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  • Title: Love's Labor's Lost (Quarto 1, 1598)
  • Editor: Timothy Billings

  • Copyright Timothy Billings. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Timothy Billings
    Not Peer Reviewed

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

    Thus dost thou heare the nemean Lion roare,
    Gainst thee thou Lambe, that standest as his pray:
    1070Submissiue fall his princely feete before,
    And he from forrage will incline to play.
    But if thou striue (poore soule) what art thou then?
    Foode for his rage, repasture for his den.
    Quee. What plume of fethers is he that indited this letter?
    1075What vaine? What Wethercock? Did you euer heare better?
    Boy. I am much deceiued, but I remember the stile.
    Quee. Els your memorie is bad, going ore it erewhile.
    Boy. This Armado is a Spaniard that keepes here in court,
    1080A Phantasime a Monarcho, and one that makes sport
    To the Prince and his Booke-mates.
    Quee. Thou fellow, a worde.
    Who gaue thee this letter?
    Clow. I tolde you, my Lord.
    1085Quee. To whom shouldst thou giue it?
    Clow. From my Lord to my Ladie.
    Quee. From which Lord, to which Ladie?
    Clow. From my Lord Berowne, a good Maister of mine,
    To a Ladie of France, that he calde Rosaline.
    1090Quee. Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come Lords away.
    Here sweete, put vp this, twilbe thine annother day.
    Boy. Who is the shooter? Who is the shooter?
    Rosa. Shall I teach you to know.
    1095Boy. I my continent of beautie.
    Rosa. Why she that beares the Bow. Finely put off.
    Boy. My Lady goes to kill hornes, but if thou marrie,
    hang me by the necke, if horns that yeere miscarrie.
    Finely put on.
    1100Rosa. Well then I am the shooter.
    Boy. And who is your Deare?
    Rosa. If we choose by the hornes, your selfe come not
    neare. Finely put on in deede.
    Maria. You still wrangle with her Boyet, and she strikes
    1105at the brow.
    Boyet. But she her selfe is hit lower: Haue I hit her now?
    Rosa. Shall I come vpon thee with an olde saying, that
    called Loues Labor's lost.