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THE SONNET.                              207
of the Shaksperian sonnet, is worthy of quotation, not only for its intrinsic beauty, but as illustrating the early development of the English form :
Since there's no help, come let us kiss and part;
Nay, I have done, you get no more of me ; And 1 am glad, yes, glad with all my heart,
That thus, so clearly, I myself can free. Shake hands for everócancel all our vowsó
And when we meet at any time again, Be it not seen in either of our brows,
That we one jot of former love retain. Now at the last gasp of Love's latest breath,
When, his pulse failing, Passion speechless lies, When Faith is kneeling by his bed of death,
And Innocence is closing up his eyes, Now, if thou wouldst, when all have given him over, From death to life thou might'st him yet recover.
In the hands of Shakspere the sonnet became the vehicle of poetic expression, differing in almost every respect from the Italian type. While con≠sisting of fourteen lines only, and maintaining the principle of unity of thought, the distinction of quatrain and sestet is altogether ignored, and the arrangement of the rhymes is entirely different. The Shaksperian sonnet is made up of three deca≠syllabic quatrains, rhyming alternately, followed and concluded by a couplet; thus :
a
c
e
b
d
f
gr
a
c
e
s
b
d
f
However critics may differ as to the superior melodic sweetness of the pure Italian form, there