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Chaucer Essay

3661 words - 15 pages

LL420: Poetry in Cultural History
Week 3: The Metaphysical Poets
William Shakespeare
(1564-1616)

'The Phoenix and the Turtle'

LET the bird of loudest lay

On the sole Arabian tree,

Herald sad and trumpet be,

To whose sound chaste wings obey.

But thou shrieking harbinger,

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Foul precurrer of the fiend,

Augur of the fever's end,

To this troop come thou not near.

From this session interdict

Every fowl of tyrant wing

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Save the eagle, feather'd king:

Keep the obsequy so strict.

Let the priest in surplice white

That defunctive music can,

Be the death-divining swan,

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Lest the requiem lack his right.

And thou, treble-dated crow,

That thy sable gender mak'st

With the breath thou giv'st and tak'st,

'Mongst our mourners shalt thou go.

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Here the anthem doth commence:-

Love and constancy is dead;

Phoenix and the turtle fled

In a mutual flame from hence.

So they loved, as love in twain

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Had the essence but in one;

Two distincts, division none;

Number there in love was slain.

Hearts remote, yet not asunder;

Distance, and no space was seen

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'Twixt the turtle and his queen:

But in them it were a wonder.

So between them love did shine,

That the turtle saw his right

Flaming in the phoenix' sight;

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Either was the other's mine.

Property was thus appall'd,

That the self was not the same;

Single nature's double name

Neither two nor one was call'd.

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Reason, in itself confounded,

Saw division grow together;

To themselves yet either neither;

Simple were so well compounded,

That it cried, 'How true a twain

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Seemeth this concordant one!

Love hath reason, reason none

If what parts can so remain.'

Whereupon it made this threne

To the phoenix and the dove,

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Co-supremes and stars of love,

As chorus to their tragic scene.

THRENOS
BEAUTY, truth, and rarity,

Grace in all simplicity,

Here enclosed in cinders lie.

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Death is now the phoenix' nest;

And the turtle's loyal breast

To eternity doth rest,

Leaving no posterity:

'Twas not their infirmity,

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It was married chastity.

Truth may seem, but cannot be;

Beauty brag, but 'tis not she;

Truth and beauty buried be.

To this urn let those repair

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That are either true or fair;

For these dead birds sigh a prayer.

GLOSS: can] knows.

John Donne
(1572 - 1631)

'Hymne to GOD my GOD, in my sicknesse'

SINCE I am comming to that Holy roome,

Where, with thy Quire of Saints for evermore,

I shall be made thy Musique; As I come

I tune the Instrument here at the dore,

And what I must doe then, thinke here before.

5

Whilst my Physitians by their love are growne

Cosmographers, and I their Mapp, who lie

Flat on this bed, that by them...

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