Зображення сторінки

Where no one overbears nor plays the tyrant,
While mine, disdaining reason and her laws,
Like all thou canst imagine wild and furious,
Now drive me headlong on, now whirl me back,
And hurl my unstable fitting soul
To ev'ry mad extreme.

Sir J. G. The Lords of council
Wait with impatience.

Pem. I attend their pleasure.
This only, and no more then. Whatsoever
Fortune decrees, still let us call to mind
Our friendship and our honour. And since love
Condemns us to be rivals for one prize,
Let us contend, as friends and brave men ought,
With openness and justice to each other;
That he, who wins the fair-one to his arms,
May take her as the crown of great desert,
And if the wretched loser does repine,
His own heart and the world may all condemn him.

[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 !


Hail, princely inaid! who with auspicious beauty
Cheerst ev'ry drooping heart in this sad place;
Who, like the silver regent of the night,
Lift'st up thy sacred beams upon the land,
To bid the gloom look gay, dispel our horrors,
And make us less lament the setting sun.
Lady J. G. Yes, Guilford; well dost thou compare

my presence
To the faint comfort of the waning moon:

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Like her, cold orb, a cheerless gleam I bring :
Silence and heaviness of heart, with dews
To dress the face of nature all in tears.
But say, how fares the king?

Guil. He lives as yet,
But ev'ry moment cuts away a hope,
Adds to our fears, and gives the infant saint
Great prospect of his op'ning Heaven.
Lady J. G. Descend ye choirs of angels to receive

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;
And, oh, whene'er my bosom swells with passion,

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.




The Court.



North. Yet then be cheer'd, my heart, amidst thy

Though fate hang heavy o'er us, tho' pale fear
And wild distraction sit on ev'ry face ;
Though never day of grief was known like this,
Let me rejoice, and bless the hallowed light,
Whose beams auspicious shine upon our union,
And bid me call the noble Suffolk brother.

Suff. I know not what my secret soul presages,
But something seems to whisper me within,
That we have been too hasty. For myself,
I wish this matter had been yet delay'd ;
That we had waited some more blessed time,
Some better day, with happier omens hallowed,
For love to kindle up his holy flame.
But you, my noble brother, would prevail,
And I have yielded to you,

North. Doubt not any thing ;
Nor hold the hour unlucky, that good Heaven,
Who softens the corrections of his hand,
And mixes still a comfort with afflictions,

Has given to-day a blessing in our children,
To wipe away our tears for dying Edward.

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

What shall I say to bless you for this goodness?
Oh, gracious princess ! But my life is yours,
And all the business of my years to come,
Is, to attend with humblest duty on you,
And pay my vow'd obedience at your feet.

Duchess S. Yes, noble youth, I share in all thy joys,
In all the joys, which this sad day can give.
The dear delight I have to call thee son,
Comes like a cordial to my drooping spirits ;
It broods with gentle warmth upon my bosom,
And melts that frost of death which hung about me.
But haste! Inform my daughter of our pleasure:
Let thy tongue put on all her pleasing eloquence.
Instruct thy love to speak of comfort to her,
To sooth her griefs, and cheer the mourning maid.

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,

« НазадПродовжити »