Delightful readings of poems by obscure and well-known authors.


  • The Taming of the Shrew 13 by William Shakespeare

    The Taming of the Shrew 13 by William Shakespeare


    ACT III.SCENE II. Padua. Before BAPTISTA'S houseEnter BAPTISTA, GREMIO, TRANIO as LUCENTIO, KATHERINA, BIANCA,LUCENTIO as CAMBIO, and ATTENDANTS BAPTISTA. [To TRANIO] Signior Lucentio, this is the 'pointed day That Katherine and Petruchio should be married, And yet we hear not of our son-in-law. What will be said? What mockery will it be To want the bridegroom when the priest attends To speak the ceremonial rites of marriage! What says Lucentio to this shame of ours? KATHERINA. No shame but mine; I must, forsooth, be forc'd To give my hand, oppos'd against my heart, Unto a mad-brain rudesby, full of spleen, Who woo'd in haste and means to wed at leisure. I told you, I, he was a frantic fool, Hiding his bitter jests in blunt behaviour; And, to be noted for a merry man, He'll woo a thousand, 'point the day of marriage, Make friends invited, and proclaim the banns; Yet never means to wed where he hath woo'd. Now must the world point at poor Katherine, And say 'Lo, there is mad P

  • The Taming of the Shrew 12 by William Shakespeare

    The Taming of the Shrew 12 by William Shakespeare


    ACT III. SCENE I. Padua. BAPTISTA'S houseEnter LUCENTIO as CAMBIO, HORTENSIO as LICIO, and BIANCA LUCENTIO. Fiddler, forbear; you grow too forward, sir. Have you so soon forgot the entertainment Her sister Katherine welcome'd you withal? HORTENSIO. But, wrangling pedant, this is The patroness of heavenly harmony. Then give me leave to have prerogative; And when in music we have spent an hour, Your lecture shall have leisure for as much. LUCENTIO. Preposterous ass, that never read so far To know the cause why music was ordain'd! Was it not to refresh the mind of man After his studies or his usual pain? Then give me leave to read philosophy, And while I pause serve in your harmony. HORTENSIO. Sirrah, I will not bear these braves of thine. BIANCA. Why, gentlemen, you do me double wrong To strive for that which resteth in my choice. I am no breeching scholar in the schools, I'll not be tied to hours nor 'pointed times, But learn my lessons as I please myself. And to cut off all str

  • The Taming of the Shrew 11 by William Shakespeare

    The Taming of the Shrew 11 by William Shakespeare


    Re-enter BAPTISTA, GREMIO, and TRANIO PETRUCHIO. Here comes your father. Never make denial; I must and will have Katherine to my wife. BAPTISTA. Now, Signior Petruchio, how speed you with my daughter? PETRUCHIO. How but well, sir? how but well? It were impossible I should speed amiss. BAPTISTA. Why, how now, daughter Katherine, in your dumps? KATHERINA. Call you me daughter? Now I promise you You have show'd a tender fatherly regard To wish me wed to one half lunatic, A mad-cap ruffian and a swearing Jack, That thinks with oaths to face the matter out. PETRUCHIO. Father, 'tis thus: yourself and all the world That talk'd of her have talk'd amiss of her. If she be curst, it is for policy, For,she's not froward, but modest as the dove; She is not hot, but temperate as the morn; For patience she will prove a second Grissel, And Roman Lucrece for her chastity. And, to conclude, we have 'greed so well together That upon Sunday is the wedding-day. KATHERINA. I'll see thee hang'd on Sunday

  • The Taming of the Shrew 10 by William Shakespeare

    The Taming of the Shrew 10 by William Shakespeare


    Exit SERVANT leading HORTENSIO carrying the lute and LUCENTIO with the books BAPTISTA. We will go walk a little in the orchard, And then to dinner. You are passing welcome, And so I pray you all to think yourselves. PETRUCHIO. Signior Baptista, my business asketh haste, And every day I cannot come to woo. You knew my father well, and in him me, Left solely heir to all his lands and goods, Which I have bettered rather than decreas'd. Then tell me, if I get your daughter's love, What dowry shall I have with her to wife? BAPTISTA. After my death, the one half of my lands And, in possession, twenty thousand crowns. PETRUCHIO. And for that dowry, I'll assure her of Her widowhood, be it that she survive me, In all my lands and leases whatsoever. Let specialities be therefore drawn between us, That covenants may be kept on either hand. BAPTISTA. Ay, when the special thing is well obtain'd, That is, her love; for that is all in all. PETRUCHIO. Why, that i

  • Summons to Love by William Drummond

    Summons to Love by William Drummond


    Phoebus, arise! And paint the sable skies With azure, white, and red: Rouse Memnon's mother from her Tithon's bed That she may thy career with roses spread: The nightingales thy coming each-where sing: Make an eternal Spring! Give life to this dark world which lieth dead; Spread forth thy golden hair In larger locks than thou wast wont before, And emperor-like decore With diadem of pearl thy temples fair: Chase hence the ugly night Which serves but to make dear thy glorious light —This is that happy morn That day, long-wishèd day Of all my life so dark, (If cruel stars have not my ruin sworn And fates my hopes betray), Which, purely white, deserves An everlasting diamond should it mark. This is the morn should bring unto this grove My Love, to hear and recompense my love. Fair King, who all preserves, But show thy blushing beams, And thou two sweeter eyes Shalt see than those which by Peneus' streams Did once thy heart surprise. Now, Flora, deck thyself in fairest gui

  • Spring by Thomas Nash

    Spring by Thomas Nash


    Spring, the sweet Spring, is the year's pleasant king; Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring, Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing, Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo! The palm and may make country houses gay, Lambs frisk and play, the shepherds pipe all day, And we hear aye birds tune this merry lay, Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo. The fields breathe sweet, the daisies kiss our feet, Young lovers meet, old wives a-sunning sit, In every street these tunes our ears do greet, Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo! Spring! the sweet Spring!

  • The Taming of the Shrew 09 by William Shakespeare

    The Taming of the Shrew 09 by William Shakespeare


    ACT Il. SCENE I. Padua. BAPTISTA'S houseEnter KATHERINA and BIANCA BIANCA. Good sister, wrong me not, nor wrong yourself, To make a bondmaid and a slave of me- That I disdain; but for these other gawds, Unbind my hands, I'll pull them off myself, Yea, all my raiment, to my petticoat; Or what you will command me will I do, So well I know my duty to my elders. KATHERINA. Of all thy suitors here I charge thee tell Whom thou lov'st best. See thou dissemble not. BIANCA. Believe me, sister, of all the men alive I never yet beheld that special face Which I could fancy more than any other. KATHERINA. Minion, thou liest. Is't not Hortensio? BIANCA. If you affect him, sister, here I swear I'll plead for you myself but you shall have him. KATHERINA. O then, belike, you fancy riches more: You will have Gremio to keep you fair. BIANCA. Is it for him you do envy me so? Nay, then you jest; and now I well perceive You have but jested with me all this while. I prithee, sister Kate, untie my hands.

  • The Taming of the Shrew 08 by William Shakespeare

    The Taming of the Shrew 08 by William Shakespeare


    GRUMIO. Will he woo her? Ay, or I'll hang her. PETRUCHIO. Why came I hither but to that intent? Think you a little din can daunt mine ears? Have I not in my time heard lions roar? Have I not heard the sea, puff'd up with winds, Rage like an angry boar chafed with sweat? Have I not heard great ordnance in the field, And heaven's artillery thunder in the skies? Have I not in a pitched battle heard Loud 'larums, neighing steeds, and trumpets' clang? And do you tell me of a woman's tongue, That gives not half so great a blow to hear As will a chestnut in a fariner's fire? Tush! tush! fear boys with bugs. GRUMIO. For he fears none. GREMIO. Hortensio, hark: This gentleman is happily arriv'd, My mind presumes, for his own good and ours. HORTENSIO. I promis'd we would be contributors And bear his charge of wooing, whatsoe'er. GREMIO. And so we will- provided that he win her. GRUMIO. I would I were as sure of a good dinner.Enter TRANIO, bravely apparelled as LUCENTIO, and BIONDELLO TRANIO

  • The Taming of the Shrew 07 by William Shakespeare

    The Taming of the Shrew 07 by William Shakespeare


    HORTENSIO. Her father is Baptista Minola, An affable and courteous gentleman; Her name is Katherina Minola, Renown'd in Padua for her scolding tongue. PETRUCHIO. I know her father, though I know not her; And he knew my deceased father well. I will not sleep, Hortensio, till I see her; And therefore let me be thus bold with you To give you over at this first encounter, Unless you will accompany me thither. GRUMIO. I pray you, sir, let him go while the humour lasts. O' my word, and she knew him as well as I do, she would think scolding would do little good upon him. She may perhaps call him half a score knaves or so. Why, that's nothing; and he begin once, he'll rail in his rope-tricks. I'll tell you what, sir: an she stand him but a little, he will throw a figure in her face, and so disfigure her with it that she shall have no more eyes to see withal than a cat. You know him not, sir. HORTENSIO. Tarry, Petruchio, I must go with thee, For in Baptista's keep my treasure is. He h

  • The Taming of the Shrew 06 by William Shakespeare

    The Taming of the Shrew 06 by William Shakespeare


    ACT I. SCENE II. Padua. Before HORTENSIO'S houseEnter PETRUCHIO and his man GRUMIOPETRUCHIO. Verona, for a while I take my leave,To see my friends in Padua; but of allMy best beloved and approved friend,Hortensio; and I trow this is his house.Here, sirrah Grumio, knock, I say.GRUMIO. Knock, sir! Whom should I knock?Is there any man has rebus'd your worship?PETRUCHIO. Villain, I say, knock me here soundly.GRUMIO. Knock you here, sir? Why, sir, what am I, sir, that Ishould knock you here, sir?PETRUCHIO. Villain, I say, knock me at this gate,And rap me well, or I'll knock your knave's pate.GRUMIO. My master is grown quarrelsome. I should knock you first,And then I know after who comes by the worst.PETRUCHIO. Will it not be?Faith, sirrah, an you'll not knock I'll ring it;I'll try how you can sol-fa, and sing it.[He wrings him by the ears]GRUMIO. Help, masters, help! My master is mad.PETRUCHIO. Now knock when I bid you, sirrah villain!Enter HORTENSIOHORTENSIO. How now! what's the matter? My old friend Grumio and m

  • The Taming of the Shrew 05 by William Shakespeare

    The Taming of the Shrew 05 by William Shakespeare


    BAPTISTA. ... Bianca, get you in;And let it not displease thee, good Bianca,For I will love thee ne'er the less, my girl.KATHERINA. A pretty peat! it is bestPut finger in the eye, an she knew why.BIANCA. Sister, content you in my discontent.Sir, to your pleasure humbly I subscribe;My books and instruments shall be my company,On them to look, and practise by myself.LUCENTIO. Hark, Tranio, thou mayst hear Minerva speak!HORTENSIO. Signior Baptista, will you be so strange?Sorry am I that our good will effectsBianca's grief.GREMIO. Why will you mew her up,Signior Baptista, for this fiend of hell,And make her bear the penance of her tongue?BAPTISTA. Gentlemen, content ye; I am resolv'd.Go in, Bianca. Exit BIANCAAnd for I know she taketh most delightIn music, instruments, and poetry,Schoolmasters will I keep within my houseFit to instruct her youth. If you, Hortensio,Or, Signior Gremio, you, know any such,Prefer them hither; for to cunning menI will be very kind, and liberalTo mine own children in good bringing-up;A

  • The Taming of the Shrew 04 by William Shakespeare

    The Taming of the Shrew 04 by William Shakespeare


    Enter the PAGE as a lady, with ATTENDANTSSLY. I thank thee; thou shalt not lose by it.PAGE. How fares my noble lord?SLY. Marry, I fare well; for here is cheer enough.Where is my wife?PAGE. Here, noble lord; what is thy will with her?SLY. Are you my wife, and will not call me husband?My men should call me 'lord'; I am your goodman.PAGE. My husband and my lord, my lord and husband;I am your wife in all obedience.SLY. I know it well. What must I call her?LORD. Madam.SLY. Al'ce madam, or Joan madam?LORD. Madam, and nothing else; so lords call ladies.SLY. Madam wife, they say that I have dream'dAnd slept above some fifteen year or more.PAGE. Ay, and the time seems thirty unto me,Being all this time abandon'd from your bed.SLY. 'Tis much. Servants, leave me and her alone.Exeunt SERVANTSMadam, undress you, and come now to bed.PAGE. Thrice noble lord, let me entreat of youTo pardon me yet for a night or two;Or, if not so, until the sun be set.For your physicians have expressly charg'd,In peril to incur your former ma

  • The Taming of the Shrew 03 by William Shakespeare

    The Taming of the Shrew 03 by William Shakespeare


    SCENE II.A bedchamber in the LORD'S houseEnter aloft SLY, with ATTENDANTS; some with apparel, basinand ewer, and other appurtenances; and LORDSLY. For God's sake, a pot of small ale.FIRST SERVANT. Will't please your lordship drink a cup of sack?SECOND SERVANT. Will't please your honour taste of these conserves?THIRD SERVANT. What raiment will your honour wear to-day?SLY. I am Christophero Sly; call not me 'honour' nor 'lordship.' Ine'er drank sack in my life; and if you give me any conserves,give me conserves of beef. Ne'er ask me what raiment I'll wear,for I have no more doublets than backs, no more stockings thanlegs, nor no more shoes than feet- nay, sometime more feet thanshoes, or such shoes as my toes look through the overleather.LORD. Heaven cease this idle humour in your honour!O, that a mighty man of such descent,Of such possessions, and so high esteem,Should be infused with so foul a spirit!SLY. What, would you make me mad? Am not I Christopher Sly, oldSly's son of Burton Heath; by birth a pedlar, b

  • The Taming of the Shrew 02 by William Shakespeare

    The Taming of the Shrew 02 by William Shakespeare


    LORD. Take him up gently, and to bed with him; And each one to his office when he wakes. [SLY is carried out. A trumpet sounds] Sirrah, go see what trumpet 'tis that sounds- Exit SERVANT Belike some noble gentleman that means, Travelling some journey, to repose him here.Re-enter a SERVINGMAN How now! who is it? SERVANT. An't please your honour, players That offer service to your lordship. LORD. Bid them come near.Enter PLAYERS Now, fellows, you are welcome. PLAYERS. We thank your honour. LORD. Do you intend to stay with me to-night? PLAYER. So please your lordship to accept our duty. LORD. With all my heart. This fellow I remember Since once he play'd a farmer's eldest son; 'Twas where you woo'd the gentlewoman so well. I have forgot your name; but, sure, that part Was aptly fitted and naturally perform'd. PLAYER. I think 'twas Soto that your honour means. LORD. 'Tis very true; thou didst it ex

  • The Taming of the Shrew 01 by William Shakespeare

    The Taming of the Shrew 01 by William Shakespeare


    THE TAMING OF THE SHREWby William Shakespeare1594Dramatis PersonaePersons in the InductionA LORDCHRISTOPHER SLY, a tinkerHOSTESSPAGEPLAYERSHUNTSMENSERVANTSBAPTISTA MINOLA, a gentleman of PaduaVINCENTIO, a Merchant of PisaLUCENTIO, son to Vincentio, in love with BiancaPETRUCHIO, a gentleman of Verona, a suitor to KatherinaSuitors to BiancaGREMIOHORTENSIOServants to LucentioTRANIOBIONDELLOServants to PetruchioGRUMIOCURTISA PEDANTDaughters to BaptistaKATHERINA, the shrewBIANCAA WIDOWTailor, Haberdasher, and Servants attending on Baptista andPetruchioSCENE: Padua, and PETRUCHIO'S house in the countrySC_1INDUCTION. SCENE I.Before an alehouse on a heathEnter HOSTESS and SLYSLY. I'll pheeze you, in faith.HOSTESS. A pair of stocks, you rogue!SLY. Y'are a baggage; the Slys are no rogues. Look in thechronicles: we came in with Richard Conqueror. Therefore,paucaspallabris; let the world slide. Sessa!HOSTESS. You will not pay for the glasses you have burst?SLY. No, not a denier. Go by, Saint Jeronimy, go to thy coldbedan

  • A Book of Nonsense, part 9 by Edward Lear

    A Book of Nonsense, part 9 by Edward Lear


    There was an Old Person of Spain,Who hated all trouble and pain;So he sate on a chairwith his feet in the air,That umbrageous Old Person of Spain.There was an Old Man who said, “Well!Will nobody answer this bell?I have pulled day and night,till my hair has grown white,But nobody answers this bell!”There was an Old Man with an Owl,Who continued to bother and howl;He sat on a rail,and imbibed bitter ale,Which refreshed that Old Man and his Owl.There was an Old Man in a casement,Who held up his hands in amazement;When they said, “Sir, you’ll fall!”he replied, “Not at all!”That incipient Old Man in a casement.There was an Old Person of Ewell,Who chiefly subsisted on gruel;But to make it more nice,he inserted some Mice,Which refreshed that Old Person of Ewell.There was an Old Man of Peru.Who never knew what he should do;So he tore off his hair,and behaved like a bear,That intrinsic Old Man of Peru.There was an Old Man with a beard,Who said, “It is just as I feared!--Two Owls and a Hen,four Larks and a Wren,Have al

  • A Book of Nonsense, part 8 by Edward Lear

    A Book of Nonsense, part 8 by Edward Lear


    There was a Young Lady of Parma,Whose conduct grew calmer and calmer:When they said, “Are you dumb?”she merely said, “Hum!”That provoking Young Lady of Parma.There was an Old Person of Sparta,Who had twenty-five sons and one “darter;”He fed them on Snails,and weighed them in scales,That wonderful Person of Sparta.There was an Old Man on whose noseMost birds of the air could repose;But they all flew awayat the closing of day,Which relieved that Old Man and his nose.There was a Young Lady of Turkey,Who wept when the weather was murky;When the day turned out fine,she ceased to repine,That capricious Young Lady of Turkey.There was an Old Man of AostaWho possessed a large Cow, but he lost her;But they said, “Don’t you seeshe has run up a tree,You invidious Old Man of Aosta?”There was a Young Person of Crete,Whose toilette was far from complete;She dressed in a sackspickle-speckled with black,That ombliferous Person of Crete.There was a Young Lady of Clare,Who was madly pursued by a Bear;When she found she was tire

  • A Book of Nonsense, part 7 by Edward Lear

    A Book of Nonsense, part 7 by Edward Lear


    There was an Old Man of the West,Who never could get any rest;So they set him to spinon his nose and his chin,Which cured that Old Man of the West.There was an Old Person of CheadleWas put in the stocks by the BeadleFor stealing some pigs,some coats, and some wigs,That horrible person of Cheadle.There was an Old Person of Anerley,Whose conduct was strange and unmannerly;He rushed down the Strandwith a Pig in each hand,But returned in the evening to Anerley.There was a Young Lady of Wales,Who caught a large Fish without scales;When she lifted her hook,she exclaimed, “Only look!”That ecstatic Young Lady of Wales.There was a Young Lady of Welling,Whose praise all the world was a-telling;She played on the harp,and caught several Carp,That accomplished Young Lady of Welling.There was an Old Person of Tartary,Who divided his jugular artery;But he screeched to his Wife,and she said, “Oh, my life!Your death will be felt by all Tartary!”There was an Old Man of Whitehaven,Who danced a quadrille with a Raven;But they sa

  • A Book of Nonsense, part 6 by Edward Lear

    A Book of Nonsense, part 6 by Edward Lear


    There was an Old Man who said, “HowShall I flee from this horrible Cow?I will sit on this stile,and continue to smile,Which may soften the heart of that Cow.”There was a Young Lady of Troy,Whom several large flies did annoy;Some she killed with a thump,some she drowned at the pump,And some she took with her to Troy.There was a Young Lady of Hull,Who was chased by a virulent Bull;But she seized on a spade,and called out, “Who’s afraid?”Which distracted that virulent Bull.There was an Old Person of Dutton,Whose head was as small as a button;So to make it look bighe purchased a wig,And rapidly rushed about Dutton.There was an Old Man who said, “Hush!I perceive a young bird in this bush!”When they said, “Is it small?”he replied, “Not at all;It is four times as big as the bush!”There was a Young Lady of Russia,Who screamed so that no one could hush her;Her screams were extreme,--no one heard such a screamAs was screamed by that Lady of Russia.There was a Young Lady of Tyre,Who swept the loud chords of a lyre;At th

  • A Book of Nonsense, part 5 by Edward Lear

    A Book of Nonsense, part 5 by Edward Lear


    There was an Old Person of Rhodes,Who strongly objected to toads;He paid several cousinsto catch them by dozens,That futile Old Person of Rhodes.There was an Old Man of the South,Who had an immoderate mouth;But in swallowing a dishthat was quite full of Fish,He was choked, that Old Man of the South.There was an Old Man of Melrose,Who walked on the tips of his toes;But they said, “It ain’t pleasantto see you at present,You stupid Old Man of Melrose.”There was an Old Man of the Dee,Who was sadly annoyed by a Flea;When he said, “I will scratch it!”they gave him a hatchet,Which grieved that Old Man of the Dee.There was a Young Lady of Lucca,Whose lovers completely forsook her;She ran up a tree,and said “Fiddle-de-dee!”Which embarrassed the people of Lucca.There was an Old Man of Coblenz,The length of whose legs was immense;He went with one prancefrom Turkey to France,That surprising Old Man of Coblenz.There was an Old Man of Bohemia,Whose daughter was christened Euphemia;But one day, to his grief,she married a th

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