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.
 
Antony and the Soothsayer
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
(See full text.)

  Antony.—Say to me,
Whose fortunes shall rise higher; Cæsar’s, or mine?
  Soothsayer.—Cæsar’s.
Therefore, O Antony, stay not by his side:
Thy daemon, that’s thy spirit which keeps thee, is        5
Noble, courageous, high, unmatchable,
Where Cæsar’s is not; but near him, thy angel
Becomes a Fear, as being o’erpowered; therefore
Make space enough between you.
  Ant.—Speak this no more.        10
  Soothsayer.—To none but thee; no more, but when to thee.
If thou dost play with him at any game,
Thou art sure to lose; and of that natural luck,
He beats thee ’gainst the odds; thy lustre thickens,
When he shines by: I say again, thy spirit        15
Is all afraid to govern thee near him;
But, be away, ’tis noble.
  Ant.—Get thee gone:
Say to Ventidius, I would speak with him:
[Exit Soothsayer.]
He shall to Parthia.—Be it art, or hap,
        20
He hath spoken true: the very dice obey him;
And, in our sports, my better cunning faints
Under his chance: if we draw lots, he speeds:
His cocks do win the battles still of mine,
When it is all to nought; and his quails ever        25
Beat mine, inhooped at odds.
 
 
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