Careful Words

feature (n.)

feature (v.)

Now is the winter of our discontent

Made glorious summer by this sun of York,

And all the clouds that loured upon our house

In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths,

Our bruised arms hung up for monuments,

Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,

Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.

Grim-visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front;

And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds

To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,

He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber

To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.

But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,

Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;

I, that am rudely stamped, and want love's majesty

To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;

I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion,

Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,

Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time

Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,

And that so lamely and unfashionable

That dogs bark at me as I halt by them,—

Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,

Have no delight to pass away the time,

Unless to spy my shadow in the sun.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): King Richard III. Act i. Sc. 1.

What outward form and feature are

He guesseth but in part;

But what within is good and fair

He seeth with the heart.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834): To a Lady, Offended by a Sportive Observation.

So scented the grim Feature, and upturn'd

His nostril wide into the murky air,

Sagacious of his quarry from so far.

John Milton (1608-1674): Paradise Lost. Book x. Line 279.

What more felicitie can fall to creature

Than to enjoy delight with libertie,

And to be lord of all the workes of Nature,

To raine in th' aire from earth to highest skie,

To feed on flowres and weeds of glorious feature.

Edmund Spenser (1553-1599): Muiopotmos: or, The Fate of the Butterflie. Line 209.