VERBS, MOODS OF:-- SUBJUNCTIVE: used optatively or imperativelySubjunctive used optatively or imperatively. This was more common then than in modern poetry. “Who's first in worth, the same be first in place.” B. J. Cy.'s Rev. v. 1. (May)
“Your own good thoughts excuse me, and farewell.
“O heavens, that they were living both in Naples,
The king and queen there! (provided) that they were, I wish
Myself were mudded in the oozy bed.
“No man inveigh against the wither'd flower,
But chide rough winter that the flower hath kill'd.
The juxtaposition of an imperative sometimes indicates the imperative use.
“In thy fats our cares be drowned,
With thy grapes our hairs be crowned.
“Touch you the sourest points with sweetest terms,
Nor (let) curstness grow to the matter.
“Good now, sit down, and tell me he that knows, &c.
“Run one before, and let the queen know.” Ib. iv. 8. 1.
“Take Antony Octavia to his wife.
i.e. "Let any one but wish it, and we will sail seas in cockles." Sometimes only the context shows the imperative use:
“Thus time we waste, and longest leagues make short;
Sail seas in cockles, have an wish but for 't.
The "and" is superfluous, or else "question" is imperative, in
“For his passage,
(See that) The soldiers' music and the rites of war
Speak loudly for him.
“Question, your grace, the late ambassadors,
And you shall find.
“Hold out my horse and I will first be there.
On the other hand, "prove" is conditional (or "and" is omitted) in
“Then (see that) every soldier kill his prisoners.
Often it is impossible to tell whether we have an imperative with a vocative, or a subjunctive used optatively or conditionally.
“O my father!
Prove you that any man with me conversed,
Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death.
“Melt Egypt into Nile, and kindly creatures
Turn all to serpents.
“That I shall clear myself,
Lay all the weight y<*> can upon my patience,
I make as little doubt as, &c.
“Now to that name my courage prove my title.
“Sport and repose turn from me day and night.