Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
Hesitation
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
(From Macbeth.)

  Lady Macbeth.—Yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o’ the milk of human kindness,
To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great;
Art not without ambition; but without
The illness should attend it. What thou wouldst highly,        5
That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false,
And yet wouldst wrongly win; thou’dst have, great Glamis,
That which cries, Thus thou must do, if thou have it;
And that which rather thou dost fear to do,
Than wishest should be undone. Hie thee hither,        10
That I may pour my spirits in thine ear;
And chastise with the valor of my tongue
All that impedes thee from the golden round,
Which fate and metaphysical aid doth seem
To have thee crowned withal.        15
*        *        *        *        *
(From Hamlet.)

                    THIS army
Led by a delicate and tender prince,
Whose spirit, with divine ambition puffed,
Makes mouths at the invisible event,
Exposing what is mortal and unsure        20
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,
Even for an egg-shell.
 
 
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