The gray-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night, Check’ring the eastern clouds with streaks of light, And fleckled darkness like a drunkard reels From forth day’s path and Titan’s fiery wheels.
Now, ere the sun advance his burning eye, The day to cheer and night’s dank dew to dry, I must upfill this osier cage of ours With baleful weeds and precious-juicèd flowers.
The Earth that’s nature’s mother is her tomb; What is her burying grave, that is her womb; And from her womb children of divers kind We sucking on her natural bosom find, Many for many virtues excellent, None but for some, and yet all different. O, mickle is the powerful grace that lies In plants, herbs, stones, and their true qualities. For naught so vile that on the Earth doth live But to the Earth some special good doth give; Nor aught so good but, strained from that fair use, Revolts from true birth, stumbling on abuse. Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied, And vice sometime by action dignified.
Within the infant rind of this weak flower Poison hath residence and medicine power: For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part; Being tasted, stays all senses with the heart. Two such opposèd kings encamp them still In man as well as herbs—grace and rude will; And where the worser is predominant, Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.
Good morrow, father.
Benedicite. What early tongue so sweet saluteth me? Young son, it argues a distempered head So soon to bid “Good morrow” to thy bed. Care keeps his watch in every old man’s eye, And, where care lodges, sleep will never lie; But where unbruisèd youth with unstuffed brain Doth couch his limbs, there golden sleep doth reign. Therefore thy earliness doth me assure Thou art uproused with some distemp’rature, Or, if not so, then here I hit it right: Our Romeo hath not been in bed tonight.
God pardon sin! Wast thou with Rosaline?
That last is true. The sweeter rest was mine.
With Rosaline, my ghostly father? No. I have forgot that name and that name’s woe.
That’s my good son. But where hast thou been then?