To playful folly, and to causeless joy,
Speech without aim, and without end, employ;
He drew fantastic figures on the wall,
And gave some wild relation of them all;
With brutal shape he join’d the human face,
And idiot smiles approved the motley race.
Harmless at length th’ unhappy man was found,
The spirit settled, but the reason drown’d;
And all the dreadful tempest died away
To the dull stillness of the misty day.
And now his freedom he attain’d—if free
The lost to reason, truth, and hope, can be;
His friends, or wearied with the charge, or sure
The harmless wretch was now beyond a cure,
Gave him to wander where he pleased, and find
His own resources for the eager mind:
The playful children of the place he meets,
Playful with them he rambles through the streets;
In all they need, his stronger arm he lends,
And his lost mind to these approving friends.
That gentle Maid, whom once the Youth had loved,
Is now with mild religious pity moved;
Kindly she chides his boyish flights, while he
Will for a moment fix’d and pensive be;
And as she trembling speaks, his lively eyes
Explore her looks, he listens to her sighs;
Charm’d by her voice, th’ harmonious sounds invade
His clouded mind, and for a time persuade:
Like a pleased infant, who has newly caught
From the maternal glance a gleam of thought,
He stands enrapt, the half-known voice to hear,
And starts, half conscious, at the falling tear.
Rarely from town, nor then unwatch’d, he goes,
In darker mood, as if to hide his woes;
Returning soon, he with impatience seeks
His youthful friends, and shouts, and sings, and speaks;
Speaks a wild speech with action all is wild —
The children’s leader, and himself a child;
He spins their top, or, at their bidding, bends
His back, while o’er it leap his laughing friends;
Simple and weak, he acts the boy once more,
And heedless children call him Silly Shore.
’Squire Thomas; or the precipitate choice.
Such smiling rogues as these,
Like rats, oft bite the holy cords in twain.
Too intrinsicate t’unloose.
Shakespeare, King Lear.
My other self, my counsel’s consistory,
My oracle, my prophet,
I as a child will go by thy direction.
If I do not have pitv upon her, I’m a villain:
If I do not love her, I am a Jew.
Much Ado about Nothing.
Women are soft, mild, pitiable, flexible;
But thou art obdurate, flinty, rough, remorseless.
He must be told of it, and he shall; the office
Becomes a woman best; I’ll take it upon me;
If I prove honey-mouth’d, let my tongue blister.