Tuesday, April 12, 2011


On Keeping a Stiff Upper Lip

Henry King (1592–1669), Silence:
Peace my hearts blab, be ever dumb,
Sorrowes speak loud without a tongue:
And my perplexed thoughts forbear
To breath your selves in any ear:
  Tis scarce a true or manly grief
  Which gaddes abroad to find relief.

Was ever stomack that lackt meat
Nourisht by what another eat?
Can I bestow it, or will woe
Forsake me when I bid it goe?
  Then Ile believe a wounded breast
  May heal by shrift, and purchase rest.

But if imparting it I do
Not ease my self, but trouble two,
'Tis better I alone possess
My treasure of unhappiness:
  Engrossing that which is my own
  No longer then it is unknown.

If silence be a kind of death,
He kindles grief who gives it breath;
But let it rak't in embers lye,
On thine own hearth 'twill quickly dye;
  And spight of fate, that very wombe
  Which carries it, shall prove its tombe.
Related posts: Grosse Seelen Dulden Still; Hiding Troubles; Nietzsche on Emotional Incontinence; Buckled Lips; Emotional Incontinence; Euripidea; Hostile Laughter; Hostile Laughter in Euripides' Medea; Icy Laughter; Notes to Myself; On Concealing One's Misfortunes; Quotations about Complaints.

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