Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Timothy Billings
Not Peer Reviewed

Love's Labor's Lost (Quarto 1, 1598)


Sole Emperator and great generall
Of trotting Parrators (O my litle hart.)
And I to be a Corporall of his fielde,
And weare his coloures like a Tumblers hoope.
955What? I loue, I sue, I seeke a wife,
A woman that is like a Iermane Cloake,
Still a repairing: euer out of frame,
And neuer going a right, being a Watch:
But being watcht, that it may still go right.
960Nay to be periurde, which is worst of all:
And among three to loue the worst of all,
A whitly wanton, with a veluet brow,
With two pitch balles stucke in her face for eyes.
I and by heauen, one that will do the deede,
965Though Argus were her eunuch and her garde.
And I to sigh for her, to watch for her,
To pray for her, go to: it is a plague
That Cupid will impose for my neglect,
Of his almightie dreadfull little might.
970Well, I will loue, write, sigh, pray, shue, grone,
Some men must loue my Ladie, and some Ione.
Enter the Princesse, a Forrester, her Ladyes,
and her Lordes
975Quee. Was that the king that spurd his horse so hard,
Against the steepe vp rising of the hill?
Forr. I know not, but I thinke it was not he.
Quee. Who ere a was, a showd a mounting minde.
Well Lords, to day we shall haue our dispatch,
980Ore Saterday we will returne to Fraunce.
Then Forrester my friend, Where is the Bush
That we must stand and play the murtherer in?
Forr. Heereby vpon the edge of yonder Coppice,
A Stand where you may make the fairest shoote.
985Qnee. I thanke my Beautie, I am faire that shoote,
And thereupon thou speakst the fairest shoote.
Forr. Pardon me Madam, for I meant not so.
D2
Qnee.
A pleasant conceited Comedie: