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The Anglish Moot

Shakespeare's "Now is the Winter"

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Now is the winter of our ungladdening
Made heavenly summer by this sun of York;
And all the clouds that lowered upon our house
Are now in the deep bosom of the waters buried.
Now are our brows bound with winning wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern war-cries changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful trods to winsome twirlings.
Grim visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds
To fright the ferrows of fearful fiends,
He skips nimbly in a lady's chamber
To the lewdful queming of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's awesomeness
To strut before a wanton moseying maiden;
I, that am shortailed of this fair deeming,
Cheated of mark by unbuilding whatness,
Misshapen, unfulfilled, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and untrendy
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
Why, I, in this weak piping time of frith,
Have no queme to kill time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
And sway on mine own misshapenness:
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am minded to show a fiend
And hate the idle glees of these days.
Plots have I laid, beginnings freechenful,
By drunken soothsayings, quotes and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence and the king
In deadly hate the one against the other:
And if King Edward be as true and fair
As I am crafty, false and cheatful,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up,
About a soothsaying, which says that 'G'
Of Edward's erve the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul: here Clarence comes.

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