All's Well that Ends Well (excerpts): Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie

Original Text: 

Mr William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies (London: Printed by Isaac Jaggard and Ed. Blount, 1623): sig. V2v. STC (2nd ed.) 22273

3Gives us free scope, only doth backward pull
6That makes me see, and cannot feed my eye?
7The mightiest space in fortune Nature brings
10That weigh their pains in sense and do suppose
11What hath been cannot be. Whoever strove
12To show her merit that did miss her love?

Notes

1] In her soliloquy concluding the play's first scene, Helena contemplates the prospect of a love relationship with the remote and unaffectionate aristocrat Bertram.
remedies: cures for life's ills. Back to Line
2] fated sky: metaphysical force of destiny. Back to Line
4] dull: slow-witted; tentative in action. Back to Line
5] mounts my love so high: elevates my beloved socially. Back to Line
8] The mightiest space in fortune ... kiss like native things: beings who share natural affection find ways to traverse the social gaps that separate them at birth. Back to Line
9] Impossible be strange attempts ... cannot be:extraordinary efforts to break through social barriers will fail if one fixates on the potential negative consequences and ignores past successes. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Christopher Matusiak
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