William Shakespeare

  • From “Cymbeline,” Act II. Sc. 3.
    HARK, hark! the lark at heaven’s gate sings,
        And Phœbus ’gins arise,
    His steeds to water at those springs
        On chaliced flowers that lies;
    And winking Mary-buds begin
        To ope their golden eyes;

  • From “As You Like It,” Act II. Sc. 5.

          UNDER the greenwood tree
          Who loves to lie with me,
          And tune his merry note
          Unto the sweet bird’s throat,
    Come hither, come hither, come hither;
          Here shall he see

  • From “King Lear,” Act IV. Sc. 6.
    COME on, sir; here ’s the place: stand still!
          How fearful
    And dizzy ’t is, to cast one’s eyes so low!
    The crows and choughs that wing the midway air
    Show scarce so gross as beetles: half-way down
    Hangs one that...

  • From “Love’s Labor ’s Lost,” Act V. Sc. 2.

    WHEN icicles hang by the wall,
      And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
    And Tom bears logs into the hall,
      And milk comes frozen home in pail,
    When blood is nipped, and ways be foul,
    Then nightly sings the...

  • From “Hamlet,” Act III. Sc. 3.
      The King.  O, my offence is rank, it smells to heaven;
    It hath the primal eldest curse upon ’t,
    A brother’s murder. Pray can I not,
    Though inclination be as sharp as will:
    My stronger guilt defeats my strong intent;

  • Sonnet Cxlvi.
    poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
    Fooled by those rebel powers that thee array,
    Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth,
    Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?
    Why so large cost, having so short a lease,
    Dost thou upon...

  • From “Hamlet,” Act I. Sc. 2.
      QUEEN.—Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted color off,
    And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.
    Do not, forever, with thy veilèd lids
    Seek for thy noble father in the dust:
    Thou know’st ’t is common,—all that live must die,...

  • From “Cymbeline,” Act IV. Sc. 2.

    FEAR no more the heat o’ the sun,
      Nor the furious winter’s rages;
    Thou thy worldly task hast done,
      Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages:
    Golden lads and girls all must,
    As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

  • From “Hamlet,” Act III. Sc. 1.
      HAMLET.—To be, or not to be,—that is the question:—
    Whether ’t is nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
    And, by opposing, end them?—To die, to...

  • From “King Henry VIII.,” Act III. Sc. 2.
    CROMWELL, I did not think to shed a tear
    In all my miseries; but thou hast forced me,
    Out of thy honest truth, to play the woman.
    Let ’s dry our eyes: and thus far hear me, Cromwell;
    And—when I am forgotten, as I...