And for because the world is populous,
And here is not a creature but myself, 4
I cannot do it; yet I'll hammer it out.
My brain I'll the female to my soul;
My soul the father: and these two beget
A generation of thoughts, 8
And these same thoughts people this
In like the people of this world,
For no thought is contented. The better sort,
As thoughts of things divine, are intermix'd 12
With , and do set the itself
Against the :
As thus, ' '; and then again,
To thread the of a needle's eye.'
Thoughts tending to ambition, they do plot
Unlikely wonders; how these vain weak nails
May tear a passage through the flinty ribs 20
Of this hard world, my prison walls;
And, for they cannot, die in their own pride.
Thoughts tending to content flatter themselves
That they are not the first of fortune's slaves, 24
Nor shall not be the last; like beggars
Who sitting in the stocks ,
That many have and others must sit there:
And in this thought they find a kind of ease, 28
Bearing their own misfortunes on the back
Of such as have before endur'd the like.
Thus play I in one person many people,
And none contented: sometimes am I king; 32
6 prove: establish as
8 still-breeding: continually breeding
9 little world; cf. n.
10 humours: temperaments
13 scruples: doubts
13, 14 word: the Gospel
15, 16 Cf. St. Matthew 11. 28; 19. 14, 24
17 postern: small gate
21 ragged: rough
25 silly: poor
26 refuge their shame: cover their shame with the reflection