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How seldom, friend, a good great man inherits
FROM "OTHELLO." Honor and wealth, with all his worth and pains !
Good name in man and woman, dear my lord, It seems a story from the world of spirits
Is the immediate jewel of their souls : When any man obtains that which he merits,
| Whọ steals my purse, steals trash; 't is something, Or any merits that which he obtains.
'T was mine, 't is his, and has been slave to For shame, my friend ! renounce this idle strain !
thousands ; What wouldst thou have a good great man obtain ?
| But he that filches from me my good name Wealth, title, dignity, a golden chain,
Robs me of that which not enriches him, Or heap of corses which his sword hath slain ?
And makes me poor indeed. Goodness and greatness are not means, but ends. I
FROM "MERCHANT OF VENICE."
SLUMBER, Sleep, — they were two brothers, serThe quality of mercy is not strained,
vants to the gods above; It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Kind Prometheus lured them downwards, ever
filled with earthly love ; Upon the place beneath : it is twice blessed,
But what gods could bear so lightly, pressed too It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes : 'T is mightiest in the mightiest ; it becomes
hard on men beneath ;
Slumber did his brother's duty, - Sleep was The throned monarch better than his crown ; His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
deepened into Death.
From the German of GOETHE. The attribute to awe and majesty, Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings : But mercy is above this sceptered sway, — It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
SLEEP. It is an attribute to God himself; .
FROM "NIGHT THOUGHTS." And earthly power doth then show likest God's,
| TIRED Nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep, When mercy seasons justice.
He, like the world, his ready visits pays
And lights on lids unsullied by a tear.
WEEP ye no more, sad fountains !
What need you flow so fast ?
Heaven's sun doth gently waste.
View not your weeping,
That now lies sleeping
Sleep is a reconciling, —
A rest that peace begets ;
When fair at even he sets ?
Melt not in weeping,
While she lies sleeping
Come, Sleep, 0 Sleep, the certain knot of peace,
SIR PHILIP SIDNEY.
What do we give to our beloved ?
| In cradle of the rude imperious surge,
“Sleep soft, beloved !" we sometimes say,
() earth, so full of dreary noise !
FROM "FIRST PART OF HENRY IV.”
rushes lay you down,
His dews drop mutely on the hill,
Weariness Can snore upon the flint, when restive sloth Finds the down pillow hard.
For me, my heart, that erst did go
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.
FROM "SECOND PART OF HENRY IV."
We are such stuff
As dreams are made of, and our little life King HENRY. How many thousand of my Is rounded with a sleep. poorest subjects
SHAKESPEARE. Are at this hour asleep!-0 sleep! O gentle
HYMN TO NIGHT.
Yes! bear them to their rest ;
The prattler, fallen asleep e'en in his play ; And hushed with buzzing night-flies to thy Clasp them to thy soft breast, slumber,
' O night! Than in the perfumed chambers of the great, Bless them in dreams with a deep, hushed delight. Under the canopies of costly state, And lulled with sounds of sweetest melody? Yet must they wake again, O thou dull god ! why liest thou with the vile, Wake soon to all the bitterness of life, In loathsome beds, and leav'st the kingly couch The pang of sorrow, the temptation strife, A watch-case, or a common 'larum-bell?
Aye to the conscience pain : Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast
O night! Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock bis brains Canst thou not take with them a longer flight? Canst thou not bear them far
In at the open casement cooling run,
Bathing thy patient head,
Like grateful showers of rain,
While the white curtains, waving to and fro, Canst thou not bear them up
Fan the sick air ; Through starlit skies, far from this planet dim
And pityingly the shadows come and go, And sorrowful, e'en while they sleep, to Him
With gentle human care, Who drank for us the cup,
| Compassionate and dumb. O night! The cup of wrath, for hearts in faith contrite ?
The dusty day is done, To Him, for them who slept
The night begun ; A babe all holy on his mother's knee,
While prayerful watch I keep, And from that hour to cross-crowned Calvary,
Sleep, love, sleep! In all our sorrow wept,
Is there no magic in the touch
Of fingers thou dost love so much ?
Fain would they scatter poppies o'er thee now;
Or, with its mute caress, light.
The tremulous lip some soft nepenthe press Go, lay their little heads
Upon thy weary lid and aching brow ;
On the pagoda spire
Their little golden circlet in a flutter Let them immortal wake
With tales the wooing winds have dared to utter,
Till all are ringing, Among the deathless flowers of Paradise,
As if a choir Where angel songs of welcome with surprise
Of golden-nested birds in heaven were singing ; This their last sleep may break,
And with a lulling sound
The music floats around,
And drops like balm into the drowsy ear ;
Commingling with the hum
Sounds these of deepest silence born,
Like night made visible by morn ; Nor sin nor age nor pain their cherub beauty So silent that I sometimes start blight.
To hear the throbbings of my heart,
And watch, with shivering sense of pain,
To see 'thy pale lids lift again.
The lizard, with his mouse-like eyes,
Peeps from the mortise in surprise
At such strange quiet after day's harsh din ; To that ethereal, holier, happier height.
Then boldly ventures out,
And looks about,
And with his hollow feet
Treads his small evening beat,
Darting upon his prey SLEEP, love, sleep!
In such a tricky, winsome sort of way,
His delicate marauding seems no sin.
But noiselessly ;
| The bells a melancholy murmur ring,
As tears were in the sky :
Curling like tendrils of the parasite More heavily the shadows fall,
Around a marble column. Like the black foldings of a pall, Where juts the rough beam from the wall ; A gentle start convulsed lanthe's frame : The candles flare
Her veiny eyelids quietly unclosed ; . With fresher gusts of air ;
Moveless awhile the dark blue orbs remained. The beetle's drone
She looked around in wonder, and beheld Turns to a dirge-like, solitary moan;
Henry, who kneeled in silence by her couch, Night deepens, and I sit, in cheerless doubt, alone. Watching her sleep with looks of speechless love,
EMILY C. JUDSON. | And the bright-beaming stars
PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.
FROM "QUEEN MAB."
A FLOCK of sheep that leisurely pass by
One after one ; the sound of rain, and bees
Murmuring; the fall of rivers, winds and seas,
Smooth fields, white sheets of water, and pure sky;
I've thought of all by turns, and still I lie
Sleepless ; and soon the small birds' melodies
Must hear, first uttered from my orchard trees, Whose reign is in the tainted sepulchers
And the first cuckoo's melancholy cry.
Even thus last night, and two nights more, I lay,
And could not win thee, Sleep, by any stealth :
So do not let ine wear to-night away : Which love and admiration cannot view
Without thee what is all the morning's wealth ? Without a beating heart, those azure veins Which steal like streams along a field of snow,
Come, blesséd barrier between day and day, That lovely outline which is fair
Dear mother of fresh thoughts and joyous health!
Must putrefaction's breath
Our life is twofold ; sleep hath its own world,
A boundary between the things misnamed
Death and existence : sleep hath its own world, Which the breath of roseate morning
And a wide realm of wild reality,
And dreams in their development have breath,
And tears, and tortures, and the touch of joy ; And give that faithful bosom joy,
They leave a weight upon our waking thoughts, Whose sleepless spirit waits to catch
They take a weight from off our waking toils, Light, life, and rapture from her smile?
They do divide our being ; they become
A portion of ourselves as of our time,
And look like heralds of eternity ;
| Like sibyls of the future; they have power, — Once breathing eloquence
The tyranny of pleasure and of pain ; That might have soothed a tiger's rage, They make us what we were not, — what they Or thawed the cold heart of a conqueror.
will, Her dewy eyes are closed,
| And shake us with the vision that's gone by, And on their lids, whose texture fine The dread of vanished shadows. — Are they so? Scarce hides the dark blue orbs beneath, Is not the past all shadow ? What are they? The baby Sleep is pillowed :
Creations of the mind ? - The mind can make
Substances, and people planets of its own
| With being3 brighter than have been, and give