King John

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But from the inward motion to deliver
Sweet, sweet, sweet poison for the age’s tooth
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He that perforce robs lions of their hearts
May easily win a woman’s.
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Shadowing their right under your wings of war:
I give you welcome with a powerless hand
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The shadow of myself form’d in her eye;
Which, being but the shadow of your son,
Becomes a sun, and makes your son a shadow:
I do protest I never lov’d myself
Till now infixed I beheld myself
Drawn in the flattering table of her eye.
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There is no sin but to be rich
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The sun’s o’ercast with blood: fair day, adieu!
Which is the side that I must go withal?
I am with both: each army hath a hand;
And in their rage, I having hold of both,
They whirl asunder and dismember me.
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And I will kiss thy detestable bones;
And put my eyeballs in thy vaulty brows;
And ring these fingers with thy household worms;
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O, that my tongue were in the thunder’s mouth!
Then with a passion would I shake the world
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Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale
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There is no sure foundation set on blood;
No certain life achiev’d by other’s death.
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The spirit of the time shall teach me speed.
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To break within the bloody house of life;
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Kneeling before this ruin of sweet life,
And breathing to his breathless excellence
The incense of a vow, a holy vow,
Never to taste the pleasures of the world,
Never to be infected with delight
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Be great in act, as you have been in thought;
Let not the world see fear and sad distrust
Govern the motion of a kingly eye:
Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire.
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