The Winter’s Tale

We were, fair queen,
Two lads that thought there were no more behind
But such a day to-morrow as to-day,
And to be boy eternal.
Is whispering nothing?
Is leaning cheek to cheek? is meeting noses?
Kissing with inside lip? stopping the career
Of laughter with a sigh? — A note infallible
Of breaking honesty; — horsing foot on foot?
Skulking in corners? wishing clocks more swift?
Hours, minutes? noon, midnight? and all eyes
Blind with the pin and web, but their, their only,
That would unseen be wicked? is this nothing?
Why, then, the world and all that’s in’t is nothing;
The covering sky is nothing; Bohemia nothing;
My wife is nothing; nor nothing have these nothings,
If this be nothing.
Time: I, — that please some, try all’ boy joy and terror
Of good and bad; that make and unfold error,—
Now take upon me, in the name of Time,
To use my wings.
o’er and o’er divides him
‘Twixt his unkindness and his kindness, — the one
He chides to hell, and bids the other grow
Faster than thought or time.
A saint-like sorrow
If, one by one, you wedded all the world,
Or from the all that are took something good,
To make a perfect woman, she you killed
Would be unparalleled.
Stars, stars
And all eyes else dead coals!
I speak amazedly; and it becomes
My marvel and my message.