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jfp

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  1. KING RICHARD II We were not born to sue, but to command; Which since we cannot do to make you friends, Be ready, as your lives shall answer it, At Coventry, upon Saint Lambert's day: There shall your swords and lances arbitrate The swelling difference of your settled hate: Since we can not atone you, we shall see Justice design the victor's chivalry. Lord marshal, command our officers at arms Be ready to direct these home alarms. Shakespeare - Richard II I/i
  2. CASSIUS The torrent roar'd, and we did buffet it With lusty sinews, throwing it aside And stemming it with hearts of controversy; But ere we could arrive the point proposed, Caesar cried 'Help me, Cassius, or I sink!' I, as Aeneas, our great ancestor, Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder The old Anchises bear, so from the waves of Tiber Did I the tired Caesar. And this man Is now become a god, and Cassius is A wretched creature and must bend his body, If Caesar carelessly but nod on him. He had a fever when he was in Spain, And when the fit was on him, I did mark How he did shake: 'tis true, this god did shake; His coward lips did from their colour fly, And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world Did lose his lustre: I did hear him groan: Ay, and that tongue of his that bade the Romans Mark him and write his speeches in their books, Alas, it cried 'Give me some drink, Titinius,' As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me A man of such a feeble temper should So get the start of the majestic world And bear the palm alone. Shakespeare - Julius Cæsar I/ii
  3. O evil day! if I were sullen While Earth herself is adorning, This sweet May-morning, And the Children are pulling, On every side, In a thousand vallies far and wide, Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm, And the babe leaps up on his mother's arm:— I hear, I hear, with joy I hear! —But there's a Tree, of many one, A single Field which I have looked upon, Both of them speak of something that is gone: The Pansy at my feet Doth the same tale repeat: Whither is fled the visionary gleam? Where is it now, the glory and the dream? William Wordsworth - from "Ode on Intimations of Immortality..."
  4. LEONTES Apollo, pardon My great profaneness 'gainst thine oracle! I'll reconcile me to Polixenes, New woo my queen, recall the good Camillo, Whom I proclaim a man of truth, of mercy; For, being transported by my jealousies To bloody thoughts and to revenge, I chose Camillo for the minister to poison My friend Polixenes: which had been done, But that the good mind of Camillo tardied My swift command, though I with death and with Reward did threaten and encourage him, Not doing 't and being done: he, most humane And fill'd with honour, to my kingly guest Unclasp'd my practise, quit his fortunes here, Which you knew great, and to the hazard Of all encertainties himself commended, No richer than his honour: how he glisters Thorough my rust! and how his pity Does my deeds make the blacker! Shakespeare - The Winter's Tale III/ii
  5. Come To Sunny Prestatyn Laughed the girl on the poster, Kneeling up on the sand In tautened white satin. Behind her, a hunk of coast, a Hotel with palms Seemed to expand from her thighs and Spread breast-lifting arms. She was slapped up one day in March. A couple of weeks, and her face Was snaggle-toothed and boss-eyed; Huge tits and a fissured crotch Were scored well in, and the space Between her legs held scrawls That set her fairly astride A tuberous cock and balls Autographed Titch Thomas, while Someone had used a knife Or something to stab right through The moustached lips of her smile. She was too good for this life. Very soon, a great transverse tear Left only a hand and some blue. Now Fight Cancer is there. Philip Larkin - "Sunny Prestatyn"
  6. GHOST I am thy father's spirit, Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night, And for the day confin'd to fast in fires, Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature Are burnt and purg'd away. But that I am forbid To tell the secrets of my prison house, pronounced /həʊs/, i.e. with the vowel-sound of those I could a tale unfold whose lightest word Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood, Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres, Thy knotted and combined locks to part, And each particular hair to stand on end Like quills upon the fretful porcupine. But this eternal blazon must not be To ears of flesh and blood. Shakespeare - Hamlet I/v
  7. There was no spring in my poem... even if there was in the one before... There's nothing like being ignored. 🤪
  8. Early in the morning Of a lovely summer day, As they lowered the bright awning At the outdoor café, I was breakfasting on croissants And café au lait Under greenery like scenery, Rue François Premier. They were hosing the hot pavement With a dash of flashing spray And a smell of summer showers When the dust is drenched away. Under greenery like scenery, Rue François Premier. I was twenty and a lover And in Paradise to stay, Very early in the morning Of a lovely summer day. Robert Hillyer - "Early in the Morning" Beautifully set to music by Ned Rorem, now, incredibly, 98 years old:
  9. Why should I let the toad work Squat on my life? Can't I use my wit as a pitchfork And drive the brute off? Six days of the week it soils With its sickening poison - Just for paying a few bills! That's out of proportion. Lots of folk live on their wits: Lecturers, lispers, Losers, loblolly-men, louts - They don't end as paupers; Lots of folk live up lanes With fires in a bucket, Eat windfalls and tinned sardines - They seem to like it. Their nippers have got bare feet, Their unspeakable wives Are skinny as whippets - and yet No one actually starves. Ah, were I courageous enough To shout Stuff your pension! But I know, all too well, that's the stuff That dreams are made on: For something sufficiently toad-like Squats in me, too; Its hunkers are heavy as hard luck, And cold as snow, And will never allow me to blarney My way to getting The fame and the girl and the money All at one sitting. I don't say, one bodies the other One's spiritual truth; But I do say it's hard to lose either, When you have both. Philip Larkin - 'Toads'
  10. When I have seen by time's fell hand defaced The rich proud cost of outworn buried age; When sometime lofty towers I see down razed, And brass eternal slave to mortal rage; When I have seen the hungry ocean gain Advantage on the kingdom of the shore, And the firm soil win of the wat'ry main, Increasing store with loss, and loss with store; When I have seen such interchange of state, Or state itself confounded, to decay, Ruin hath taught me thus to ruminate: That time will come and take my love away. This thought is as a death, which cannot choose But weep to have that which it fears to lose. Shakespeare - Sonnet 64
  11. JULIET The clock struck nine when I did send the nurse; In half an hour she promised to return. Perchance she cannot meet him: that's not so. O, she is lame! love's heralds should be thoughts, Which ten times faster glide than the sun's beams, Driving back shadows over louring hills: Therefore do nimble-pinion'd doves draw love, And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings. Now is the sun upon the highmost hill Of this day's journey, and from nine till twelve Is three long hours, yet she is not come. Had she affections and warm youthful blood, She would be as swift in motion as a ball; My words would bandy her to my sweet love, And his to me: But old folks, many feign as they were dead; Unwieldy, slow, heavy and pale as lead. Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet II/v
  12. MACBETH It will have blood; they say, blood will have blood: Stones have been known to move and trees to speak; Augurs and understood relations have By magot-pies and choughs and rooks brought forth The secret'st man of blood. Shakespeare - Macbeth III/iv
  13. MACBETH If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well It were done quickly: if the assassination Could trammel up the consequence, and catch With his surcease success; that but this blow Might be the be-all and the end-all here, But here, upon this bank and shoal of time, We'ld jump the life to come. But in these cases We still have judgment here; that we but teach Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice Commends the ingredients of our poison'd chalice To our own lips. He's here in double trust; First, as I am his kinsman and his subject, Strong both against the deed; then, as his host, Who should against his murderer shut the door, Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been So clear in his great office, that his virtues Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against The deep damnation of his taking-off; And pity, like a naked new-born babe, Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, horsed Upon the sightless couriers of the air, Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye, That tears shall drown the wind. I have no spur To prick the sides of my intent, but only Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself And falls on the other. Shakespeare - Macbeth I/vii (one of the most brilliant speeches in the whole of Shakespeare (and impossible to cut))
  14. Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art— Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night And watching, with eternal lids apart, Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite, The moving waters at their priestlike task Of pure ablution round earth's human shores, Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask Of snow upon the mountains and the moors— No—yet still stedfast, still unchangeable, Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast, To feel for ever its soft fall and swell, Awake for ever in a sweet unrest, Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, And so live ever—or else swoon to death. John Keats
  15. Scarce images of life, one here, one there, Lay vast and edgeways; like a dismal cirque Of Druid stones, upon a forlorn moor, When the chill rain begins at shut of eve, In dull November, and their chancel vault, The Heaven itself, is blinded throughout night. Each one kept shroud, nor to his neighbour gave Or word, or look, or action of despair. Creüs was one; his ponderous iron mace Lay by him, and a shatter'd rib of rock Told of his rage, ere he thus sank and pined. Iapetus another; in his grasp, A serpent's plashy neck; its barbed tongue Squeez'd from the gorge, and all its uncurl'd length Dead; and because the creature could not spit Its poison in the eyes of conquering Jove. Next Cottus: prone he lay, chin uppermost, As though in pain; for still upon the flint He ground severe his skull, with open mouth And eyes at horrid working. Nearest him Asia, born of most enormous Caf, Who cost her mother Tellus keener pangs, Though feminine, than any of her sons: More thought than woe was in her dusky face, For she was prophesying of her glory; And in her wide imagination stood Palm-shaded temples, and high rival fanes By Oxus or in Ganges' sacred isles. Even as Hope upon her anchor leans, So leant she, not so fair, upon a tusk Shed from the broadest of her elephants. Above her, on a crag's uneasy shelve, Upon his elbow rais'd, all prostrate else, Shadow'd Enceladus; once tame and mild As grazing ox unworried in the meads; Now tiger-passion'd, lion-thoughted, wroth, He meditated, plotted, and even now Was hurling mountains in that second war, Not long delay'd, that scar'd the younger Gods To hide themselves in forms of beast and bird. John Keats - from "Hyperion", book II
  16. DESDEMONA My mother had a maid call'd Barbara: She was in love, and he she loved proved mad And did forsake her: she had a song of 'willow;' An old thing 'twas, but it express'd her fortune, And she died singing it: that song to-night Will not go from my mind; I have much to do, But to go hang my head all at one side, And sing it like poor Barbara. Shakespeare - Othello IV/iii
  17. HAMLET To be, or not to be- that is the question: Whether 'tis 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 sleep- No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish'd. To die- to sleep. To sleep- perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub! For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, Must give us pause. There's the respect That makes calamity of so long life. For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, The pangs of despis'd love, the law's delay, The insolence of office, and the spurns That patient merit of th' unworthy takes, When he himself might his quietus make With a bare bodkin? Who would these fardels bear, To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death- The undiscover'd country, from whose bourn No traveller returns- puzzles the will, And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of? Thus conscience does make cowards of us all, And thus the native hue of resolution Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought, And enterprises of great pith and moment With this regard their currents turn awry And lose the name of action. Shakespeare - Hamlet III/i
  18. Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow. My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year. He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake. The only other sound’s the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake. The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep. Robert Frost - "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" (As a bonus, I can't resist adding the version attributed to Donald Trump: I’ve got a pretty good idea whose woods these are, believe me. And let me tell you something, my people say he’s a complete nobody. This guy lives in the village. So what if he sees me stopping here? I dare him to sue me! I dare him! And by the way, this snow is pathetic. These are by far, the least downy flakes ever! I hear they had to import them from Canada. I don’t know. Maybe they did. Maybe they didn’t. We’re looking into it. My horse – he’s the most incredible horse, seriously, I have the greatest, the classiest horses – My horse doesn’t even know what the hell we’re doing here. The horses love me though. They do. They’re always shaking their bells at me, it’s very loving. It’s a beautiful thing. Let me tell you something, these woods are an embarrassment. They’re not dark. They’re not deep. They’re nothing. They’re for losers. And I cannot wait to sue this guy. I cannot wait to sue this guy.)
  19. As a decrepit father takes delight To see his active child do deeds of youth, So I, made lame by fortune's dearest spite, Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth: For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit, Or any of these all, or all, or more, Entitled in thy parts do crowned sit, I make my love engrafted to this store: So then I am not lame, poor, nor despised, Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give That I in thy abundance am sufficed And by a part of all thy glory live: Look, what is best, that best I wish in thee; This wish I have; then ten times happy me. Shakespeare - Sonnet 37
  20. Cut grass lies frail: Brief is the breath Mown stalks exhale. Long, long the death It dies in the white hours Of young-leafed June With chestnut flowers, With hedges snowlike strewn, White lilac bowed, Lost lanes of Queen Anne's lace, And that high-builded cloud Moving at summer's pace. Philip Larkin - "Cut Grass"
  21. PORTIA Now, Balthasar, As I have ever found thee honest-true, So let me find thee still. Take this same letter, And use thou all the endeavour of a man In speed to Padua: see thou render this Into my cousin's hand, Doctor Bellario; And, look, what notes and garments he doth give thee, Bring them, I pray thee, with imagined speed Unto the traject, to the common ferry Which trades to Venice. Waste no time in words, But get thee gone: I shall be there before thee. Shakespeare - The Merchant of Venice III/iv
  22. A very happy Easter to everyone. Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store, Though foolishly he lost the same, Decaying more and more, Till he became Most poore: With thee O let me rise As larks, harmoniously, And sing this day thy victories: Then shall the fall further the flight in me. My tender age in sorrow did beginne And still with sicknesses and shame. Thou didst so punish sinne, That I became Most thinne. With thee Let me combine, And feel thy victorie: For, if I imp my wing on thine, Affliction shall advance the flight in me. George Herbert, "Easter Wings"
  23. IV The wounded surgeon plies the steel That questions the distempered part; Beneath the bleeding hands we feel The sharp compassion of the healer's art Resolving the enigma of the fever chart. Our only health is the disease If we obey the dying nurse Whose constant care is not to please But to remind of our, and Adam's curse, And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse. The whole earth is our hospital Endowed by the ruined millionaire, Wherein, if we do well, we shall Die of the absolute paternal care That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere. The chill ascends from feet to knees, The fever sings in mental wires. If to be warmed, then I must freeze And quake in frigid purgatorial fires Of which the flame is roses, and the smoke is briars. The dripping blood our only drink, The bloody flesh our only food: In spite of which we like to think That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood— Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good. T.S.Eliot - from "East Coker" (Four Quartets)
  24. Oak of Guernica! Tree of holier power Than that which in Dodona did enshrine (So faith too fondly deemed) a voice divine, Heard from the depths of its aerial bower, How canst thou flourish at this blighting hour? What hope, what joy, can sunshine bring to thee, Or the soft breezes from the Atlantic sea, The dews of morn, or April’s tender shower? Stroke merciful and welcome would that be Which should extend thy branches on the ground, If nevermore within their shady round Those lofty-minded lawgivers shall meet, Peasant and lord, in their appointed seat, Guardians of Biscay’s ancient liberty. William Wordsworth - "The Oak of Guernica" [The ancient oak of Guernica, says Laborde in his account of Biscay, is a most venerable natural monument. Ferdinand and Isabella, in the year 1476, after hearing mass in the church of Santa Maria de la Antigua, repaired to this tree, under which they swore to the Biscayans to maintain their fueros (municipal laws). This tree was cut down by the French in 1808. https://www.bartleby.com/270/6/103.html]
  25. CASSIUS For my part, I have walk'd about the streets, Submitting me unto the perilous night, And, thus unbraced, Casca, as you see, Have bared my bosom to the thunder-stone; And when the cross blue lightning seem'd to open The breast of heaven, I did present myself Even in the aim and very flash of it. Shakespeare - Julius Caesar I/iii
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