I do not know

         what makes you thus to fare.

   Ne yet the cauſe of your

         vnmeaſurde heauines.

But of this one I you aſſure,

         for care and ſorowes ſtreſſe,

   This hower large and more,

         I thought (ſo god me ſaue)

That my dead corps ſhould wayte on yours,

         to your vntimely graue.

   Alas my tender nurce,

         and truſty frend (quoth ſhe)

Art thou ſo blinde, that with thine eye,

         thou canſt not eaſely ſee

   The lawfull cauſe I haue,

         to ſorow and to moorne,

Since thoſe the which I hyld moſt deere

         I haue at once forlorne?

   Her nurce then aunſwerd thus.

         Me thinkes it ſits you yll,

To fall in theſe extremities

         that may you gyltles ſpill.

   For when the ſtormes of care,

         and troubles do aryſe,

Then is the time for men to know,

         the fooliſh from the wiſe.

   You are accounted wiſe,

         a foole am I your nurce:

But I ſee not how in like caſe

         I could be haue me wurſe.

   Tibalt your frend is ded,

         what weene you by your teares,

To call him backe againe? thinke you

         that he your crying heares?

   You ſhall perceue the falt,

          (if it be iuſtly tryde)

Of his ſo ſodayn death, was in

         his raſhnes and his pryde.

   Would you that Romeus,

         him ſelfe had wronged ſo,

To ſuffer himſelfe cauſeles to be

         outraged of his foe?

   To whom in no reſpect,

         he ought a place to geue?

Let it ſuffiſe to thee fayre dame,

         that Romeus doth liue.

   And that there is good hope

         that he within a while,

With greater glory ſhalbe calde

         home from his hard exile.

   How wel yborne he is,

         thy ſelfe I know canſt tell:

By kindred ſtrong, and well alyed,

         of all beloued well.

   With patience arme thy ſelfe,

         for though that Fortunes cryme

Without your falt, to both your greefes

         depart you for a time.

   I dare ſay for amendes

         of all your preſent payne

She will reſtore your owne to you,

         within a month or twayne.

   With ſuch contented eaſe,

         as neuer erſt you had:

Wherfore reioyce a while in hope,

         and be ne more ſo ſad.

   And that I may diſcharge

         your hart of heauy care:

A certaine way I haue found out,

         my paynes ne will I ſpare.

   To learne his preſent ſtate,

         and what in time to comme

He mindes to doe, which knowne by me,

         you ſhall know all and ſomme.

   But that I dread the whilſt

         your ſorowes will you quell,

Straight would I hye where he doth lurke

         to frier Lawrence cell.

   But if you gyn eftſones

          (as erſt you did) to moorre

Wherto goe I, you will be ded

         before I thence retoorne.

   So I ſhall ſpend in waſt,

         my time, and buſy payne,

So vnto you (your life once loſt)

         good aunſwere commes in vayne.

   Soſhall I ridde my ſelfe

         with this ſharpe pointed knife:

So ſhall you cauſe your parents derre

         wax wery of theyr life.

   So ſhall your Romeus,

          (deſpyſing liuely breath,)

With haſty foote (before his tyme)

         ronne to vntimely death.

   Where if you can a while,

         by reaſon, rage ſuppreſſe,

I hope at my retorne to bring

         the ſalue of your diſtreſſe.

   Now chooſe to haue me here

         a partner of your payne,

Or promoſſe me, to feede on hope,

         till I retorne agayne.

   Her miſtres ſendes her forth,

         and makes a graue beheſt,

With reaſons rayne to rule the thoughts

         that rage within her breſt.

   When hugy beapes of harmes,

         are heapd before her eyes,

Then vaniſh they by hope of ſcape,

         and thus the lady lyes,

   Twixt well aſſured truſt.

         and doutfull lewd diſpayre,

Now blacke and ougly be her thoughts:

         now ſeeme they white and fayre.

   As oft in ſummer tide,

         blacke cloudes do dimme the ſonne,

And ſtraight againe in cleareſt ſkye

         his reſtles ſteedes do ronne,

   So Iuliets wandring mynd

         yclowded is with woe,

And by and by her haſty thought

         the woes doth ouergoe.

   But now is time to tell

         whilſt ſhe was toſſed thus

What windes did driue or hauen did hold

         her louer, louer Romeus

   When he had ſlayne his foe,

         that gan this dedly ſtrife,

And ſaw the furious fray had ende,

         by ending Tybalts life:

   He fled the ſharpe reuenge

         of thoſe that yet did liue,

And douting much what penall doome

         the troubled prince myght gyue,

   He ſought ſome where vnſeene,

         to lurke a little ſpace,

And truſty Lawrence ſecret cell,

         he thought the ſureſt place.

   In doutfull happe ay beſt,

         a truſty frend is tride,

The frendly fryer in this diſtreſſe,

         doth graunt his frend to hyde.

   A ſecret place he hath,

         well ſeeled round about,

The mouth of which, ſo cloſe is ſhut,

         that none may finde it out.

   Both roome there is to walke,

         and place to ſitte and reſt,

Beſide, a bed to ſleape vpon,

         full ſoft and trimly dreſt.

   The flowre is planked ſo

         with mattes, it is ſo warme.

That neither wind, nor ſmoky damps

         haue powre him ought to harme.

   Where he was wont in youth,

         his fayre frendes to beſtowe,

There now he hydeth Romeus

         whilſt forth he goeth to knowe

   Both what is ſayd and donne,

         and what appoynted payne,

Is publiſhed by trumpets ſound.

         then home he hyes agayne.

   By this, vnto his cell,

         the nurce with ſpedy pace:

Was comme the nereſt way: ſhe ſought,

         no ydel reſting place.

   The fryer ſent home the newes

         of Romeus certain helth:

And promeſſe made (what ſo befell)

         he ſhould that night by ſtelth

   Comme to his wonted place

         that they in nedefull wiſe

Of theyr affayres in time to comme,

         might thorowly deuyſe.

   Thoſe ioyfull newes, the nurce

         brought home with mery ioy:

And now our Iuliet ioyes, to thinke,

         ſhe ſhall her loue enioye.

   The fryer ſhuts faſt his doore,

         and then to him beneth.

That waytes to heare the doutefull newes

         of lyfe orels of death:

   Thy hap quoth he, is good,

         daunger of death is none:

But thou ſhalt liue, and doe full well,

         in ſpite of ſpitefull fone.

   This onely payne for thee

         was erſt proclaymde aloude,

A baniſhd man, thou mayſt thee not

         within Verona ſhroude.

   Theſe heauy tydinge heard,

         his golden lockes he tare:

And like a frantike man hath torne

         the garmentes that he ware.

   And as the ſmitten deere,

         in brakes is waltring found:

So waltreth he, and with his breſt

         doth beate the troden grounde.

   He riſeth eft, and ſtrikes

         his head againſt the wals,

He falleth downe againe, and lowde

         for haſty death he cals.

   Come ſpedy death (quoth he)

         the readieſt leache in loue,

Since nought can els beneth the ſunne

         the ground of griefe remoue.

   Of lothſome life breake downe

         the hated ſtaggering ſtayes,

Deſtroy, deſtroy at once the lyfe

         that faintly yet decayes.

   But you (fayre damein whome

         dame nature dyd deuiſe,

With cunning hand to woorke, that might

         ſeeme wondrous in our eyes:

   For you I pray the Gods,

         your pleaſures to increaſe,

And all miſhap, with this my death,

         for euermore to ceaſe.

   And mighty Ioue with ſpeede,

         of iuſtice bring them lowe,

Whoſe lofty pryde (without our gylt)

         our bliſſe doth ouerblowe.

   And Cupide graunt to thoſe

         theyr ſpedy wrongs redreſſe,

That ſhall bewayle my cruell death,

         and pity her diſtreſſe.

   Therewith, a cloude of ſighes,

         he breathd into the ſkies:

And two great ſtreames of bitter teares,

         ran from his ſwollen eyes.

   Theſe thinges, the auncient fryre,

         with ſorow ſaw, and heard,

Of ſuch begynning eke, the ende,

         the wiſe man greatly feard.

   But loe, he was ſo weake,

         by reaſon of his age,

That he ne could by force, repreſſe

         the rigour of his rage.

   His wiſe and frendly woordes,

         he ſpeaketh to the ayre:

For Romeus ſo vexed is,

         with care and with diſpayre,

   That no aduiſe can perce,

         his cloſe forſtopped eares:

So now the fryer doth take his part,

         in ſhedding ruthfull teares.

   With colour pale, and wan,

         with armes full hard yfold,

With wofull cheere, his wayling frend,

         he ſtandeth to beholde.

   And then, our Romeus.

         with tender handes ywrong:

With voyce, with plaint made horce, wt ſobs,

         and with a foltring tong.

   Renewd with nouel mone

         the dolours of his hart,

His outward dreery cheere bewrayde,

         his ſtore of inward ſmart.

   Fyrſt, nature did he blame,

         the author of his lyfe,

In which his ioyes had been ſo ſcant,

         and ſorowes aye ſo ryfe:

   The time and place of byrth,

         he fierſly did reproue,

He cryed out (with open mouth)

         againſt the ſtarres aboue:

   The fatall ſiſters three,

         he ſaid, had done him wrong,

The threed that ſhould not haue been ſponne

         they had drawne foorth too long.

   He wiſhed that he had

         before this time been borne,

Or that as ſoone as he wan light,

         his life he had forlorne.

   His nurce he curſed, and

         the hand that gaue him pappe,

The midwife eke with tender grype

         that held him in her lappe:

   And then did he complaine,

         on Venus cruel ſonne

Who led him firſt vnto the rockes,

         which he ſhould warely ſhonne.

   By meane wheros he loſt,

         both lyfe and libertie,

And dyed a hundred times a day,

         and yet could neuer dye.

   Loues troubles laſten long,

         the ioyes he geues are ſhort:

He forceth not a louers payne,

         theyr erneſt is his ſport.

   A thouſand thinges and more,

         I here let paſſe to write,

Which vnto loue this wofull man,

         dyd ſpeake in great deſpite.

   On Fortune eke he raylde,

         he calde her deafe, and blynde,

Vnconſtant, fond, deceitfull raſhe,

         vnruthfull, and vnkynd.

   And to him ſelf he layd

         a great part of the falt:

For that he ſlewe, and was not ſlayne,

         in fighting with Tibalt.

   He blamed all the world,

         and all he did defye

But Iuliet, for whom he liued,

         for whom eke would he dye.

   When after raging fits,

         appeaſed was his rage,

And when his paſſions (powred forth)

         gan partly to aſſwage.

   So wiſely did the fryre,

         vnto his tale replye,

That he ſtraight cared for his life,

         that erſt had care to dye.

   Art thou quoth he a man?

         Thy ſhape ſaith ſo thou art:

Thy crying and thy weping eyes,

         denote a womans hart.

   For manly reaſon is

         quite from of thy mynd outchaſed,

And in her ſtead affections lewd,

         and fanſies highly placed.

   So that, I ſtoode in doute

         this howre (at the leaſt)

If thou a man, or woman wert,

         or els a brutiſh beaſt.

   A wiſe man in the midſt

         of troubles and diſtres,

Still ſtandes not wayling preſent harme,

         but ſeeks his harmes redres,

   As when the winter flawes,

         with dredfull noyſe ariſe,

And heaue the fomy ſwelling waues

         vp to the ſtarry ſkies,

   So that the brooſed barke

         in cruell ſeas betoſt,

Diſpayreth of the happy hauen

         in daunger to be loſt.

   The pylate bold at helme,

         cryes, mates ſtrike now your ſayle:

And tornes her ſtemme into the waues

         that ſtrongly her aſſayle.

   Then driuen hard vpon

         the bare and wrackfull ſhore,

In greater daunger to be wract,

         then he had been before.

   He ſeeth his ſhip full right

         againſt the rocke to ronne,

But yet he dooth what lyeth in him

         the perilous rocke to ſhonne

   Sometimes the beaten boate,

         by cunning gouernment,

The ancors loſt, the cables broke,

         and all the tackle ſpent.

   The roder ſmitten of,

         and ouer boord the maſt,

Doth win the long deſyred porte,

         the ſtormy daunger paſt.

    But if the maſter dread,

         and ouerpreſt with woe,

Begin to wring his handes, and lets

         the gyding rodder goe

   The ſhip rents on the rocke,

         or ſinketh in the deepe,

And eke the coward drenched is,

         So: if thou ſtill be weepe

   And ſeke not how to helpe

         the chaunges that do chaunce,

Thy cauſe of ſorow ſhall increaſe,

         thou cauſe of thy miſchaunce.

   Other account thee wiſe,

         prooue not thy ſelfe a foole,

Now put in practiſe leſſons learnd,

         of old in wiſdomes ſchoole,

   The wiſe man ſaith, beware

         thou double not thy payne:

For one perhaps thou mayſt abyde,

         but hardly ſuffer twayne.

   As well we ought to ſeeke

         thinges hurtfull to decreaſe,

As to endeuor helping thinges

         by ſtudy to increaſe.

   The prayſe of trew fredom,

         in wiſdomes bondage lyes

He winneth blame whoſe deedes be fonde,

         although his woords be wiſe.

   Sickenes the bodies gayle,

         greefe,gayle is of the mynd,

If thou canſt ſcape from heauy greefe,

         true fredome ſhalt thou finde.

   Fortune can fill nothing,

         ſo full of hearty greefe,

But in the ſame a conſtant mynd,

         Finds ſolace and releefe,

Vertue is alwayes thrall,

         to troubles and annoye,

   But wiſdome in aduerſitie,

         findes cauſe of quiet ioye.

And they moſt wretched are,

         that know no wretchednes:

   And afther great extremity,

         miſhaps ay waxen leſſe.

Like as there is no weale,

         but waſtes away ſomtime,

   So euery kind of wayled woe,

         will weare away in time.

If thou wilt maſter quite,

         the troubles that the ſpill,

   Endeuor firſt by reaſons help,

         to maſter witles will.

A ſondry medſon hath,

         eche ſondry faynt diſeaſe,

   But pacience, a common ſalue,

         to euery wound geues eaſe.

The world is alway full

         of chaunces and of chaunge,

   Wherfore the chaunge of chaunce muſt not

         ſeeme to a wiſe man ſtraunge.

For tickel Fortune doth,

         in chaunging but her kind:

   But all her chaunges cannot chaunge,

         a ſteady conſtant minde.

Though wauering Fortune toorne

         from thee her ſmyling face,

   And ſorow ſeeke to ſet him ſelfe,

         in baniſhd pleaſures place,

Yet may thy marred ſtate,

         be mended in a while,

   And ſhe eftſones that frowneth now,

         with pleaſant cheere ſhall ſmyle.

For as her happy ſtate,

         no long whyle ſtandeth ſure,

   Euen ſo the heauy plight ſhe brings,

         not alwayes doth endure.

What nede ſo many woordes,

         to thee that art ſo wyſe?

   Thou better canſt aduiſe thy ſelfe,

         then I can thee aduyſe.

Wiſdome I ſee is vayne,

         if thus in time of neede,

   A wiſe mans wit vnpractiſed,

         doth ſtand him in no ſteede.

I know thou haſt ſome cauſe,

         of ſorow and of care:

   But well I wot thou haſt no cauſe

         thus frantikly to fare.

Affections foggy miſt,

         thy febled ſight doth blynde,

   But if that reaſons beames agayne,

         might ſhine into thy mynde:

If thou wouldſt view thy ſtate

         with an indifferent eye,

I thinke thou wouldſt condemne thy plaint,

         thy ſighing and thy crye.

   With valiant hand thou madeſt

         thy foe yeld vp his breth,

Thou haſt eſcapd his ſwerd, and eke

         the lawes that threatten death.

   By thy eſcape, thy frendes,

         are fraughted full of ioy,

And by his death thy deadly foes

         are laden with annoy

   Wilt thou with truſty frendes,

         of pleaſure take ſome part?

Or els to pleaſe thy hatefull foes,

         be partner of theyr ſmart?

   Why cryeſt thou out on loue,

         why doeſt thou blame thy fate?

Why doſt thou ſo crye after death?

         thy life why doſt thou hate?

   Doſt thou repent the choyce.

         that thou ſo late didſt chooſe?

Loue is thy Lord, thou oughteſt obay,

         and not thy prince accuſe.

   For thou haſt found (thou knowſt)

         great fauour in his ſight:

He graunted thee at thy requeſt,

         thy onely hartes delight:

   So that the Gods enuyde

         the bliſſe thou liuedst in,

To geue to ſuch vnthankefull men,

         is folly and a ſin.

   Me thinkes I heare thee ſay

         the cruell baniſhment,

Iſ onely cauſe of thy vnreſt,

         onely thou doſt lament,

   That from thy natife land,

         and frendes thou muſt depart,

Enforſd to flye from her that hath

         the keping of thy hart.

   And ſo oppreſt with waight

         of ſmart that thou doſt feele,

Thou doſt complaine of Cupides brand,

         and Fortunes turning wheele.

   Vnto a valiant hart,

         there is no baniſhment,

All countreys are his natiue ſoyle

         beneath the firmament.

   As to the fiſhe, the ſea:

         as to the fowle, the ayre:

So iſ like pleaſant to the wiſe,

         eche place of his repayre.

   Though froward Fortune chaſe

         thee hence into exyle:

With doubled honor ſhall ſhe call

         thee home within a whyle.

   Admyt thou ſhouldſt abyde

         abrode a yere or twayne:

Should ſo ſhort abſence cauſe ſo long,

         and eke ſo greeuous payne?

   Though thou ne mayſt thy frendes,

         here in Verona ſee,

They are not baniſhd Mantua,

         where ſafely thou maſt be.

   Thether they may reſort,

         though thou reſort not hether,

And there in ſuretie may you talke,

         of your affayres together.

   Yea, but this whyle (alas)

         thy Iuliet muſt thou miſſe,

The onely piller of thy helth,

         and ancor of thy bliſſe.

   Thy hart thou leaueſt with her,

         when thou doſt hence depart:

And in thy breſt incloſed bearſt,

         her tender frendly hart.

   But if thou rew ſo much,

         to leaue the reſt behinde,

With thought of paſſed ioyes, content

         thy vncontented mynde.

   So ſhall the mone decreaſe,

         wherwith thy mynd doth melt,

Compared to the heauenly ioyes

         which thou haſt often felt.

   He is too nyſe a weakeling,

         that ſhrinketh at a ſhowre,

And he vnworthy of the ſweete,

         that taſteth not the ſowre.

    Call now againe to mynde,

         thy firſt conſuming flame,

How didſt thou vainely burne in loue

         of an vnlouing dame.

   Hadſt thou not welnigh wept,

         quite out thy ſwelling eyne:

Did not thy parts fordoon with payne,

         languiſhe away and pyne?

   Thoſe greefes and others like,

         were happly ouerpaſt:

And thou in haight of Fortunes wheele,

         well placed at the laſt:

    From whence thou art now falne,

         that rayſed vp agayne,

With greater ioy a greater while

         in pleaſure mayſt thou raygne.

    Compare the preſent while,

         with times ypaſt before,

And thinke that Fortune hath for thee,

         great pleaſure yet in ſtore.

   The whilſt, this little wrong,

         receiue thou paciently,

And what of force muſt nedes be done,

         that doe thou willingly.

   Foly it is to feare

         that thou canſt not auoyde

And madnes to deſire it much,

         that can not be enioyde.

   To geue to Fortune place,

         not ay deſerueth blame:

But ſkill it is, according to

         the times, thy ſelfe to frame.

   Whilſt to this ſkilfull lore;

         he lent his liſtning eares:

His ſighes are ſtopt, and ſtopped are

         the conduits of his teares.

   As blackeſt cloudes are chaced,

         by winters nimble winde:

So haue his reaſons chaced care,

         out of his carefull mynde.

   As of a morning fowle,

         enſues an euening fayre:

So baniſht hope returneth home,

         to baniſh his deſpayre.

   Now is affections veale,

         remoued from his eyes.

He ſeeth the path that he muſt walke,

         and reſon makes him wiſe.

   For very ſhame, the blood

         doth flaſhe in both his cheekes:

He thankes the father for his lore,

         and farther ayde he ſeekes.

   He ſayth that ſkilles youth,

         for counſell is vnfitte,

And anger oft with haſtines

         are ioind to want of witte.

   But ſound aduiſe aboundes

         in heddes with horiſhe heares:

For wiſdom is by practiſe wonne,

         and perfect made by yeares.

   But aye from this time forth,

         his ready bending will:

Shalbe in awe, and gouerned,

         by fryer Lawrence ſkill.

   The gouernor is nowe,

         right carefull of his charge:

To whom he doth wiſely diſcoorſe,

         of his affaires at large.

   He telles him how he ſhall,

         depart the towne vnknowne,

Both mindfull of his frendes ſafetie,

         and carefull of his owne.

   How he ſhall gyde him ſelfe,

         how he ſhall ſeeke to winne,

The frendſhip of the better ſort,

         how warely to crepe in

   The fauour of the Mantuan prince:

         and how he may

Appeaſe the wrath of Eſcalus:

         and wipe the fault away.

   The choller of his foes,

         by gentle meanes taſſwage:

Or els by force and practiſes,

         to bridle quite theyr rage.

   And laſt he chargeth him,

         at his appointed howre,

To goe with manly mery cheere,

         vnto his ladies bowre.

   And there with hole ſome woordes,

         to ſalue her ſorowes ſmart:

And to reuiue, (if nede require,)

         her faint and dying hart.

   The old mans woords haue fild

         with ioy, our Romeus breſt:

And eke the olde wiues talke, hath ſet

         our Iuliets hart at reſt.

   Whereto may I compare,

          (O louers) this your day?

Like dayes the painefull mariners,

         are woonted to aſſay.

   For beat with tempeſt great,

         when they at length, eſpye

Some little beame of Phoebus light,

         that perceth through the ſkie,

   To cleare the ſhadowde earth,

         by clearenes of his face:

They hope that dreadles, they ſhall ronne

         the remnant of their race.

   Yea, they aſſure them ſelfe:

         and quite behynd theyr backe,

They caſt all doute, and thanke the Gods

         for ſcraping of the wracke.

   But ſtraight the boyſterous windes,

         with greater fury blowe,

And ouer boord the broken maſt.

         the ſtormy blaſtes doe throwe.

   The heauens large, are clad

         with cloudes, as darke as hell:

And twiſe aſ hye, the ſtriuing waues

         begin to roare, and ſwell.

   With greater daungers dred,

         the men are vexed more:

In greater perill of their lyfe,

         then they had been before.

   The golden ſonne, was gonne

         to lodge him in the weſt:

The full moone eke in yonder ſouth,

         had ſent moſt men to reſt:

   When reſtles Romeus,

         and reſtles Iuliet,

In woonted ſort, by woonted meane,

         in Iuliets chaumber met.

   And from the windowes top,

         downe had he leaped ſcarce,

When ſhe with armes outſtretched wide,

         ſo hard did him embrace,

   That welnigh had the ſprite

          (not forced by dedly force)

Flowne vnto death, before the time

         abandoning the corce.

   Thus muet ſtoode they both,

         the eight part of an howre

And both would ſpeake, but neither had

         of ſpeaking any powre.

   But on his breſt her hed

         doth ioyleſſe Iuliet lay,

And on her ſlender necke, his chyn

         doth ruthfull Romeus ſtay.

   Their ſcalding ſighes aſcende,

         and by their cheekes dowue fall,

Their trickling teares, as chriſtall cleare,

         but bitterer farre then gall.

   Then he to end the greefe,

         which both they liued in,

Did kyſſe his loue, and wiſely thus

         hys tale he dyd begin.

   My Iuliet, my loue,

         my onely hope and care:

To you I purpoſe not as now,

         with length of woords declare,

   The diuerſenes, and eke

         the accidents ſo ſtraunge,

Of frayle vnconſtant Fortune, that

         delyteth ſtill in chaunge.

   Who in a moment heaues

         her frendes vp to the height,

Of her ſwift turning ſlippery wheele,

         then fleetes her frendſhip ſtraight,

   O wondrous chaunge, euen with

         the twinkling of an eye,

Whom erſt her ſelfe had raſhly ſet,

         in pleaſant place ſo hye?

   The ſame in great deſpyte,

         downe hedlong doth ſhe throwe:

And while ſhe treades and ſpurneth at

         the lofty ſtate laid lowe,

   More ſorow doth ſhe ſhape

         within an howers ſpace,

Then pleaſure in an hundred yeres:

         ſo geyſon is her grace.

   The proofe wherof in me

          (alas) too plaine apperes,

Whom tenderly my carefull frendes

         haue foſtered with my feers,

   In proſperous high degree:

         mayntayned ſo by fate,

That (as your ſelfe did ſee) my foes

         enuyde my noble ſtate.

   One thing there was, I did

         aboue the reſt deſire,

To which, as to the ſoueraigne good,

         by hope I would aſpyre:

   Thol by our mariage meane,

         we might within a while,

(To woorke our perfect happines)

         our parentes reconſile.

   That ſafely ſo we might

          (not ſtopt by ſturdy ſtrife)

Vnto the boundes that God hath ſet,

         gyde forth our pleaſant lyfe.

   But now (alacke) too ſoone

         my bliſſe is ouerblowne,

And vpſide downe my purpoſe and

         my enterpriſe are throwne,

   And driuen from my frendes,

         of ſtraungers muſt I craue,

(O graunt it God) from daungers dread,

         that I may ſuertie haue.

   For loe, henceforth I muſt,

         wander in landes vnknowne:

(ſo hard I finde the princes doome,)

         exyled from mine owne.

   Which thing I haue thought good,

         to ſet before your eyes:

And to exhort you, now to proue

         your ſelfe a woman wiſe.

   That paciently, you beare

         my abſent long abod.

For, what aboue by fatall doomes

         decreed is that God,

   And more then this, to ſay

         it ſeemed he was bent,

But Iuliet, in dedly greefe,

         with brackiſh teares beſprent,

   Brake of his tale begonne,

         and whilſt his ſpeche he ſtayde,

Theſe ſelfe ſame wordes, or like to theſe,

         with dreery chere ſhe ſayde.

   Why Romeus,can it be,

         thou haſt ſo hard a hart?

So farre remoued from ruth? ſo farre

         from thinking on my ſmart?

   To leaue me thus alone?

          (thou cauſe of my diſtreſſe)

Beſeged with ſo great a campe,

         of mortall wretchedneſſe,

   That euery hower now,

         and moment in a day,

A thouſand times, death bragges, as he

         would reaue my life away.

   Yet ſuch is my miſhap,

          (O cruell deſtenye)

That ſtill I liue, and wiſh for death,

         but yet can neuer dye.

   So that iuſt cauſe I haue,

         to thinke (as ſeemeth me)

That froward Fortune did of late,

         with cruell death agree

   To lengthen lothed life,

         to pleaſure in my payne,

And tryumph in my harme, as in

         the greateſt hoped gayne.

   And thou the inſtrument

         of Fortunes cruell will,

Without whoſe ayde ſhe can no way,

         her tyrans luſt fulfill:

   Art not a whit aſhamde,

          (as farre as I can ſee)

To caſt me of, when thou haſt culd

         the better part of me.

   Wherby (alas) to ſoone,

         I ſeely wretch do proue,

That all the auncient ſacred lawes,

         of frendſhip and of loue,

   Are quelde and quenched quite.

         ſince he on whom alway,

My cheefe hope, and my ſteady truſt,

         was wonted ſtill to ſtay,

   For whom I am becomme,

         vnto my ſelfe a foe:

Diſdayneth me his ſtedfaſt frend,

         and ſcornes my frendſhip ſo.

   Nay Romeus, nay, thou mayſt

         of two thinges chooſe the one:

Either to ſee thy caſtaway

         as ſoone as thou art gone,

   Hedlong to throw her ſelfe

         downe from the windowes haight,

And ſo to breake her ſlender necke,

         with all the bodies waight.

   Or ſuffer her to be

         companion of thy payne,

Where ſo thou goe (Fortune thee gyde)

         till thou retoorne agayne.

   So wholy into thine,

         tranſformed is my hart,

That euen as oft as I do thinke

         that thou and I ſhall part:

   So oft (me thinkes) my life

         withdrawes it ſelfe awaye,

Which I retayne, to no end els,

         but to the end I may

   In ſpite of all thy foes,

         thy preſent partes enioye,

And in diſtres to beare with thee,

         the halfe of thine annoye.

   Wherfore in humble ſort

          (Romeus) I make requeſt,

If euer tender pity yet,

         were lodgde in gentle breſt,

   O let it now haue place,

         to reſt within thy hart,

Receaue me as thy ſeruant, and

         the fellow of thy ſmart.

   Thy abſence is my death,

         thy ſight ſhall geue me life.

But if perhaps thou ſtand in dred,

         to leade me as a wyfe,

   Art thou all counſelleſſe,

         canſt thou no ſhift deuiſe?

What letteth, but in other weede

         I may my ſelfe diſguyſe.

   What, ſhall I he the firſt?

         hath none done ſo ere this?

To ſcape the bondage of theyr frendes?

         thy ſelfe can aunſwer yes.

   Or doſt thou ſtand in doute,

         that I thy wife ne can,

By ſeruice pleaſure thee as much,

         as may thy hyred man?

   Or iſ my loyalte

         of both accompted leſſe?

Perhaps thou fearſt leſt I for gayne,

         forſake thee in diſtreſſe.

   What, hath my bewty now,

         no powre at all on you?

Whoſe brightnes, force, and praiſe ſomtime,

         vp to the ſkyes you blew?

   My teares, my frendſhip, and

         my pleaſures donne of olde:

Shall they be quite forgote in dede?

         when Romeus dyd behold

   The wildnes of her looke,

         her cooler pale and ded,

The woorſt of all that might betyde

         to her, he gan to dred.

   And once agayne he dyd

         in armes his Iuliet take:

And kiſt her with a louing kyſſe,

         And thus to her he ſpake.

   Ah Iuliet (quoth he)

         the miſtres of my hart,

For whom (euen now) thy ſeruant doth

         abyde in dedly ſmart,

   Euen for the happy dayes

         which thou deſyreſt to ſee,

And for the feruent frendſhips ſake

         that thou doſt owe to me:

   At once theſe fanſies vayne,

         out of thy mynd roote out,

Except perhaps vnto thy blame,

         thou fondly go about

   To haſten forth my death,

         and to thine owne to ronne:

Which Natures law, and wiſdoms lore

         teache euery wight to ſhonne.

   For, but thou chaunge thy mynde,

          (I do foretell the ende)

Thou ſhalt vndoo thy ſelfe for ay,

         and me thy truſty frende.

   For why, thy abſence knowne,

         thy father wilbe wroth,

And in his rage, ſo narowly

         he will purſue vs both:

   That we ſhall trye in vayne,

         to ſcape away by flight,

And vainely ſeeke a loorking place,

         to hyde vs from his ſight.

   Then we found out, and caught,

         quite voyde of ſtrong defence

Shall cruelly be puniſhed,

         for thy departure hence.

   I, as a rauiſhor,

         thou, as a careles childe,

I, as a man who doth defile,

         thou, as a mayde defilde.

   Thinking to leade in eaſe,

         a long contented life,

Shall ſhort our dayes by ſhamefull death.

         but (if my louing wife)

   Thou baniſh from thy mynde,

         two foes that counſell hath:

(That wont to hinder ſound aduiſe)

         raſhe haſtines, and wrath:

   If thou be bend to bay

         the lore of reaſons ſkill,

And wiſely by her princely powre

         ſuppreſſe rebelling will:

   If thou our ſafetie ſeeke,

         more then thine owne delight,

Since ſuerty ſtandes in parting, and

         thy pleaſures growe of ſight:

   For heare the cauſe of ioy,

         and ſuffer for a while,

So ſhall I ſafely liue abrode,

         and ſafe torne from exile.

   So ſhall no ſlaunders blot,

         thy ſpotles life deſtayne,

So ſhall thy kinſmen be vnſtyrd,

         and I exempt from payne.

   And thinke thou not that aye,

         the cauſe of care ſhall laſt,

Theſe ſtormy broyles ſhall ouerblow,

         much like a winters blaſt.

   For Fortune chaungeth more,

         then fickel fantaſie,

In nothing Fortune conſtant is,

         ſaue in vnconſtancie.

   Her haſty ronning wheele,

         is of a reſtles coorſe,

That turnes the clymers hedlong downe,

         from better to the woorſe.

   And thoſe that are beneth,

         ſhe heaueth vp agayne,

So we ſhall riſe to pleaſures mount,

         out of the pit of payne.

   Ere fowre monthes ouerpaſſe,

         ſuch order will I take,

And by my letters, and my frendes,

         ſuch meanes I mynd to make,

   That of my wandring race,

         ended ſhalbe the toyle,

And I cald home with honor great,

         vnto my natiue ſoyle.

   But if I be condemd

         to wander ſtill in thrall,

I will returne to you (mine owne)

         befall what may befall.

   And then by ſtrength of frendes,

         and with a mighty hand,

From Verone will I cary thee,

         into a forein lande.

   Not in mans weede diſguiſd,

         or as one ſcarcely knowne,

But as my wife and onely feere,

         in garment of thyne owne.

   Wherfore repreſſe at once,

         the paſſions of thy hart,

And where there is no cauſe of greefe,

         cauſe hope to heale thy ſmart.

   For of this one thing thou

         mayſt well aſſured bee:

That nothing els but onely death

         ſhall ſunder me from thee.

   The reaſons that he made,

         did ſeeme of ſo great waight,

And had with her ſuch force: that ſhe

         to him gan aunſwer ſtraight.

   Deere ſyr, nought els wiſh I,

         but to obay your will:

But ſure where ſo you go, your hart

         with me ſhall tary ſtill,

   Aſ ſigne and certaine pledge,

         tyll here I ſhall you ſee:

Of all the powre that ouer you

         your ſelfe did graunt to me.

   And in hip ſtead take myne,

         the gage of my good will:

One promeſſe craue I at your hand,

         that graunt me to fulfill.

   Fayle not to let me haue

         at fryer Lawrence hand,

The tydinges of your health, and how

         your doutfull caſe ſhall ſtand.

   And all the wery while

         that you ſhall ſpend abrode:

Cauſe me from time to time to knowe

         the place of your abode.

   His eyes did guſhe out teares,

         a ſigh brake from his breſt,

When he did graunt, and with an othe

         did vowe to kepe the heſt.

   Thus theſe two louers paſſe

         away the wery night,

In payne and plaint, not (as they wont)

         in pleaſure and delight.

    But now (ſomewhat too ſoone)

         in fartheſt Eaſt aroſe

Fayre Lucifer, the golden ſtarre,

         that Lady Venus choſe.

   Whoſe courſe appoynted is,

         with ſpedy race to ronne,

A meſſenger of dawning daye,

         and of the ryſing ſonne.

   Then freſhe Aurora, with

         her paie and ſiluer glade

Did clear the ſkyes, and from the earth,

         had chaſed ougly ſhade.

   When thou ne lookeſt wide,

         ne cloſely doſt thou winke,

When Phoebus from our hemyſphere,

         in weſterne waue doth ſinke.

   What cooller then the heauens

         do ſhew vnto thine eyes:

The ſame, (or like) ſaw Romeus

         in fartheſt Eſterne ſkyes.

   As yet, he ſaw no day:

         ne could he call it night,

With equall force, decreaſing darke,

         fought with increaſing light.

   Then Romeus in armes

         his lady gan to folde,

With frendly kiſſe and ruthfully

         ſhe gan her knight beholde.

   With ſolemne othe they both

         theyr ſorowfull leaue do take,

They ſweare no ſtormy troubles ſhall

         theyr ſteady frendſhip ſhake.

  Then carefull Romeus,

         agayne to cell retoornes,

And in her chamber ſecretly

         our ioyles Iuliet moornes.

   Now hugycloudes of care,

         of ſorow and of dread,

The clearnes of their gladſome harts

         hath wholy ouerſpread.

   When golden creſted Phoebus

         boſteth him in ſkye,

And vnder earth, to ſcape reuenge,

         his dedly foe doth flye:

   Then hath theſe louers day

         an ende, their night begonne,

For eche of them to other is,

         as to the world, the ſunne.

   The dawning they ſhall ſee,

         ne ſommer any more,

But blackfaced night with winter rough,

          (ah)beaten ouer ſore.

   The wery watch diſcharged,

         did hye them home to ſlepe,

The warders, and the ſkowtes were chargde

         theyr place and coorſe to keepe.

   And Verone gates a wyde,

         the porters had ſet open,

When Romeus had of his affayres

         with frier Lawrence ſpoken:

   Warely he walked forth,

         vnknowne of frend or foe:

Clad like a merchant venterer,

         from top euen to the toe.

   He ſpurd apace and came

         withouten ſtop or ſtay,

To Mantua gates, where lighted downe,

         he ſent his man away.

   With woords of comfort, to

         his olde afflicted fyre:

And ſtraight in mynd to ſoiorne there,

         a lodgeing doth he hyre.

   And with the nobler ſort

         he doth himſelfe acquaint,

And of his open wrong receaued,

         the Duke doth heare his plaint.

   He practiſeth by frendes,

         for pardon of exyle,

The whilſt, he ſeeketh euery way,

         his ſorowes to begyle.

   But who forgets the cole

         that burneth in his breſt?

Alas his cares, denye his hart,

         the ſweete deſyred reſt.

   No time findes he of myrth,

         he findes no place of ioye,

But euery thing occaſion geues,

         of ſorow and annoye.

   For when in toorning ſkyes,

         the heauens lampes are light,

And from the other hemyſphere,

         fayre Phoebus chaceth night,

   When euery man and beaſt,

         hath reſt from painfull toyle,

Then in the breſt of Romeus,

         his paſſions gyn to boyle.

   Then doth he wet with teares,

         the cowche wheron he lyes,

And then his ſighes the chamber fill,

         and out aloude he cryes

   Againſt the reſtles ſtarres,

         in rolling ſkyes that raunge,

Againſt the fatall ſiſters three,

         and Fortune full of chaunge.

   Eche night a thouſand times

         he calleth for the day,

He thinketh Titans reſtles ſtedes,

         of reſtines do ſtay.

   Or that at length they haue

         ſome bayting place found out,

Or (gyded yll) haue loſt theyr way

         and wandred farre about.

   Whyle thus in ydel thoughts,

         the wery time he ſpendeth,

The night hath end, but not with night

         the plaint of night be endeth.

   Is he accompanied,

         is he in place alone?

In cumpany he wayles his harme,

         a part be maketh mone.

   For if his feeres reioyce,

         what cauſe hath he to ioy,

That wanteth ſtill his cheefe delight,

         while they theyr loues enioy?

   But if with heauy cheere,

         they ſhewe their inward greefe,

He wayleth moſt his wretchednes,

         that is of wretches cheefe.

   When he doth heare abrode,

         the praiſe of ladies blowne.

Within his thought he ſcorneth them

         and doth preferre his owne.

   When pleaſant ſonges he beares

         When others do reioyce

The melody of Muſike doth

         ſtyrre vp his mourning voyce.

   But if in ſecret place

         he walke ſome where alone,

The place it ſelfe, and ſecretnes

         redoubleth all his mone.

   Then ſpeakes he to the beaſtes

         to fethered fowles, and trees,

Vnto the earth, the cloudes, and to

         what ſo beſide he ſees.

   To them he ſhewth his ſmart,

         as though they reaſon had,

Eche thing may cauſe his heauines,

         but nought may make him glad.

   And (wery of the day)

         agayne he calleth night,

The ſunne he curſeth, and the howre,

         when fyrſt his eyes ſaw light.

   And as the night, and day,

         their courſe do enterchaunge:

So doth our Romeus nightly cares,

         for cares of day exchaunge.

   In abſence of her knight,

         the lady no way could

Kepe trewe betwene her greefes and her,

         though nere ſo fayne ſhe would.

   And though with greater payne

         ſhe cloked ſorowes ſmart:

Yet did her paled face diſcloſe

         the paſſions of her hart.

   Her ſighing euery howre,

         her weping euery where,

Her recheles heede of meate, of ſlepe,

         and wearing of her geare:

   The carefull mother markes.

         then of her health afrayde,

Becauſe the greefes increaſed ſtill.

         thus to her child ſhe ſayde.

   Deere daughter, if you ſhoulde

         long languiſhe in this ſort,

I ſtand in doute that ouer ſoone

         your ſorowes will make ſhort

   Your louing fathers life,

         and myne, that loue you more

Then our owne propre breth, and life.

         Brydel hence forth therfore

   Your greefe, and payne your ſelfe

         on ioy your thought to ſet,

For time it iſ that now you ſhould

         our Tybalts death forget.

   Of whom, ſince God hath claymd

         the lyfe, that was but lent,

He is in bliſſe, ne is there cauſe

         why you ſhould thus lament?

   You can not call him backe

         with teares, and ſhrikinges ſhrill:

It is a falt thus ſtill to grudge

         at Gods appoynted will.

   The ſeely ſoule had now

         no longer powre to fayne,

Ne longer could ſhe hyde her harme:

         but aunſwerd thus agayne.

   With heauy broken ſighes,

         with viſage pale and ded

Madame, the laſt of Tybalts teares,

         a great while ſince I ſhed.

   Whoſe ſpring hath been ere this

         ſo laded out by me,

That empty quite, and moyſtureles,

         I geſſe it now to be.

   So that my payned hart

         by canduites of the eyne,

No more henceforth (as wont it was)

         ſhall guſh forth dropping bryne.

   The wofull mother knew

         not, what her daughter ment,

And loth to vexe her childe by woordes,

         her peace ſhe warely hent.

   But when from howre to howre,

         from morow to the morow,

Still more and more ſhe ſaw increaſt

         her daughters wonted ſorow.

   All meanes ſhe ſought of her,

         and howſhold folke, to know

The certaine roote, whereon her greefe,

         and booteles mone doth growe.

   But lo, ſhe hath in vayne,

         her time, and labor lore,

Wherfore without all meaſure, is

         her hart tormented ſore.

   And ſith her ſelfe could not

         fynd out the cauſe of care:

She thought it good to tell the ſyre,

         how yll his childe did fare.

   And when ſhe ſaw her time,

         thus to her feere ſhe ſayde:

Syr, if you marke our daughter well,

         the countenance of the mayde,

   And how ſhe fareth, ſince

         that Tybalt vnto death,

(Before his time, forſt by his foe)

         dyd yeld his liuing breath.

   Her face ſhall ſeeme ſo chaunged,

         her doynges eke ſo ſtraunge,

That you will greatly wonder at,

         ſo great and ſodain chaunge.

   Not onely ſhe forbeares,

         her meate, her drinke, and ſleepe,

But now ſhe tendeth nothing els

         but to lament and weepe.

   No greater ioy hath ſhe,

         nothing contentes her hart

So much, as in her chaumber, cloſe

         to ſhut her ſelfe apart.

   Where ſhe doth ſo torment

         her poore afflicted mynde,

That much in daunger ſtandeſ her lyfe,

         except ſomme helpe we fynde.

   But (out alas) I ſee not

         how it may be founde:

Vnleſſe that fyrſt, we might fynd, whence

         her ſorowes thus abounde.

   For though with buſy care,

         I haue employde my wit,

And vſed all the wayes I knew,

         to learne the truth of it:

   Neither extremitie,

         ne gentle meanes could boote.

She hydeth cloſe within her breſt,

         her ſecret ſorowes roote.

   This was my fyrſt conceite,

         that all her ruth aroſe

Out of her coofin Tybaltſ death,

         late ſlayne of dedly foes.

   But now my hart doth hold

         a new repugnant thought,

Some greater thing, not Tybalts death

         this chaunge in her hath wrought.

   Her selfe aſſured me,

         that many dayes a goe,

She ſhed the laſt of Tybalts teares,

         which woord amaſd me ſo,

   That I then could not geſſe

         what thing els might her greeue,

But now at length I haue bethought

  1. And I doe beleue

   The onely crop and roote

         of all my daughters payne,

Is grudgeing enuies faynt diſeaſe,

         perhaps ſhe doth diſdayne

   To ſee in wedlocke yoke

         the moſt part of her feeres,

Whilſt onely ſhe vnmaried,

         doth loſe ſo many yeres.

   And more perchaunce ſhe thinkes

         you mynd to kepe her ſo,

Wherfore diſpayring doth ſhe weare

         her ſelfe away with woe.

   Therfore (deere ſyr) in time,

         take on your daughter ruth,

For why, a brickel thing is glaſſe,

         and frayle is fraylleſſe youth.

   Ioyne her at once to ſomme,

         in linke of mariage,

That may be meete for our degree,

         and much about her age.

   So ſhall you baniſh care

         out of your daughterſ breſt:

So we her parentes in our age,

         ſhall liue in quiet reſt.

   Wherto gan eaſely

         her huſband to agree,

And to the mothers ſkilfull talke,

         thus ſtraight way aunſwerd he.

   Oft haue I thought (deere wife)

         of all theſe thinges ere this,

But euermore my mynd me gaue,

         it ſhould not be amiſſe,

   By farther leyſure had,

         a huſband to prouyde,

Scarce ſaw ſhe yet full.xvi. yeres:

         too yong to be a bryde.

   But ſince her ſtate doth ſtande

         on termes ſo perilous,

And that a mayden daughter is

         a treaſour daungerous:

   With ſo great ſpeede I will

         endeuour to procure

A huſband for our daughter yong,

         her ſickenes faynt to cure.

   That you ſhall reſt content,

          (ſo warely will I chooſe)

And ſhe recouer ſoone enough

         the time ſhe ſeemeſ to looſe.

   The whilſt, ſeeke you to learne,

         if ſhe in any part,

Already hath (vnware to vs)

         fixed her frendly hart.

   Leſt we haue more reſpect

         to honor and to welth,

Then to our doughters quiet life,

         and to her happy helth.

   Whom I do hold as deere,

         as thapple of myne eye,

And rather with in poore eſtate,

         and daughterles to dye:

   Then leaue my goodes and her

         ythrald to ſuch a one,

Whoſe chorliſh dealing (I once dead)

         ſhould be her cauſe of mone.

   This pleaſant aunſwere heard,

         the lady partes agayne.

And Capilet the maydens ſire,

         within a day or twayne,

   Conferreth with his frendes,

         for mariage of his daughter,

And many gentlemen there were,

         with buſy care that ſought her.

   Both for the mayden was

         well ſhaped, yong, and fayre,

As alſo well brought vp, and wiſe,

         her fathers onely heyre.

   Emong the reſt was one

         inflamde with her deſire,

Who, County Paris cliped was,

         an Earle he had to ſyre.

   Of all the ſuters, him

         the father liketh beſt,

And eaſely vnto the Earle

         he maketh hiſ beheſt.

   Both of his owne good will,

         and of his frendly ayde,

To win his wife vnto his will,

         and to perſwade the mayde.

   The wife did ioy to heare

         the ioyfull huſband ſay,

How happy hap, how meete a match,

         he had found out that day.

   Ne did ſhe ſeeke to hyde

         her ioyes within her hart,

But ſtraight ſhe hyeth to Iuliet,

         to her ſhe telles apart,

   What happy talke (by meane

         of her) was paſt no rather

Betwene the woing Paris, and

         her carefull louing father.

   The perſon of the man,

         the fewters of his face,

His youthfull yeres, his fayrenes, and

         his port and ſemely grace.

   With curious wordes ſhe payntes

         before her daughters eyes,

And then with ſtore of vertues prayſe,

         ſhe heaues him to the ſkyes.

   She vauntes his race, and gyftes,

         that Fortune did him geue:

Wherby (ſhe ſaith) both ſhe and hers,

         in great delight ſhall liue.

   When Iuliet conceiued

         her parentes whole entent,

Wherto, both loue, and reaſons right,

         forbod her to aſſent:

   Within her ſelfe ſhe thought,

         rather then be forſworne,

With horſes wilde, her tender partes

         a ſonder ſhould be torne.

   Not now with baſhfull brow

          (in wonted wiſe) ſhe ſpake,

But with vnwonted boldnes, ſtraight

         into theſe woordes ſhe brake.

   Madame, I  maruell much,

         that you ſo lauaſſe are,

Of me your childe, (your iewel once,

         your onely ioy and care.)

   As thus to yelde me vp,

         at pleaſure of another,

Before you know if I doe like,

         or els miſlike my louer.

   Doo what you liſt, but yet

         of this aſſure you ſtill,

If you do as you ſay you will,

         I yelde not there vntill.

   For had I choyſe of twayne,

         farre rather would I chooſe,

My part of all your goodes, and eke

         my breath and lyfe to loſe:

   Then graunt that he poſſeſſe

         of me the ſmalleſt part.

Firſt, weary of my painefull life,

         my cares ſhall kill my hart.

   Els will I perce my breſt,

         with ſharpe and bloody knife,

And you my mother ſhall becomme

         the murdreſſe of my life:

   In geuing me to him,

         whom I ne can ne may,

Ne ought to loue. Wherfore on knees,

         deere mother I you pray

   To let me liue henceforth,

         as I haue liued tofore:

Ceaſſe all your troubles for my ſake,

         and care for me no more.

   But ſuffer Fortune feerce,

         to worke on me her will,

In her it lyeth to doe me boote,

         in her it lyeth to ſpill.

   For whilſt you for the beſt,

         deſyre to place me ſo,

You haſt a way my lingring death,

         and double all my woe.

   So deepe this aunſwere made

         the ſorowes downe to ſinke,

Into the mothers breſt: that ſhe

         ne knoweth what to thinke.

   Of theſe her daughters woords.

         but all appalde ſhe ſtandes,

And vp vnto the heauens ſhe throwes

         her wondring head and handes.

   And nigh beſyde her ſelfe

         her huſband hath ſhe ſought,

She telles him all, ſhe doth forget

         ne yet ſhe hydeth ought.

   The teſty old man wroth,

         diſdainfull without meaſure,

Sendes forth his folke in haſte for her.

         and byds them take no leyſure.

   Ne on her teares or plaint,

         at all to haue remorſe,

But (if they can not with her will,)

         to bring the mayde perforce.

   The meſſage heard, they part,

         to fetch that they muſt fet:

And willingly with them walkes forth

         obedient Iuliet.

   Arriued in the place,

         when ſhe her father ſaw,

Of whom (as much as duety would)

         the daughter ſtoode in awe.

   The ſeruantes ſent away,

          (the mother thought it meete)

The wofull daughter all be wept,

         fell groueling at his feete.

   Which ſhe doth waſhe with teares

         as ſhe thus groueling lyes:

So faſt and eke ſo plenteouſly

         diſtill they from her eyes.

   When ſhe to call for grace

         her mouth doth think to open,

Muet ſhe is: for ſighes and ſobs

         her fearefull talke haue broken.

   The ſyre, whoſe ſwelling worth

         her teares could not aſſwage,

With fiery eyen, and ſkarlet cheekes,

         thus ſpake her in his rage.

   Whilſt ruthfully ſtood by

         the maydens mother mylde,

Liſten (quoth he) vnthankfull and

         thou diſobedient childe.

   Haſt thou ſo ſoone let ſlip

         out of thy mynde the woord,

That thou ſo often times haſt heard

         rehearſed at my boord?

   How much the Romayne youth

         of parentes ſtood in awe,

And eke what powre vpon theyr ſeede

         the fathers had by lawe?

   Whom they not onely might

         pledge, alienate, and ſell,

(When ſo they ſtoode in neede) but more

         if children did rebell,

   The parentes had the power,

         of lyfe and ſodayn death.

What if thoſe goodmen ſhould agayne

         receaue the liuyng breth?

   In how ſtraight bondes would they

         thy ſtubberne body bynde:

What weapons would they ſeeke for thee?

         what tormentes would they fynde?

   To chaſten (if they ſaw)

         the lewdnes of thy lyfe,

Thy great vnthankfulnes to me,

         and ſhamefull ſturdy ſtrife?

   Such care thy mother had,

         ſo deere then wert to me,

That I with long and earneſt ſute,

         prouided haue for thee.

   One of the greateſt lordes,

         that wonnes about this towne,

And for his many vertues ſake,

         a man of great renowne.

   Of whom, both thou and I,

         vnworthy are too much,

So riche ere long he ſhalbe left,

         his fathers welth is ſuch.

   Such is the noblenes,

         and honor of the race,

From whence his father came, and yet

         thou playeſt in this caſe,

   The dainty foole, and ſtubberne

         gyrle, or want of ſkill,

Thou doſt refuſe thy offred weale,

         and diſobay my will.

   Euen by his ſtrength I ſweare,

         that fyrſt did geue me lyfe

And gaue me in my youth the ſtrength

         to get thee on my wyfe.

   On leſſe by wenſday next,

         thou bende as I am bent,

And at our caſtle cald free towne,

         thou freely doe aſſent

   To Counte Paris ſute,

         and promiſe to agree

To whatſoeuer then ſhall paſſe,

         twixt him, my wife, and me.

   Not onely will I geue

         all that I haue away,

From thee, to thoſe that ſhall me loue,

         me honor, and obay:

   But alſo too ſo cloſe,

         and to ſo hard a gayle,

I ſhall thee wed for all thy life,

         that ſure thou ſhalt not fayle.

   A thouſand times a day

         to wiſhe for ſodayn death:

And curſe the day, and howre when firſt

         thy lunges did geue thee breath.

   Aduiſe thee well, and ſay

         that thou art warned now,

And thinke not that I ſpeake in ſport,

         or mynd to breake my vowe.

   For were it not that I

         to Counte Paris gaue

My fayth, which I muſt kepe vnfalſt,

         my honor ſo to ſaue:

   Ere thou goe hence, my ſelfe

         would ſee thee chaſtned ſo,

That thou ſhouldſt once for all be taught,

         thy duetie how to knowe

   And what reuenge of olde,

         the angry ſyres did finde

Againſt theyr children that rebeld,

         and ſhewd them ſelfe vnkinde.

   Theſe ſayd, the olde man ſtraight.

         is gone in haſt a way.

Ne for his daughters anſwere would

         the teſty father ſtay.

And after him, his wife

         doth follow out of doore,

And there they leaue theyr chidden chylde.

         kneeling vpon the floore.

   Then ſhe that oft had ſeene

         the fury of her ſyre,

Dreading what might come of his rage,

         nould farther ſtyrre his yre.

   Vnto her chamber ſhe

         withdrew her ſelfe aparte,

Where ſhe was wonted to vnlode,

         the ſorowes of her hart.

   There did ſhe not ſo much

         buſy her eyes in ſleping,

As ouerpreſt with reſtles thoughts

         in piteous booteles weping.

   The faſt falling of teares

         make not her teares decreaſe,

Ne by the powring forth of plaint,

         the cauſe of plaint doth ceaſe.

   So that to thend the mone

         and ſorow may decaye,

The beſt is that ſhe ſeeke ſome meane

         to take the cauſe away.

   Her wery bed betime

         the wofull wight forſakes,

And to ſainct Frauncis church to maſſe

         her way deuoutly takes.

   The fryer forth is calde,

         ſhe prayes him heare her ſhrift:

Deuocion is in ſo yong yeres,

         a rare and precious gyft.

   When in her tender knees

         the dainty lady kneeles,

In minde to powre forth all the greefe,

         that inwardly ſhe feeles.

   With ſighes and ſalted teares

         her ſhryuing doth beginne,

Forſhe of heaped ſorowes hath

         to ſpeake, and not of ſinne.

   Her voyce with piteous plaint

         was made already horce,

And haſty ſobs, when ſhe would ſpeake,

         brake of her woordes parforce.

   But as ſhe may peece meale,

         ſhe powreth in his lappe,

The mariage newes, a miſchief newe,

         prepared by miſhappe.

   Her parentes promiſſe erſt

         to Counte Paris paſt,

Her fathers threats ſhe telleth him,

         and thus concludes at laſt.

   Once was I wedded well,

         ne will I wed agayne,

For ſince I know I may not be

         the wedded wyfe of twayne,

   For I am bound to haue

         one God, one fayth, one make,

My purpoſe is as ſoone as I

         ſhall hence my iorney take

   With theſe two handes which ioynde

         vnto the heauens I ſtretch,

The haſty death which I deſire

         vnto my ſelfe to reache.

   This day (O Romeus)

         this day thy wofull wife

Will bring the end of all her cares

         by ending carefull lyfe.

   So my departed ſprite

         ſhall witnes to the ſkye,

And eke my blood vnto the earth

         beare record how that I

   Haue kept my fayth vnbroke,

         ſtedfaſt vnto my frende,

When this her heauy tale was tolde

         her vowe eke at an ende,

   Her gaſing here and there,

         her feerce and ſtaring looke,

Did witnes that ſome lewd attempt,

         her hart had vndertooke.

   Whereat, the fryer astonde,

         and gaſtfully afrayde,

Leſt ſhe by dede perfourme her woord,

         thus much to her he ſayde.

   Ah lady Iuliet,

         what nede the wordes you ſpake?

I pray you graunt me one requeſt

         for bleſſed Maries ſake.

   Meaſure ſomewhat your greefe,

         holde here a while your peace,

Whilſt I bethinke me of your caſe,

         your plaint and ſorowes ceaſe.

   Such comfort will I geue

         you ere you part from hence,

And for thaſſaltes of Fortunes yre

         prepare ſo ſure defence,

   So holeſome ſalue will I

         for your afflictionſ finde,

That you ſhall hence depart agayne

         with well contented mynde.

   His wordes haue chaſed ſtraight

            out of her hart deſpayre,

Her blacke and ougly dredfull thoughts

         by hope are waxen fayre.

   So fryer Lawrence now

         hath left her there alone,

And he out of the church in haſt

         is to his chaumber gone.

   Where ſundry thoughtes within

         his carefull head ariſe,

The old mans foreſight diuers doutes

         hath ſet before his eyes.

   His conſcience one while

         condems it for a ſinne,

To let her take Paris to ſpouſe,

         ſince he himſelfe had byn

   The chefeſt cauſe, that ſhe

         vnknowne to father or mother,

Not fiue monthes paſt in that ſelfe place

         was wedded to another.

   An other while an hugy

         heape of daungers dred,

His reſtles thought hath heaped vp,

         within his troubled hed.

   Euen of it ſelfe thattempt

         he iudgeth perilous,

The execucion eke he demes

         ſo much more daungerous,

   That to a womans grace

         he muſt himſelfe commit,

That yong is, ſimple, and vnware,

         for waighty affaires vnfit.

   For if the fayle in ought

         the matter publiſhed,

Both ſhe and Romeus were vndonne,

         himſelfe eke puniſhed,

   When too and fro in mynde

         he dyuers thoughts had caſt,

With tender pity and with ruth

         his hart was wonne at laſt.

   He thought he rather would

         in haſard ſet his fame,

Then ſuffer ſuch adultery

         reſoluing on the ſame,

   Out of his cloſet ſtraight,

         he tooke a litele glaſſe,

And then with double haſt retornde

         where wofull Iuliet was.

   Whom he hath found welnigh

         in traunce, ſcarce drawing breath,

Attending ſtill to heare the newes

         of lyfe or els of death.

   Of whom he did enquire

         of the appointed day.

On wenſday next (quod Iuliet)

         ſo doth my father ſay:

   I muſt geue my conſent

         but (as I do remember)

The ſolemne day of mariage is,

         the tenth day of September.

   Deere daughter quoth the fryer

         of good chere ſee thou be,

For loe, ſainct Frauncis of his grace

         hath ſhewde a way to me,

   By which I may both thee,

         and Romeus together,

Out of the bondage which you feare

         aſſuredly deliuer.

   Euen from the holy font

         thy huſband haue I knowne,

And ſince he grew in yeres, haue kept

         his counſels as myne owne.

   For from his youth he would

         vnfold to me his hart,

And often haue I cured him,

         of anguiſh, and of ſmart.

   I know that by deſert

         his frendſhip I haue wonne,

And I him holde as dere, as if

         he were my propre ſonne.

   Wherfore my frendly hart,

         can not abyde that he

Should wrongfully in ought be harmde,

         if that it lay in me,

   To right or to reuenge

         the wrong by my aduiſe,

Or timely to preuent the ſame

         in any other wiſe.

   And ſith thou art his wife,

         thee am I bound to loue,

For Romeus frindſhips ſake, and ſeeke

         thy anguiſhe to remoue.

   And dreadfull torments which

         thy hart beſegen rounde,

Wherfore my daughter geue good eare,

         vnto my counſels ſounde.

   Forget not what I ſay,

         ne tell it any wight,

Not to the nurce thou truſteſt so,

         as Romeus is thy knight.

   For on this threed doth hang

         thy death and eke thy lyfe,

My fame, or ſhame, his weale or woe,

         that choſe thee to his wyfe.

   Thou art not ignorant

          (becauſe of ſuch renowne

Aſ euery where is ſpred of me,

         but chefely in this towne.)

   That in my youthfull dayes

         abrode I trauayled

Through euery land found out by men,

         by men inhabited,

   So twenty yeres from home,

         in landes vnknowne, a geſt,

I neuer gaue my weary limmes

         long time of quiet reſt.

   But in the deſert woodes,

         to beaſte? of cruell kinde,

Or on the ſeas to drenching waues,

         at pleaſure of the winde.

   I haue committed them

         to ruth of rouers hand,

And to a thouſand daungers more

         by water and by lande,

   But not in vayne (my childe)

         hath all my wandring byn,

Beſide the great contentednes

         my ſprete abydeth in.

   That by the pleaſant thought

         of paſſed thinges doth grow

One priuate frute more haue I pluchd

         which thou ſhalt ſhortly know:

   What force the ſtones, the plants,

         and metals haue to woorke,

And diuers other things that in

         the bowels of earth do loorke,

   With care I haue ſought out

         with payne I did them proue,

With them eke can I helpe my ſelfe,

         at times of my behoue,

    (Although the ſcience be

         againſt the lawes of men)

When ſodain daunger forceth me,

         but yet moſt cheefly when

   The worke to doe is leaſt

         diſpleaſing vnto God,

Not helping to do any ſinne

         that wrekefull Ioue forbode.

   For ſince in lyfe no hope

         of long abode I haue,

But now am comme vnto the brinke

         of my appointed graue,

   And that my death drawes nere,

         whoſe ſtripe I may not ſhonne,

But ſhalbe calde to make account

         of all that I haue donne,

   Now ought I from hence forth

         more depely print in mynde

The iudgement of the lord, then when

         youthes folly made me blynde,

   When loue and fond deſyre

         were boyling in my breſt,

Whence hope and dred by ſtriuing thoughts

         had baniſhed frendly reſt,

   Knowe therefore (daughter) that

         with other gyftes which I

Haue well attained to by grace

         and fauour of the ſkye,

   Long ſince I did finde out,

         and yet the way I knowe

Of certain rootes and ſauory herbes

         to make a kinde of dowe,

   Which baked hard, and bet

         into a powder fine,

And dronke with conduite water, or

         with any kynd of wine,

   It doth in halfe an howre

         aſtonne the taker ſo,

And maſtreth all his ſences, that

         he feeleth weale nor woe,

   And ſo it burieth vp

         the ſprite and liuing breath,

That euen the ſkilfull leche would ſay,

         that he is ſlayne by death.

   One vertue more it hath,

         as meruelous as this,

The taker by receiuing it,

         at all not greeued is.

   But painleſſe as a man,

         that thinketh nought at all,

Into a ſwete and quiet ſlepe

         immediately doth fall,

   From which (according to

         the quantitie he taketh,

Longer or ſhorter is the time

         before the ſleper waketh.

   And thence (theffect once wrought)

         agayne it doth reſtore

Him that receaued vnto the ſtate,

         wherin he was before.

   Wherfore, marke well the ende,

         of this my tale begonne,

And therby learne what is by thee

         hereafter to be donne.

   Caſt of from thee at once,

         the weede of womanniſh dread,

With manly courage arme thy ſelfe,

         from heele vnto the head.

   For onely on the feare

         or boldnes of thy breſt,

The happy happe, or yll miſhappe

         of thy affayre doth reſt.

   Receiue this vyoll ſmall,

         and keepe it as thine eye,

And on thy mariage day before

         the ſunne doe cleare the ſkye,

   Fill it with water full,

         vp to the very brim.

Then drinke it of, and thou ſhalt feele,

         throughout eche vayne and lim:

   A pleaſant ſlumber ſlide,

         and quite diſpred at length,

On all thy partes, from euery part

         reue all thy kindly ſtrength.

   Withouten mouing thus

         thy idle partſ ſhall reſt,

No pulſe ſhall goe, ne hart once beate

         within thy hollow breſt.

   But thou ſhalt lye as ſhe

         that dyeth in a traunce,

Thy kinſmen, and thy truſty frendes

         ſhall wayle the ſodain chaunce:

   Thy corps then will they bring

         to graue in this church yarde,

Where thy forefathers long agoe

         a coſtly tombe preparde.

   Both for himſelfe, and eke

         for thoſe that ſhould come after,

Both deepe it is, and long and large,

         where thou ſhalt reſt my daughter,

   Till I to Mantua ſende

         for Romeus thy knight.

Out of the tombe, both he and I

         will take thee forth that night.

   And when out of thy ſlepe

         thou ſhalt awake agayne,

Then mayſt thou goe with him from hence,

         and healed of thy payne.

   In Mantua lead with him

         vnknowne a pleaſant life,

And yet perhaps in time to comme,

         when cCheck-out:aſe ſhall all the ſtrife,

   And that the peace is made

         twixt Romeus and his foes,

My ſelfe may finde ſo fit a time

         theſe ſecretes to dyſcloſe,

   Both to my prayſe, and to

         thy tender parentes ioy,

That daungerles without reproche

         thou ſhalt thy loue enioy.

   When of his ſkilfull tale,

         the fryer had made an ende,

To which our Iuliet ſo well

         her eare and wits dyd bend,

   That ſhe hath heard it all,

         and hath forgotten nought,

Her fainting hart was comforted,

         with hope and pleaſant thought.

   And then to him ſhe ſaid,

         doubte not but that I will

With ſtoute and vnappauled hart,

         your happy heſt fulfill.

   Yea, if I wiſt it were

         a venemous dedly drinke:

Rather would I that through my throte

         the certaine bane ſhould ſinke,

   Then I (not drinking it)

         into his handes ſhould fall,

That hath no part of me as yet,

         ne ought to haue at all.

   Much more I ought with bold

         and with a willing hert,

To greateſt daunger yelde my ſelfe

         and to the dedly ſmart,

   To comme to him, on whome

         my life doth wholy ſtay,

That is my onely hartes delight,

         and ſo he ſhalbe aye.

   Then goe quoth he (my childe)

         I pray that God on hye,

Direct thy foote, and by thy hand

         vpon the way thee gye:

   God graunt he ſo confirme

         in thee thy preſent will,

That no inconſtant toy thee let,

         thy promeſſe to fulfill.

   A thouſand thankes and more,

         our Iuliet gaue the fryer,

And homeward to her fathers houſe

         ioyfull ſhe doth retyre.

   And as with ſtately gate

         ſhe paſſed through the ſtreete,

She ſaw her mother in the doore,

         that with her there would meete.

   In mynd to aſke if ſhe

         her purpoſe yet did holde,

In mynd alſo a part twixt them,

         her duety to haue tolde:

   Wherfore with pleaſant face,

         and with vnwonted chere,

As ſoone as ſhe was vnto her

         approched ſumwhat nere,

   Before the mother ſpake,

         thus did ſhe fyrſt begin,

Madame, at ſainct Frauncis churche

         haue I this morning byn,

   Where I did make abode,

         alonger while (percaſe)

Then dewty would, yet haue I not

         been abſent from this place,

   So long a while, whithout

         a great and iuſt cauſe why,

This frute haue I receaued there,

         my hart erſt lyke to dye,

   Is now reuiued agayne,

         and my afflicted breſt

Releaſed from affliction,

         reſtored is to reſt.

   For lo, my tronbled goſt

          (alas too ſore diſeaſde,)

By goſtly counſell and aduiſe,

         hath fryer Lawrence eaſde,

   To whome I did at large

         diſcourſe my former lyfe,

And in confeſſion did I tell

         of all our paſſed ſtrife.

   Of Counte Paris ſute,

         and how my lord my ſyre,

By my vngrate and ſtubborne ſtryfe,

         I ſtyrred vnto yre.

   But lo, the holy fryer

         hath by his goſtly lore,

Made me another woman now,

         then I had been before,

   By ſtrength of argumentes

         he charged ſo my mynde,

That (though I ſought) no ſure defence

         my ſerching thought could finde.

   So forced I was at length

         to yelde vp witles will,

And promiſt to be orderd by

         the friers prayſed ſkill,

   Wherfore, albeit I

         had raſhely long before,

The bed and rytes of mariage,

         for many yeres forſwore,

   Yet mother now behold,

         your daughter at your will,

Ready (if you commaunde her ought)

         your pleaſure to fulfill.

   Wherfore in humble wiſe.

         dere madam I you pray

To goe vnto my lord and ſyre,

         withouten long delay,

   Of him fyrſt pardon craue

         of faultes already paſt,

And ſhew him (if it pleaſeth you)

         his child is now at laſt

   Obedient to his luſt

         and to his ſkilfull heſt.

And that I will (god lending life)

         on wenſday next be preſt.

   To wayte on him and you,

         vnto thappoynted place,

Where I will in your hearing and

         before my fathers face,

   Vnto the Counte geue

         my fayth and whole aſſent,

To take him for my lord and ſpouſe.

         thus fully am I bent.

   And that out of your mynde

         I may remoue all doute,

Vnto my cloſet fare I now,

         to ſearche and to chooſe out

   The braueſt garmentes and

         the richeſt iewels there,

Which (better him to pleaſe) I mynd

         on wenſday next to weare.

   For if I did excell

         the famous Gretian rape,

Yet might attyre helpe to amende

         my bewty and my ſhape.

   The ſimple mother was,

         rapt in to great delight,

Not halfe a word could ſhe bring forth,

         but in this ioyfull plight,

   With nimble foote ſhe ran

         and with vnwonted pace,

Vnto her penſiue huſband, and

         to him with pleaſant face

   She tolde what ſhe had heard,

         and prayſeth much the fryer.

And ioyfull teares ranne downe the cheekes

         of this gray berded fyer.

   With handes and eyes heaued vp,

         he thankes God in his hart,

And then he ſayth, this is not (wife)

         the friers firſt deſart.

   Oft hath he ſhewde to vs,

         great frendſhip heretofore,

By helping vs at nedefull times,

         with wiſdomes pretious lore:

   In all our common weale,

         ſcarce one is to be founde,

But is for ſomme good torne vnto

         this holy father bounde.

   Oh that the thyrd part of

         my goods (I doe not fayne)

But twenty of his paſſed yeres

         might purchaſe him agayne

   So much in recompence

         of frendſhip would I geue,

So much (in faith) his extreme age

         my frendly hart doth greue.

   Theſe ſaid, the glad old man,

         from home, goeth ſtraight abrode,

And to the ſtately palace hyeth,

         where Paris made abode.

   Whom he deſyres to be

         on wenſday next his geaſt,

At Freetowne, where he myndes to make

         for him a coſtly feaſt.

   But loe, the Earle saith

         ſuch feaſting were but loſt,

And counſels him till mariage time

         to ſpare ſo great a coſt.

   For then he knoweth well

         the charges wilbe great,

The whilſt his hart deſyreth ſtill

         her ſight, and not his meate.

   He craues of Capilet,

         that he may ſtraight go ſee

Fayre Iuliet, wher to he doth

         right willingly agree.

   The mother warnde before,

         her daughter doth prepare,

She warneth and ſhe chargeth her

         that in no wyſe ſhe ſpare

   Her curteous ſpeche, her pleaſant

         lookes, and commely grace,

But liberally to geue them forth

         when Paris commes in place.

   Which ſhe as cunningly

         could ſet forth to the ſhewe,

As cunning crafteſmen to the ſale

         do ſet theie wares on rew:

   That ere the County did

         out of her ſight depart,

So ſecretly vnwares to him,

         ſhe ſtale away his hart,

   That of his lyfe and death

         the wyly wench hath powre,

And now his longing hart thinkes long

         for theyr appoynted howre.

   And with importune ſute,

         the parentes doth he pray,

The wedlocke knot to knit ſoone vp,

         and haſt the mariage day.

   The woer hath paſt forth

         the firſt day in this ſort,

And many other more then this,

         in pleaſure and diſport,

   At length the wiſhed time

         of long hoped delight,

(As Paris thought) drew nere, but nere

         approched heauy plight:

   Againſt the bridall day

         the parentes did prepare,

Such rich attyre, ſuch furniture,

         ſuch ſtore of dainty fare,

   That they which did behold

         the ſame the night before,

Did thinke and ſay, a man could ſcarcely

         wiſhe for any more.

Nothing did ſeeme to deere,

         the deereſt thinges were bought,

   And (as the written ſtory ſaith)

         in dede there wanted nought.

That longd to his degree

         and honor of his ſtocke,

   But Iuliet the whilſt her thoughts

         within her breſt did locke.

Euen from the truſty nurce,

         whoſe ſecretries was tryde,

   The ſecret counſell of her hart

         the nurce childe ſeekes to hide.

For ſith to mocke her dame

         ſhe dyd not ſticke to lye,

   She thought no ſinne with ſhew of truth,

         to bleare her nurces eye.

In chamber ſecretly

         the tale ſhe gan renew,

   That at the doore ſhe tolde her dame

         as though it had been trew.

The flattring nurce did prayſe

         the fryer for his ſkill,

   And ſaid that ſhe had done right well

         by wit to order will.

She ſetteth foorth at large

         the fathers furious rage,

   And eke ſhe prayſeth much to her,

         the ſecond mariage.

And County Paris now

         ſhe praiſeth ten times more,

   By wrong, then ſhe her ſelfe by right,

         had Romeus prayſde before.

Paris ſhall dwell there ſtill,

         Romeus ſhall not retourne,

   What ſhall it boote her life,

         to languiſh ſtill and mourne.

   The pleaſures paſt before,

         ſhe muſt account as gayne,

But if he doe reforne, what then?

         for one ſhe ſhall haue twayne.

   The one ſhall vſe her as

         his lawfull wedded wyſe,

In wanton loue, with equall ioy

         the other leade his lyfe:

   And beſt ſhall ſhe be ſped

         of any towniſh dame,

Of huſband and of paramour,

         to fynde her chaunge of game.

   Theſe wordes and like, the nurce

         did ſpeake, in hope to pleaſe,

But greatly did thoſe wicked wordes

         the ladies mynde diſeaſe:

   But ay ſhe hid her wrath,

         and ſeemed well content,

When dayly dyd the naughty nurce

         new argumentes inuent:

   But when the bryde perceued

         her howre approched nere,

She ſought (the beſt ſhe could) to fayne,

         and tempted ſo her cheere,

   That by her outward looke,

         no liuing wight could geſſe

Her inward woe, and yet a new

         renewde is her diſtreſſe.

   Vnto her chaumber doth

         the penſiue wight repayre.

And in her hand a percher light

         the nurce beares vp the ſtayre,

   In Iuliets chamber was

         her wonted vſe to lye,

Wherfore her miſtres dreading that

         ſhe ſhould her work deſcrye

   As ſone as ſhe began

         her pallet to vnfold,

Thinking to lye that night, where ſhe

         was wont to lye of olde:

   Doth gently pray her ſeeke,

         her lodgeing ſome where els.

And leſt the crafty ſhould ſuſpect,

         a ready reaſon telles.

   Derefrend (quoth ſhe) you knowe,

         to morow is the day,

Of new contract, wherfore this night,

         my purpoſe is to pray,

   Vnto the heauenly myndes,

         that dwell aboue the ſkyes,

And order all the courſe of thinges,

         as they can beſt deuyſe,

   That they ſo ſmyle vpon

         the doynges of To morow,

That all the remnant of my lyfe,

         may be exempt from ſorow:

   Wherfore I pray you leaue

         me here alone this night,

But ſee that you to morow comme

         before the dawning light,

   For you muſt coorle my heare,

         and ſet on my attyre,

And eaſely the louing nurſe,

         dyd yelde to her deſire.

   For ſhe within he hed

         dyd caſt before no doute,

She little knew the cloſe attempt,

         her nurce childe went about.

   The nurce departed once,

         the chamber doore ſhut cloſe,

Aſſured that no liuing wight,

         her doing myght diſcloſe,

   She powred forth into

         the vyole of the fryer,

Water out of a ſiluer ewer,

         that on the boord ſtoode by her,

   The ſlepy mixture made,

         fayre Iuliet doth it hyde,

Vnder her bolſter ſoft, and ſo

         vnto her bed ſhe hyed:

   Where diuers nouel thoughts

         ariſe within her hed,

And ſhe is ſo inuironed

         about with deadly dred,

   That what before ſhe had

         reſolued vndoutedly,

That ſame ſhe calleth into doute,

         and lying doutfully,

   Whilſt honeſt loue did ſtriue

         with dred of dedly payne,

With handes ywrong, and weping eyes,

         thus gan ſhe to complaine.

   What, is there any one

         beneth the heauens hye,

So much vnfortunate as I,

         ſo much paſt hope as I?

   What, am not I my ſelfe

         of all that yet were borne,

The depeſt drenched in diſpayre,

         and moſt in Fortunes ſkorne?

   For loe the world for me,

         hath nothing els to finde,

Beſide miſhap and wretchednes,

         and anguiſh of the mynde,

   Since that the cruel cauſe

         of my vnhappines,

Hath put me to this ſodaine plonge,

         and brought to ſuch diſtres,

   As (to the end I may

         my name and conſcience ſaue,)

I muſt deuowre the mixed drinke,

         that by me here I haue.

   Whoſe woorking and whoſe force

         as yet I doe not know,

And of this piteous plaint began

         another doute to growe.

   What doe I knowe (quoth ſhe)

         if that this powder ſhall

Sooner or later then it ſhould

         or els not woorke at all?

   And then my craft deſcride,

         as open as the day,

The peoples tale and laughing ſtocke,

         ſhall I remayne for aye.

   And what know I (quoth ſhe)

         if ſerpentes odious,

And other beaſtes and wormes that are

         of nature venemous,

   That wonted are to lurke,

         in darke caues vnder grounde,

And commonly as I haue heard

         in dead mens tombes are found,

   Shall harme me yea or nay,

         were I ſhall lye as ded,

Or how ſhall I that alway haue

         in ſo freſhe ayre been bred

   Endure the lothſome ſtinke

         of ſuch an heaped ſtore

Of carkaſes,not yet conſumde

         and bones that long before

   Intombed were, where I

         my ſleping place ſhall haue,

Where all my aunceſters doe reſt,

         my kindreds common graue.

   Shall not the fryer and

         my Romeus when they come,

Fynd me (if I awake before)

         yſtified in the tombe?

   And whtlſt ſhe in theſe thoughtes

         doth dwell ſomwhat to long,

The force of her ymagining,

         anon dyd ware ſo ſtrong,

   That ſhe ſurmyſde ſhe ſaw

         out of the hollow vaulte,

(A griefly thing to looke vpon,)

         the carkas of Tybalt,

   Right in the ſelfe ſame ſort,

         that ſhe few dayes before

Had ſeene him in his blood embrewde,

         to death eke wounded ſore.

   And then, when ſhe agayne

         within her ſelfe had wayde,

That quicke ſhe ſhould be buried there,

         and by his ſide be layde

   All comfortles, for ſhe

         ſhall liuing feere haue none

But many a rotten carkas, and

         full many a naked bone:

   Her dainty tender partes

         gan ſheuer all for dred,

Her golden heares did ſtand vpright,

         vpon her chilliſh hed.

   Then preſſed with the feare

         that ſhe there liued in,

A ſweat as colde as mountaine yſe,

         pearſt through her tender ſkin,

   That with the moyſture hath

         wet euery part of hers,

And more beſides, ſhe vainely thinkes,

         whilſt vainely thus ſhe feares,

   A thouſand bodies dead

         haue compaſt her about,

And leſt they will diſmember her,

         ſhe greatly ſtandes in dout,

   But when ſhe felt her ſtrength

         began to weare away,

By little and little, and in her hart

         her feare increaſed ay:

   Dreading that weakenes might

         or fooliſh cowardiſe

Hinder the execution of

         the purpoſde enterpriſe,

   As ſhe had frantike been,

         in haſt the glaſſe ſhe cought,

And vp ſhe dranke the mixture quite.

         withouten farther thought.

   Then on her breſt ſhe croſt

         her armes long and ſmall,

And ſo her ſenſes fayling her,

         into a traunce did fall.

   And when that Phoebus bright

         heaued vp his ſeemely hed,

And from the Eaſt in open ſkies

         his gliſtring rayes diſpred

  The nurce vnſhut the doore,

         for ſhe the key did keepe,

And douting ſhe had ſlept to long,

         ſhe thought to breake her ſlepe:

   Fyrſt, ſoftly dyd ſhe call,

         then lowder thus did crye,

Lady, you ſlepe to long, (the Earle)

         will rayſe you by and by.

   But wele away, in vayne

         vnto the deafe ſhe calles,

She thinkes to ſpeake to Iuliet,

         but ſpeaketh to the walles.

   If all the dredfull noyſe,

         that might on earth be found,

Or on the roaring ſeas, or if

         the dredfull thunders ſound,

   Had blowne into her eares,

         I thinke they could not make,

The ſleping wight before the time

         by any meanes awake:

   So were the ſprites of lyfe

         ſhut vp, and ſenſes thrald,

Wherwith the ſeely carefull nurce,

         was wondrouſly apalde.

   She thought to daw her now

         as ſhe had donne of olde,

But loe, ſhe found her parts were ſtiffe.

         and more then marble colde,

   Neither at mouth nor noſe,

         found ſhe recourſe of breth,

Two certaine argumentes were theſe,

         of her vntimely death.

   Wherfore as one diſtraught,

         ſhe to her mother ranne,

With ſcratched face, and heare betorne,

         but no woord ſpeake ſhe can.

   At laſt (with much a doe)

         Dead (quoth ſhe) is my childe,

Now out alas (the mother cryde)

         and as a Tyger wilde,

   Whoſe whelpes whilſt ſhe is gonne

         out of her denne to pray,

The hunter gredy of his game,

         doth kill or cary away:

   So, rageing forth ſhe ranne,

         vnto her Iuliets bed,

And there ſhe found her derling, and

         her onely comfort ded.

   Then ſhriked ſhe out as lowde,

         as ſerue her would her breth,

And then (that pity was to heare)

         thus cryde ſhe out on death.

   Ah cruell death (quoth ſhe)

         that thus againſt all right

Haſt ended my felicitie,

         and robde my hartes delight,

   Do now thy worſt to me,

         once wreake thy wrath for all.

Euen in deſpite I crye to thee

         thy vengeance let thou fall.

    Wherto ſtay I (alas,)

         ſince Iuliet is gone?

Wherto liue I ſince ſhe is dead,

         except to wayle and mone?

   Alacke dere chyld, my teares

         for thee ſha l neuer ceaſe,

Euen as my dayes of life increaſe,

         ſo ſhall my plaint increaſe.

   Such ſtore of ſorow ſhall

         afflict my tender hart,

That dedly panges when they aſſayle

         ſhall not augment my ſmart.

   Then gan ſhe ſo to ſobbe,

         it ſeemde her hart would braſt,

And while ſhe crieth thus, behold

         the father at the laſt,

   The County Paris, and

         of gentilmen a route,

And ladies of Verona towne,

         and country round about,

    Both kindreds and alies,

         thether a pace haue preaſt,

For by theyr preſence there they ſought

         to honor ſo the feaſt,

    But when the heauy newes

         the hydden geaſtes did heare,

So much they mournd, that who had ſeene

         theyr countnance and theyr cheere,

   Might eaſely haue iudgde,

         by that that they had ſeene,

That day the day of wrath, and eke

         of pity haue beene.

   But more then all the reſt

         the fathers hart was ſo

Smit with the heauy newes, and ſo

         ſhut vp with ſodain woe,

   That he ne had the powre

         his daughter to bewepe,

Ne yet to ſpeake, but long is forſd,

         his teares and plaint to kepe.

   In all the haſt he hath

         for ſkilfull leaches ſent,

And hearyng of her paſſed life,

         they iudge with one aſſent,

   The cauſe of this her death

         was inward care and thought,

And then with double force againe

         the doubled ſorowes wrought.

   If euer there hath been

         a lamentable day,

A day ruthfull, vnfortunate,

         and fatall, then I ſay,

   The ſame was it in which,

         through Veron towne was ſpred,

The wofull newes how Iuliet

         was ſterued in her bed.

   For ſo ſhe was bemonde,

         both of the yong and olde,

That it might ſeeme to him that would

         the commen plaint behold,

   That all the commen welth

         did ſtand in ieopardy,

So vniuerfall was the plaint,

         ſo piteous was the crye.

   For lo, beſide her ſhape,

         and natiue bewties hewe,

With which, like as ſhe grew in age,

         her vertues prayſes grewe.

   She was alſo ſo wiſe,

         ſo lowly, and ſo mydle:

That euen from the hory head,

         vnto the witles childe,

   She wan the hartes of all,

         ſo that there was not one,

Ne great ne ſmall, but dyd that day

         her wretched ſtate bemone.

   Whilſt Iuliet ſlept, and whilſt

         the other wepen thus:

Our fryer Lawrence hath by this,

         ſent one to Romeus.

   A frier of his houſe,

         there neuer was a better,

He truſted him euen as himſelfe,

         to whom he gaue a letter:

   In which, he written had,

         of euery thing at length,

That paſt twixt Iuliet and him,

         and of the powders ſtrength.

   The next night after that,

         he willeth him to comme

To helpe to take his Iuliet

         out of the hollow toombe.

   For by that time, the drinke

         he ſaith will ceaſe to woorke,

And for one night his wife and he

         within his cell ſhall loorke.

   Then ſhall he cary her

         to Mantua away,

(Till ſickell Fortune fauour him)

         diſguiſde in mans aray.

   Thys letter cloſde he ſendes

         to Romeus by his brother:

He chargeth him that in no caſe

         he geue it any other.

   Apace our frier Iohn

         to Mantua him hyes,

And for becauſe in Italy

         it is a wonted gyſe,

   That friers in the towne

         ſhould ſeeldome walke alone,

But of theyr couent ay ſhould be

         accompanide with one:

   Of his profeſſion ſtraight

         a houſe he fyndeth out.

In mynde to take ſome frier with him,

         to walke the towne about.

   But entred once, he might

         not iſſue out agayne,

For that a brother of the houſe,

         a day before or twayne.

   Dyed of the plague (a ſickenes which

         they greatly feare and hate)

So were the brethren charged to kepe

         within theyr couent gate,

   Bard of theyr felowſhip,

         that in the towne do wonne,

The towne folke eke commaunded are,

         the fryers houſe to ſhonne:

   Tyll they that had the care of health,

         theyr fredome ſhould renew,

Wherof, as you ſhall ſhortly heare,

         a miſcheefe great there grewe.

   The fryer by this reſtraint,

         beſet with dred and ſorow,

Not knowing what the letters held,

         differd vntill the morowe:

   And then he thought in tyme

         to ſend to  Romeus,

But whilſt at Mantua where he was,

         theſe dooinges framed thus,

   The towne of Iuliets byrth

         was wholy buſied,

About her obſequies, to ſee

         theyr darlyng buried.

   Now is the parentes myrth

         quite chaunged into mone,

And now to ſorow is retornde

         the ioy of euery one.

   And now the wedding weedes

         for mourning weedes they chaunge,

And Hymene into a Dyrge,

         alas it ſeemeth ſtraunge.

   In ſteade of mariage gloues,

         now funerall gloues they haue,

And whom they ſhould ſee maried,

         they follow to the graue.

   The feaſt that ſhould haue been

         of pleaſure and of ioy,

Hath euery diſh, and cup, fild full

         of ſorow and annoye.

   Now throughout Italy

         this commen vſe they haue,

That all the beſt of euery ſtocke

         are earthed in one graue.

   For euery houſhold, if

         it  be of any fame,

Doth bylde a tombe, or digge a vault

         that beares the houſholdes name.

   Wherein (if any of

         that kindred hap to dye)

They are beſtowde, els in the ſame

         no other corps may lye.

   The Capilets, her corps

         in ſuch a one dyd lay,

Where Tybalt ſlayne of Romeus,

         waſ layde the other, day:

   An other vſe there  is,

         that whoſoeuer dyes,

Borne to their church with open face,

         vpon the beere he lyes

   In wonted weede attyrde,

         not wrapt in winding ſheete,

So, as by chaunce he walked abrode,

         our Romeus man dyd meete

   His maiſters wyſe,the ſight

         with ſorow ſtraight dyd wounde

His honeſt hart, with teares he ſawe

         her lodged vnder ground.

   And for he had been ſent

         to Verone for a ſpye,

The doynges of the Capilets

         by wiſdome to deſcrye,

   And for he knew her death

         dyd tooch his maiſter moſt,

(Alas) too ſoone, with heauy newes

         he byed away in poſt:

   And in his houſe he found

         his maiſter Romeus,

Where he beſprent with many teares,

         began to ſpeake him thus.

   Syr, vnto you of late

         iſ chaunced ſo great a harme,

That ſure except with conſtancy

         you ſeeke your ſelfe to arme,

   I feare that ſtrayght you will

         brethe out your latter breath,

And I moſt wretched wight ſhalbe

         thoccaſion of your death.

   Know ſyr that yeſterday

         my lady and your wyfe,

I wot not by what ſodain grefe,

         hath made exchaunge of life:

   And for becauſe on earth,

         ſhe found nought but vnreſt,

In heauen hath ſhe ſought to fynde

         a place of quiet reſt.

   And with theſe weping eyes

         my ſelfe haue ſeene her layde

Within the tombe of Capilets,

         and here withall he ſtayde,

   This ſodayne meſſage ſounde

         ſent forth with ſighes and teares,

Our Romeus receaued too ſoone

         with open liſtening eares,

   And therby hath ſonke in

         ſuch ſorow in his hart,

That loe, his ſprite annoyed ſore

         with torment and with ſmart,

   Was like to breake out of

         his priſon houſe perforce,

And that he might flye after hers,

         would leaue the maſſy corce.

   But earneſt loue that will

         not fayle him till hie ende,

This fond and ſodain fantaſy

         into his head dyd ſende:

   That if nere vnto her

         he offred vp his breath,

That then an hundred thouſand parts

         more glorious were his death,

   Eke ſhould his painfull hart

         a great deale more be eaſed,

And more alſo (he vainely thought)

         his lady better pleaſed.

   Wherfore, when he his face

         hath waſht with water cleene,

Leſt that the ſtaynes of dryed teares,

         might on his cheekes be ſeene,

   And ſo his ſorow ſhould

         of euery one be ſpyde,

Which he with all his care dyd ſeeke

         from euery one to hyde:

   Straight wery of the houſe,

         he walketh forth abrode,

His ſeruant at the maiſters heſt

         in chamber ſtyll abode:

   And then fro ſtreate to ſtreate,

         he wandreth vp and downe,

To ſee if he in any place

         may fynde in all the towne,

   A ſalue meete for his ſore,

         an oyle fitte for his wounde,

And ſeeking long (alac too ſoone)

         the thing he ſought, he founde.

   An Apothecary ſate

         vnbuſied at his doore,

Whom by his heauy countenaunce

         he geſſed to be poore,

   And in his ſhop he ſaw

         his boxes were but fewe,

And in his window (of his wares)

         there was ſo ſmall a ſhew,

   Wherfore our Romeus

         aſſuredly hath thought,

What by no frendſhip could be got,

         with money ſhould be bought.

   For nedy lacke is lyke

         the poore man to compell,

To ſell that which the cities lawe

         forbiddeth  him to ſell.

   Then by the hand he drew

         the nedy man apart,

And with the ſight of glitrring gold

         inflamed hath his hart,

   Take fiftie crownes of gold

          (quoth he) I geue them thee,

So that before I part from hence

         thou ſtraight deliuer me,

   Somme poyſon ſtrong, that may

         in leſſe then halfe an howre,

Kill him whoſe wretched hap ſhalbe

         the potion to deuowre.

   The wretch by couetiſe

         is wonne, and doth aſſent,

To ſell the thing, whoſe ſale ere long

         too late he doth repent.

   In haſt he poyſon ſought,

         and cloſely he it bounde,

And then began with whiſpering voyce

         thus in his eare to rounde,

   Fayre ſyr (quoth he) be ſure,

         this is the ſpeeding gere,

And more there is then you ſhall nede,

         for halfe of that is there,

   Will ſerue, I vndertake,

         in leſſe then half an howre,

To kill the ſtrongeſt man aliue,

         ſuch is the poyſons power,

   Then Romeus ſomwhat eaſd

         of one part of his care,

Within his boſome putteth vp

         his dere vnthrifty ware.

   Retorning home agayne,

         he ſent his man away,

To Verone towne, and chargeth him,

         that he without delay,

   Prouyde both inſtruments,

         to open wyde the toombe,

And lightes to ſhew him Iuliet,

         and ſtay (till he ſhall comme.)

   Nere to the place whereas

         his louing wyfe doth reſt,

And chargeth him not to bewray

         the dolours of his breſt.

   Peter, theſe heard, his leaue

         both of his maiſter take,

Betyme he commes to towne,ſuch haſt

         the paynfull man did make.

   And then with buſy care

         he ſeeketh to fulfill,

But doth dyſcloſe vnto no wight

         his wofull maiſters will.

   Would God he had herein

         broken his maiſters heſt,

Would God that to the fryer he had

         dyſcloſed all hys breſt.

   But Romeus, the whyle,

         with many a dedly thought,

Prouoked much, hath cauſed ynke

         and paper to be brought,

   And in few lynes he dyd

         of all his loue dyſcoorſe,

How by the fryers helpe, and by

         the knowledge of the noorſe,

   The wedlocke knot was knyt,

         and by what meane that night

And many moe he dyd enioy,

         his happy hartes delight.

   Where he the poyſon bought,

         and how his lyfe ſhould ende,

And  ſo his wailefull tragedy

         the wretched man hath pend.

   The letters cloſe and ſeald,

         directed to his ſyre:

He locketh in his purſe, and then,

         a poſt hors doth he hyre.

   When he approched nere,

         he waxely lighted downe,

And euen with the ſhade of night,

         he entred Verone towne,

   Where he hath found his man

         wayting when he ſhould comme,

With lanterne and with inſtruments,

         to open Iuliets toomme.

   Helpe Peter, helpe quod he,

         helpe to remoue the ſtone,

And ſtraight when I am gone fro thee

         my Iuliet to bemone:

   See that thou get thee hence,

         and on the payne of death,

I charge thee that thou comme not nere,

         whyle I abyde beneath,

   Ne ſeeke thou not to let

         thy maſters enterpriſe,

Which he hath fully purpoſed

         to doe in any wiſe.

   Take there a letter, which

         as ſoone as he ſhall ryſe,

Preſent it in the morning to

         my louing fathers eyes.

   Which vnto him perhaps

         farre pleaſanter ſhall ſeeme,

Then eyther I do mynd to ſay,

         or thy groſe head can deeme.

   Now Peter that knew not,

         the purpoſe of his hart,

Obediently a little way

         withdrew himſelfe apart,

   And then our Romeus,

          (the vault ſtone ſet vpright)

Deſcended downe, and in his hand,

         he bare the candle light.

   And then with piteous eye,

         the body of his wyfe,

He gan beholde, who ſurely was

         the organ of his lyfe.

   For whom vnhappy now

         he is, but erſt was blyſt:

He watred her with teares, and then

         an hundred times her kyſt.

   And in his folded armes,

         full ſtraightly he her plight,

But no way could his greedy eyes

         be filled with her ſight,

   His fearfull handes he layd

         vpon her ſtomacke colde,

And them on diuers parts beſyde,

         the wofull wight did hold.

   But when he could not fynd

         the ſignes of lyfe he ſought,

Out of his curſed box he drewe

         the poyſon that he bought.

   Wherof, he gredely

         deuowrde the greater part,

And then he cryde with dedly ſigh,

         fetcht from his mourning hart:

   Oh Iuliet, of whom

         the world vnwoorthy was,

From which, for worldes vnworthines

         thy worthy goſt dyd paſſe:

   What death more pleaſant could

         my hart wiſh to  abyde,

Then that which here it ſuffreth now,

         ſo nere thy frendly ſyde.

   Or els ſo gloriouſ tombe,

         how could my youth haue craued.

As in one ſelfe ſame vaulte with thee

         haply to be ingraued?

   What Epitaph more worth,

         or halfe ſo excellent,

To conſecrate my memorye,

         could any man inuente

   As this, our mutuell, and

         our piteous ſacrifice

Of lyfe, ſet light for loue, but while

         he talketh in this wiſe,

   And thought as yet a while

         his dolors to enforce,

His tender hart began to faynt,

         preſt with the venoms force:

   Which little and little gan

         to ouercomme hys hart,

And whilſt his buſy eyne he threwe

         about to euery part:

   He ſaw hard by the corce

         of ſleping Iuliet,

Bold Tybalt carkas dead,which was

         not all conſumed yet,

   To whom (as hauing life)

         in this ſort ſpeaketh he,

Ah coſin dere Tybalt, whereſo

         thy reſtles ſprite now be,

   With ſtretched handes to thee

         for mercy now I crye,

For that before thy kindly howre

         I forced thee to dye.

   But if with quenched lyfe,

         not quenched be thine yre.

But with reuengeing luſt as yet

         thy hart be ſet on fyre:

   What more amendes, or cruell

         wreke deſyreſt thou?

To ſee on me, then this which here

         is ſhewd forth to thee now?

   Who reft by force of armes

         from thee thy liuing breath,

The ſame with his owne hand (thou ſeeſt)

         doth poyſon himſelfe to death.

   And for he cauſed thee

         in tombe too ſoone to lye,

Too ſoone alſo, yonger then thou

         himſelfe he layeth by.

   Theſe ſaid,when he gan feele,

         the poyſons force preuayle,

And little and little maſtred lyfe,

         for aye beganne to fayle,

   Kneeling vpon his knees,

         he ſaid with voyce full lowe,

Lord Chriſt that ſo to raunſome me

         reſcendedſt long agoe,

   Out of thy fathers boſome,

         and in the virgins wombe,

Didſt put on fleſhe, Oh let my plaint

         out of this hollow toombe,

   Perce through the ayre, and graunt

         my ſute may fauour finde.

Take pity on my ſinnefull and

         my poore afflicted mynde.

   For well enough I know,

         this body is but clay,

Nought but a maſſe of ſinne, to frayle,

         and ſubiect to decay.

   Then preſſed with extreme greefe,

         he threw with ſo great force,

His ouerpreſſed parts vpon

         his ladies wayled corps:

   That now his wekened hart,

         weakened with tormentes paſt,

Vnable to abyde this pang,

         the ſharpeſt and the laſt:

   Remayned quite depriued,

         of ſenſe and kindly ſtrength,

And ſo the long impriſond ſoule,

         hath freedome wonne at length.

   Ah cruell death, too ſoone,

         too ſoone was this deuorce,

Twixt youthfull Romeus heauenly ſprite,

         and his fayre earthy corſe.

   The fryer that knew what time

         the powder had been taken,

Knew eke the very inſtant, when

         the ſleper ſhould awaken.

   But wondring that he could

         no kind of aunſwer heare,

Of letters, which to Romeus

         his fellow fryer did beare:

   Out of ſainct Frauncis church

         hymſelfe alone dyd fare,

And for the opening of the tombe,

         meete inſtrumentes he bare:

   Approching nigh the place,

         and ſeeing there the lyght,

Great horror felt he in his hart,

         by ſtraunge and ſodaine ſight,

   Tyll Peter(Romeus man)

         hiſ coward hart made bolde,

When of his maſters being there,

         the certain newes he tolde:

   There hath he been (quoth he)

         this halfe howre at the leaſt,

And in this time I dare well ſay

         his plaint hath ſtill increaſt.

   Then both they entred in,

         where they (alas) dyd fynde,

The bretheles corps of Romeus,

         forſaken of the mynde.

   Where they haue made ſuch mone,

         as they may beſt conceue,

That haue with perfect frendſhip loued,

         whoſe frend, feerce death dyd reue.

   But whilſt with piteous playnt,

         they Romeus fate be wepe,

An howre too late fayre Iuliet

         awaked out of ſlepe.

   And much amaſde to ſee

         in tombe ſo great a light,

She wiſt not if ſhe ſaw a dreame,

         or ſprite that walkd by night.

   But cumming to her ſelfe,

         ſhe knew them, and ſaid thus,

What fryer Lawrence, is it you?

         where is my Romeus?

   And then the auncient frier,

         that greatly ſtoode in feare,

Leſt if they lingred ouer long,

         they ſhould be taken theare,

   In few plaine woordes, the whole

         that was betyde he tolde,

And with his fingar ſhewd his corps

         out ſtretched, ſtiffe, and colde,

   And then perſwaded her

         with pacience to abyde

This ſodain great miſchaunce, and ſayth

         that he will ſoone prouyde

   In ſomme religious houſe

         for her a quiet place,

Where ſhe may ſpend the reſt of lyfe,

         and where in time percaſe

   She may with wiſdomes meane,

         meaſure her mourning breſt,

And vnto her tormented ſoule

         call backe exiled reſt.

   But loe, as ſoone as ſhe

         had caſt her ruthfull eye

On Romeus face, that pale and wan,

         faſt by her ſide dyd lye,

   Straight way ſhe dyd vnſtop

         the conduites of her teares,

And out they guſhe, with cruell hand

         ſhe tare her golden heares.

   But when ſhe neither could

         her ſwelling ſorowſwage,

Ne yet her tender hart abyde

         her ſickenes furious rage:

   Falne on his corps, ſhe lay

         long panting on his face,

And then with all her force and ſtrength,

         the ded corps dyd embrace,

   As though with ſighes,with ſobs,

         with force and buſy payne,

She would him rayſe, and him reſtore

         from death to lyfe agayne:

   A thouſand times ſhe kiſt

         his month as cold as ſtone,

And it vnkiſt agayne as oft,

         then gan ſhe thus to mone.

   Ah pleaſant prop of all

         my thoughtes, ah onely ground

Of all the ſweete delightes, that yet

         in all my lyfe I found.

   Did ſuch aſſured truſt

         within thy hart repoſe:

That in this place, and at this time,

         this churchyarde thou haſt choſe?

   Betwixt the armes of me,

         thy perfect louing make?

And thus by meanes of me to ende

         thy lyfe, and for my ſake?

   Euen in the flowring of

         thy youth, when vnto thee,

Thy lyfe moſt deare (as to the moſt)

         and pleaſant ought to be:

   How could this tender corps

         withſtand the cruell fight

Of furious death, that wonts to fray

         the ſtouteſt with his ſight:

   How could thy dainty youth

         agree with willing hart,

In this ſo fowle infected place

          (to dwell) where now thou art.

   Where ſpitefull Fortune hath

         appaynted thee to be,

The dainty foode of greedy woormes,

         vnworthy ſure of thee.

   Alas, alas, alas,

         what neded now a new,

My wonted ſorowes doubled twiſe

         agayne thus to renewe?

   Which both the tyme, and eke

         my pacient long abode,

Should now at length haue quenched quite,

         and vnder foote haue trode.

   Ah wretch, and caytiue that

         I am,euen when I thought

To find my painefull paſſions ſalue:

         I myſt the thing I ſought,

   And to my mortall harme,

         the fatall knyfe I grounde,

That gaue to me ſo deepe, ſo wyde,

         ſo cruell dedly wounde.

   Ah thou moſt fortunate,

         and moſt vnhappy tombe,

For thou ſhalt beare from age to age,

         witnes in time to comme,

   Of the moſt perfect leage,

         betwixt a payre of louers,

That were the moſt vnfortunate,

         and fortunate of others:

   Receaue the latter ſigh,

         receaue the latter pang,

Of the moſt cruell of cruell ſlaues,

         that wrath and death ay wrang.

   And when our Iuliet would

         continue ſtill her mone,

The fryer and the ſeruant fled

         and left her there alone.

   For they a ſodayne noyſe,

         faſt by the place did heare,

And leſt they might be taken there,

         greatly they ſtoode in feare.

   When Iuliet ſaw her ſelfe

         left in the vaulte alone,

That freely ſhe might worke her will,

         for let or ſtay was none:

   Then once for all, ſhe tooke

         the cauſe of all her harmes,

The body dead of Romeus,

         and claſpd it in her armes,

   Then ſhe with earneſt kiſſe,

         ſufficiently did proue,

That more then by the feare of death,

         ſhe was attaint by loue.

   And then paſt deadly feare,

         for lyfe ne had ſhe care,

With haſty hand ſhe did draw out,

         the dagger that he ware.

   O welcome death (quoth ſhe)

         end of vnhappines,

That alſo art beginning of

         aſſured happines:

   Feare not to darte me nowe,

         thy ſtripe no longer ſtay,

Prolong no longer now my lyfe,

         I hate this long delaye.

   For ſtraight my parting ſprite,

         out of this carkas fled,

At eaſe ſhall finde my Romeus ſprite,

         emong ſo many ded.

   And thou my louing lord,

         Romeus my truſty feer,

If knowledge yet doe reſt in thee,

         if thou theſe woordes doſt heer:

   Receue thou her whom thou

         didſt loue ſo lawfully,

That cauſd (alas) thy violent death

         although vnwillingly.

   And therfore willingly

         offers to thee her goſt,

To thend that no wight els but thou,

         might haue iuſt cauſe to boſte

   Thinioying of my loue,

         which ay I haue reſerued,

Free from the reſt, bound vnto thee,

         that haſt it well deſerued.

   That ſo our parted ſprites,

         from light that we ſee here,

In place of endleſſe light and bliſſe,

         may euer liue yfere.

   Theſe ſaid, her ruthleſſe hand

         through gyrt her valiant hart.

Ah Ladies helpe with teares to wayle,

         the ladies dedly ſmart.

   She grones ſhe ſtretcheth out

         her limmes, ſhe ſhuttes her eyes,

And from her corps the ſprite doth flye.

         what ſhould I ſay: ſhe dyes.

   The watchemen of the towne,

         the whilſt are paſſed by,

And through the grates the candel light

         within the tombe they ſpye:

   Wherby they did ſuppoſe,

         inchaunters to be comme,

That with prepared inſtrumentes

         had opend wide the tombe,

   In purpoſe to abuſe

         the bodies of the ded,

Which by theyr ſcience ayde abuſde

         do ſtand them oft in ſted.

   Theyr curious harts deſire,

         the trueth heros to know,

Then they by certaine ſteppes deſcend,

         where they do fynd below

   In claſped armes ywrapt

         the huſband and the wyfe,

In whom as yet they ſeemd to ſee

         ſomme certaine markes of lyfe.

   But when more curiouſly

         with leyſure they did vew,

The certainty of both theyr deathes,

         aſſuredly they knew.

   Then here and there ſo long

         with carefull ere they ſought,

That at the length hidden they found

         the murthrers, ſo they thought.

   In dongeon depe that night

         they lodgde them vnder grounde,

The next day do they tell the prince

         the miſchefe that they found.

   The newes was by and by

         throughout the towne dyſpred

Both of the takyng of the fryer,

         and of the two found ded.

   Thether might you haue ſeene

         whole houſholdes forth to ronne.

For to the tombe where they did heare

         this wonder ſtraunge was donne,

   The great, the ſmall, the riche,

         the poore,the yong,the olde,

With haſly pace do ronne to ſee,

         but rew when they behelde.

   And that the murtherers

         to all men might be knowne,

Like as the murders brute abrode

         through all the towne was blowne.

   The prince did ſtraight ordaine,

         the corſes that wer founde

Should be ſet forth vpon a ſtage,

         hye rayſed from the grounde,

   Right in the ſelfe ſame fourme,

          (ſhewde forth to all mens ſight)

That in the hollow valt they had

         been found that other night.

   And eke that Romeus man,

         and fryer Lawrence ſhould

Be openly examined,

         for els the people would

   Haue murmured, or faynd

         there were ſome wayghty cauſe,

Why openly they were not calde,

         and ſo conuict by lawes.

   The holy fryer now,

         and reuerent by his age,

In great reproche ſet to the ſhew

         vpon the open ſtage.

   (A thing that ill beſeemde,

         a man of ſiluer heares)

His beard as whyte as mylke he bathes,

         with great faſt falling teares.

   Whom ſtraight the dredfull Iudge

         commaundeth to declare

Both how this murther hath been donne,

         aud who the murthrers are.

   For that he nere the tombe

         was found at howres vnfitte,

And had with him thoſe yron tooles,

         for ſuch a purpoſe fitte:

   The frier was of liuely

         ſprite, and free of ſpeche,

The Iudges woordes appald him not,

         ne were his wittes to ſeeche.

   But with aduiſed heed,

         a while fyrſt did he ſtay,

And then with bold aſſured voyce,

         aloude thus gan he ſay.

   My lordes, there is not one

         emong you, ſet togyther,

So that (affection ſet aſide)

         by wiſdome he conſider

   My former paſſed lyfe,

         and this my extreme age,

And eke this heauy ſight, the wreke,

         of frantike Fortunes rage,

   But that amaſed much,

         doth wonder at this chaunge,

So great,ſo ſodainly befalne,

         vnlooked for, and ſtraunge.

   For I, that in the ſpace

         of.lx.yeres and tenne,

Since firſt I did begin to ſoone

         to leade my lyfe with men,

   And with the worldes vaine thinges

         my ſelfe I did acquaint,

Was neuer yet, in open place

         at any time attaynt

   With any cryme, in waight,

         as heauy as a ruſhe,

Ne is there any ſtander by,

         can make me gylty bluſhe,

   (Although before the face

         of God, & doe confeſſe,

My ſelfe to be the ſinfulſt wretch

         of all this mighty preſſe.)

   When readieſt I am,

         and likelieſt to make

My great accompt,which no man els

         for me ſhall vndertake:

   When wormes, the earth, and death

         doe cyte me euery howre,

Tappeare before the iudgement ſeate

         of euerlaſting powre,

   And falling ripe I ſteppe

         vpon my graues brinke:

Euen then am I moſt wretched wight

          (as eche of you doth thinke.)

   Through my moſt haynous deede,

         with hedlong ſway throwne downe,

In greateſt daunger of my lyfe,

         and domage of renowne.

   The ſpring,whence in your head,

         this new conceite doth ryſe,

And in your hart increaſeth ſtill

         your vayne and wrong ſurmiſe:

   May be the hugenes of

         theſe teares of myne (percaſe,)

That ſo aboundantly downe fall,

         by eyther ſyde my face.

   As though the memory

         in ſcriptures were not kept,

That Chriſt our ſauiour himſelfe

         for ruth and pittie wept.

   And more whoſo will reade,

         ywritten ſhall he fynde,

That teares are as true meſſengers

         of mans vngyltie mynde,

   Orels (a liker proofe)

         that I am in the cryme,

You ſay theſe preſent yrone are,

         and the ſuſpected tyme.

   As though all howres alike

         had not been made aboue,

Did Chriſt not ſay the day had twelue?

         whereby he ſought to prone,

   That no reſpect of howres,

         ought iuſtly to be had,

But at all times men haue the choyce

         of dooing good or bad.

   Euen as the ſprite of God,

         the hartes of men doth guyde,

Or as it leaueth them to ſtray

         from Vertues path aſyde.

   As for the yrons that

         were taken in my hand,

As now I deeme, I neede not ſeeke,

         to make ye vnderſtande,

   To what vſe yron firſt

         was made,when it began:

How of it ſelfe it helpeth not,

         ne yet can helpe a man.

   The thing that hurteth, is

         the malice of his will,

That ſuch indifferent thinges is wont

         to vſe and order yll.

   Thus much I thought to ſay,

         to cauſe you ſo to know,

That neither theſe my piteous teares,

         though nere ſo faſt they flowe.

   Ne yet theſe yron tooles,

         nor the ſuſpected time,

Can iuſtly proue the murther donne,

         or damne me of the cryme,

   No one of theſe hath powre,

         ne power haue all the three,

To make me other then I am,

         how ſo I ſeeme to be.

   But ſure my conſcience

          (if ſo my gylt deſerue)

For an appeacher, witneſſe, and

         a hangman eke ſhould ſerue.

   For through mine age, whoſe heares,

         of long time ſince were hore,

And credyt greate that I was in,

         with you in time to fore,

   And eke the ſoiorne ſhort

         that I on earth muſt make,

That euery day and howre do loke

         my iourney hence to take,

   My conſcience inwardly,

         ſhould more torment me thriſe,

Then all the outward deadly payne

         that all you could deuyſe.

   But (God I prayſe) I feele

         no worme that gnaweth me,

And from remorſes pricking ſting,

         I ioy that I am free.

   I meane as touching this,

         wherwith you troubled are,

Wherwith you ſhould be troubled ſtill

         if I my ſpeche ſhould ſpare.

   But to the end I may

         ſet all your hartes at reſt,

And plucke out all the ſcrupuls that

         are rooted in your breſt:

   Which might perhappes henceforth

         increaſing more and more

Within your conſcience alſo,

         increaſe your cureleſſe ſore:

   I ſweare by yonder heauens,

         whither I hope to clym,

And for a witnes of my woordes,

         my hart atteſteth him,

   Whoſe mighty hand doth welde

         them in their vyolent ſway,

And on the rolling ſtormy ſeas

         the heauy earth doth ſtay:

   That I will make a ſhort

         and eke a true dyſcourſe

Of this moſt wofull Tragedy,

         and ſhew both thend and ſourſe

   Of theyr vnhappy death,

         which you perchaunce no leſſe

Will wonder at, then they (alas)

         poore louers in diſtreſſe,

   Tormented much in mynd

         not forcing liuely breath,

With ſtrong and patient hart dyd yelde

         themſelfe to cruell death.

   Such was the mutuall loue,

         wherin the burned both:

And of their promyſt frendſhippes fayth,

         ſo ſtedy was the troth.

   And then the auncient frier

         began to make dyſcourſe,

Euen from the firſt of Romeus,

         and Iuliets amours.

   How firſt by ſodayn ſight,

         the one the other choſe,

And twixt them ſelfe dyd knitte the knotte,

         which onely death might loſe.

   And how within a while,

         with hotter loue oppreſt,

Vnder confeſſions cloke, to him,

         them ſelfe they haue adreſt.

   And how with ſolemne othes

         they haue proteſted both,

That they in hart are maried

         by promiſe and by othe.

   And that except he graunt

         the rytes of church to geue,

They ſhalbe forſt by earneſt loue,

         in ſinnefull ſtate to liue.

   Which thing when he had wayde,

         and when he vnderſtoode,

That the agreement twixt them twayne

         was lawfull honeſt, good,

   And all thinges peyſed well,

         it ſeemed meete to bee,

For lyke they were of nobleneſſe,

         age, riches, and degree:

   Hoping that ſo at length,

         ended myght be the ſtryfe,

Of Montagewes and Capelets,

         that led in hate theyr lyfe.

   Thinking to woorke a woorke

         well pleaſing in Gods ſight,

In ſecret ſhrift he wedded them,

         and they the ſelfe ſame night

   Made vp the mariage

         in houſe of Capelet,

As well doth know (if ſhe be aſkt,)

         the nurce of Iuliet.

   He told how Romeus fled,

         for reuing Tybalts lyfe,

And how the whilſt, Paris the Earle

         was offred to hys wyfe.

And how the lady dyd,

         ſo great a wrong dyſdayne,

And how to ſhrift vnto his church

         ſhe came to him agayne:

And how ſhe fell flat downe

         before his feete aground,

And how ſhe ſware her hand,

         and blody knife ſhould wound

Her harmeles hart, except,

         that he ſome meane dyd fynde

To dyſappoynt the Earles attempt,

         and ſpotles ſaue her mynde.

Wherfore he doth conclude,

          (although that long before)

By thought of death, and age, he had

         refuſde for euermore.

The hidden artes which he

         delighted in, in youth,

Yet wonne by her importunenes,

         and by his inward ruth,

And fearing leſt ſhe would

         her cruell vowe dyſcharge,

His cloſed conſcience he had

         opened and ſet at large.

And rather did he chooſe

         to ſuffer for one tyme,

His ſoule to be ſpotted ſomdeale

         with ſmall and eaſy cryme,

Then that the lady ſhould,

          (wery of liuyng breath)

Murther her ſelfe, and daunger much

         her ſeely ſoule by death.

   Wherfore, his auncient artes

         agayne he puttes in vre,

A certayne powder gaue he her

         that made her ſlepe ſo ſure,

   That they her held for dead,

         and how that frier Iohn

With letters ſent to Romeus,

         to Mantua is gone,

   Of whom he knoweth not

         as yet, what is becomme,

And how that dead he found his frend

         within her kindreds tombe.

   He thinkes with poyſon ſtrong,

         for care the yong man ſterued,

Suppoſing Iuliet dead, and how,

         that Iuliet hath carued

   With Romeus dagger drawne

         her hart and yelded breath,

Deſyrous to accompany

         her louer after death.

   And how they could not ſaue

         her, ſo they were afeard,

And hidde them ſelfe, dreding the noyſe

         of watchmen that they heard.

   And for the proofe of  thys

         his tale, he doth deſyer

The Iudge, to ſend forthwith

         to Mantua for the fryer,

   To learne his cauſe of ſtay,

         and eke to reade his letter,

And more beſide, to thend that they

         might iudge his cauſe the better,

   He prayeth them depoſe

         the nurce of Iuliet,

And Romeus man,whom at vnwares

         beſyde the tombe he met.

   Then Peter not ſo much

         ad erſt he was, dyſmayd,

My lords (quoth he) too true is all,

         that fryer Laurence ſayd.

   And when my maiſter went

         into my myſtres graue,

This letter that I offer you,

         vnto me then he gaue.

   Which he himſelfe dyd write

         as I do vnderſtand,

And charged me to offer them

         vnto his fathers hand.

   The opened packet doth

         conteyne in it the ſame,

That erſt the ſkilfull frier ſaid,

         and eke the wretches name

   That had at his requeſt,

         the dedly poyſon ſold,

The price of it,and why he bought,

         his letters playne haue tolde.

   The caſe vnfolded ſo,

         and open now it lyes,

That they could wiſh no better proof,

         ſaue ſeeing it with theyr eyes.

   So orderly all thinges

         were tolde and tryed out,

That in the preaſe there was not one

         that ſtoode at all in doute.

   The wyſer ſort to councell

         called by Eſcalus,

Haue geuen aduyſe, and Eſcalus

         ſagely decreeth thus.

   The nurſe of Iuliet,

         is baniſht in her age,

Becauſe that from the parentes ſhe

         dyd hyde the mariage.

   Which might haue wrought much good,

         hau it in time been knowne,

Where now by her concealing it,

         a miſcheefe great is growne.

   And Peter, for he dyd

         obey his maſters heſt,

In woonted freedome had good leaue

         to leade his lyfe in reſt.

   Thapothecary, high

         is hanged by the throte,

And for the paynes he tooke with him,

         the hangman had his cote.

   But now what ſhall betyde

         of this gray bearded ſyre?

Of fryer Lawrence thus araynde,

         that good barefooted fryre.

   Becauſe that many times

         he woorthely did ſerue

The commen welth, and in his lyfe

         was neuer found to ſwerue:

   He was diſcharged quyte,

         and no marke of defame,

Did ſeeme to blot,or touch at all,

         the honor of his name.

   But of him ſelfe he went

         into an Hermitage,

Two myles from Veron towne,where he

         in prayers paſt forth his age.

   Tyll that from earth to heauen,

         his heauenly ſprite dyd flye,

Fyue yeres he liued an Hermite, and

         an Hermite dyd he dye.

   The ſtraungenes of the chaunce,

         when tryed was the truth

The Montagewes and Capelets

         hath moued ſo to ruth,

   That with their emptyed teares,

         theyr choler and theyr rage,

Was emptied quite, and they whoſe wrath

         no wiſdom could aſſwage,

   Nor threatning of the prince,

         ne mynd of murthers donne:

At length (ſo mighty Ioue it would)

         by pitye they are wonne.

   And leſt that length of time

         might from our myndes remoue,

The memory of ſo perfect, ſound,

         and ſo approued loue.

   The bodies dead remoued

         from vaulte where they did dye,

In ſtately tombe,on pillers great,

         of marble rayſe they hye.

   On euery ſyde aboue,

         were ſet and eke beneath,

Great ſtore of cunning Epitaphes,

         in honor of theyr death.

   And euen at this day

         the tombe is to be ſeene.

So that among the monumentes

         that in Verona been,

   There is no monument

         more worthy of the ſight:

Then is the tombe of Iuliet,

         and Romeus her knight.

Imprinted at London in Flete ſtrete within Temble barre, at the ſigne of the hand and ſtarre, by Richard Tottill the .xix. day of Nouember. An. do. 1562.