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Where no one overbears nor plays the tyrant,
Enter Sir JOHN GATES.
Pem. I attend their pleasure.
[Exit PEMBROKE. Guil. Where is that piercing foresight can unfold Where all this mazy error will have end, And tell the doom resery'd for me and Pembroke ? And see, the mistress of our fate appears !
Enter LADY JANE Grey and ATTENDANTS.
Hail, princely inaid! who with auspicious beauty
Like her, cold orb, a cheerless gleam I bring :
Guil. He lives as yet,
him, Tune your melodious harps to some high strain, And waft him upwards with a song of triumph ; A purer soul, and one more like yourselves, Ne’er entered at the golden gates of bliss. Oh, Guilford! What remains for wretched England, When he, our guardian angel, shall forsake us ? For whose dear sake Heay'n spar'd a guilty land, And scatter'd not its plagues while Edward reign'd.
Guil. I own my heart bleeds inward at the thought, And rising horrors crowd the op'ning scene. And yet, forgive me, thou, my native country, Thou land of liberty, thou nurse of heroes, Forgive me, if, in spite of all thy dangers, New springs of pleasure flow within my bosom, When thus 'tis giv'n me to behold those eyes, Thus gaze and wonder, how excelling nature Can give each day new patterns of her skill, And yet at once surpass them.
Lady J. G. Oh, vain flattery ! Harsh and ill-sounding ever to my ear; But on a day like this, the raven’s note Strikes on my sense more sweetly. But, no more, I charge thee touch the ungrateful theme no more; Lead me, to pay my duty to the king, To wet his pale cold hand with these last tears, And share the blessings of his parting breath.
Guil. Were I like dying Edward, sure a touch Of this dear hand would kindle life anew.
But I obey, I dread that gath'ring frown;
my full heart is pain’d with ardent love, Allow me but to look on you, and sigh ; 'Tis all the humble joy that Guilford asks. Lady J. G. Still wilt thou frame thy speech to
this vain purpose, When the wan king of terrors stalks before us, When universal ruin gathers round, And no escape is left us ? Are we not Like wretches in a storm, whom ev'ry moment The greedy deep is gaping to devour? Around us see the pale despairing crew Wring their sad hands, and give their labour o'er ; The hope of life has ev'ry heart forsook, And horror sits on each distracted look ; One solemn thought of death does all employ, And cancels, like a dream, delight and joy, One orrow streams from all their weeping eyes, And one consenting voice, for mercy cries; Trembling, they dread just Heaven's avenging
power ; Mourn their past lives, and wait the fatal hour.
ACT THE SECOND.
Enter the DUKE OF NORTHUMBERLAND and the
DUKE OF SUFFOLK.
North. Yet then be cheer'd, my heart, amidst thy
Suff. I know not what my secret soul presages,
North. Doubt not any thing ;
Has given to-day a blessing in our children,
Suff. In that I trust. Good angels be our guard, And make my fears prove vain. But see! My
wife! With her, your son, the generous Guilford comes ; She has inform'd him of our present purpose.
Enter the Duchess OF SUFFOLK and LORD GUIL
Lord G. How shall I speak the fulness of my
Duchess S. Yes, noble youth, I share in all thy joys,
North. All desolate and drown'd in flowing tears, By Edward's bed the pious princess sits; Fast from her lifted eyes the pearly drops Fall trickling o'er her cheek, while holy ardour And fervent zeal pour forth her lab'ring soul; And ev'ry sigh is wing'd with pray’rs so potent, As strive with Heav'n to save her dying lord.
Duchess S. From the first early days of infant life,