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THAT WOMEN ARE BUT MEN'S SHADOWS. 15
Follow a shadow, it still flies you;
Seem to fly it, it will pursue:
Let her alone, she will court you.
At morn and even shades are longest;
At noon they are or short, or none: So men at weakest, they are strongest.
But grant us perfect, they're not known. Say, are not women truly, then, Styled but the shadows of us men ?
Ladies, and of them the best?
Take heed, sickness, what you do,
15 The origin of this song is thus related hy Drummond: “Pembrok and his Laily discoursing, the Earl said, “The woemen were men's shadowes,' and she maintained them. Both appealing to Jonson, he affirmed it true; for which my Laily gave a pennance to prove it in verse; hence his epigrame.”
Live not we, as all thy stalls,
And this age will build no more. 'Pray thee, feed contented then, Sickness, only on us men;
Or, if needs thy lust will taste
Livers, round about the town.
What should, yet, thy palate please ?
Dare entail their loves on any,
Play away health, wealth, and fame.
And I will pledge with mine;
And I'll not look for wine.
Doth ask a drink divine :
I would not change for thine.
I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
Not so much honoring thee,
It could not withered be.
18 Cumberland has traced the leading ideas of this familiar song to some scattered passages in the love letters of Philostratus. But in making these stray thoughts his own, Jonson has transniuted them into gold ; showing, at the same time, consunimate art by connecting in an obvious sequence images which are entirely disconnected in the original. - B.
But thou thereon didst only breathe,
And sent'st it back to me:
Not of itself, but thee.
And must I sing ? 18 what subject shall I choose ?
17 This piece, which is called by the editors Præludium, has no title in the folio.
18 Gifford conjectures that this sportive Præludium, and the admirable Epode to which it forms an introduction, must have been among the earliest of Jonson's works, as he found them prefixed to a volume called Lore's Martyr, or Rosalin's Complaint, published in 1601. They are immediately sueeeelel in the same volume by the following pieces, “ both," says Gifford,
as it would seem, by one author, though his name does not appear to them.” The evidence, internal and external, is against this presumption. The pieces are not in the manner of Jonson, who never wrote in this flippant style; and it is only reasonable to suppose that if they were his, he would have included them in this collection, together with the Preludium and the Epode, unless he was unwilling to acknowledge thein. Upon these points the reader will judge for himself. – B.
THE PHENIX ANALYZED.
Now, after all, let no man
Receive it for a fable,
If a bird so amiable
That nature fairest creature
Prove of his mistress' feature
Hercules ? alas, his bones are yet sore
Retire, and say her graces