Then treasons make me wish myself a beggar,
And so I am: then crushing penury
Persuades me I was better when a king;
Then am I king'd again; and by and by 36
Think that I am unking'd by Bolingbroke,
And am nothing: but whate'er I be,
Nor I nor any man that but man is
With nothing shall be pleas'd, till he be eas'd 40
With being nothing. The music plays.
Music do I hear?
Ha, ha! keep time. How sour sweet music is
When time is broke and no kept!
So is it in the music of men's lives. 44
And here have I the of ear
To time broke in a disorder'd string;
But for the concord of my state and time
Had not an ear to hear my true time broke. 48
I wasted time, and now doth time waste me;
For now hath time made me his numbering :
My thoughts are minutes, and with sighs they
Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch, 52
Whereto my finger, like a dial's point,
Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears.
Now sir, the sound that tells what hour it is
Are clamorous groans, that strike upon my heart 56
Which is the bell: so sighs and tears and groans
Show minutes, times, and hours; but my time
Runs posting on in Bolingbroke's proud joy,
While I stand fooling here, his o' the clock. 60
This music mads me: let it sound no more;
38 straight: immediately
43 proportion: rhythm
45 daintiness: fastidiousness
46 check: reprove
50 clock; cf. n.
51 jar: cause to tick, or indicate by ticking
60 Jack: automaton striking the hours [at St. Dunstan's]