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Half of his life, our lady Abbess says,
ANGELO. Is spent in Heaven, while the pale body here
Youth, thou hast a soul, Pines in the absence of its nobler guest.
For which thy spiritual guide musi answer,
As for a Monarch's; in her care, the Church How, Angelo!
That guards the loftiest, ne'er o'erlooks the meanest.
Thou 'rt new about the Court, and our good Queen,
With gracious affability, will sit
Listening to thy sweet languaged lute; thou 'rt there
In high esteem.
Her Highness hath been pleased They crossid me, and I needs must follow—to the From her had been a treasure, that my memory
To hear me more than once; but word of praise Abbey;
Had laid in store, for my whole life to brood on. T'insult their fathers' graves; to mock the Saints That from the high empurpled windows glare
ANGELO (aside). On the proud worshippers, whoso secret hearts
So warm! I had forgot thy station, youth; Disdain their intercession; scarce a lamb
But with the great we rank far less by birth Burnt on the prayerless shrines, and here and there
Than estimation; and the power of ministering Some wan sad vot'ress, in Our Lady's chapel,
To their delight becomes nobility.
Good youth, I charge thee,
But yet if Fame belie thee not, thy powers In their own dissonant and barbarous tongue, May bind high-scoped Advancement to thy serviceThe living word of God, the choking wrath
Thou maysi compete ere long with-which affects Convulsed my throat, and hurrying forth I sought ller Majesty most of her servants ? A secret and unechoing place, t' unload My burthen'd heart!
Each 'T was the first time—the last partakes alike of that all-winning easeThat holy Indignation hath o'erleup'd
Not the proud condescension, which disdains Wisdom's strong barriersthe ill-govern'd features
Most manifestly when it sloups the lowestPlay'd traitor to the close-wrapt heart.
All are her slaves, seeming almost her equals:
Enough!--Report speaks bounteously 'Th' Almighty veils, twin-born with Destiny, Of Henry Norreys: he and William Brereton Inexorable Secrecy! come, cowl
And Francis Weston, are about her stillThis soul in deep impervious blackness !–Grant
MARK. I may deny myself the pride and fame
Not one, I believe, would deem his life
Il barter'd for her service-
And Lord Rochford, That mortal eye ne'er read it, till emblazed
Her noble brother—as a Poet, youth, Amid the roll of Christ's great Saints and Martyrs
His art is kindred to thine own, its rival It shake away the oblivious gloom of ages.
In making the mute air we breathe an element
of purest intellectual joy—the Queen ANGELO, MARK, MAGDALENE.
To her close privacy admits.
I've heard Ye may approach-the youth, or I mistake,
She takes delight beyond all words to hear Of whom Saavedra wrote, whose dulcet voice
Our harsher English tongue, by his smooth skill, And skilful handling the sweet lute were famed
And noble Surrey's, and learn'd Wyatt's, flow Through Italy--most fair report, young man,
Melodious, as the honey-lipp'd Italian Hath been thy harbinger.
'Tis well. Thy orphan'd youth, I learn. Mark Smeaton Good reverend father, Wants that imperious curb Heaven delegates That men so wise, whose words are treasured counsels To parents' hands; mine order, rank, and station To mightiest Kings, should deign to note a name Give to my councils th' impress of command: Like mine, moves wonder.
I charge thee then, by thine own soul-beware
Should golden honours, as belike they may,
Why sate I down but yesterday, 'mid pomps Shower on thee, wear them still with humbleness. And luxuries that might have fed a village ? Serve that bewitching but too easy Queen
Go coin those wines, barter for homelier cates Assiduously, but still honourably.
Those candied supertluities. Aspire not, by whatever voice thou 'rt summond,
ALMONER. To perilous distinction; youth, again
It stands not I say, take heed—one single day omit not,
With the King's honour thus to mulet and limit On forfeiture of my paternal care,
Your Highness' state. To pour thy full confessing soul before me.
Still less, Sir, to contract
And weigh with base frugality the alms
His Grace bestows through me, his humble agent.
He means, dear brother, The Bounty of the King, Heaven's delegate, To merit his poor servants' prayers for this
Should be as Heaven's: the Sun, that through the Prayers that shall mount before the earliest lark,
grate Earth's first thanksgiving voice, t'indulgent Heaven. Of some barr'd dungeon lights the pallid cheek Withdraw, withdraw, he heeds no more-away. Of the poor prisoner, is a gracious gift;
(Exeunt. But that which argues the great God of Nature
Is the rich prodigality of light, That warning was a master-stroke: it brings That kindles the wide universal sky The impossible within the scope of thought; And gladdens worlds. But to descend to truths We do forbid but what may come to pass ;
Of homelier prudence. "T is not well to feast And he will brood on it, because forbidden,
A lazy herd of sleek unlabouring drones, Till his whole soul is madness. All the rest
Most true, Sir; but his Majesty hath pleased Are full of their proud honour, and disdain To take some certain Convents and rich Abbeye To torture with vain villanous misconstruction Into his royal hands; they, that were bred Each innocent phrase to looseness. Cursed woman! To sun themselves in careless indolence, 'Gainst whom remorselessness is loftiest duty, Are cast abroad to buffet the hard world And mercy sin beyond Heaven's grace-thinkst thou For bare subsistence; even the once mitred Lords To be a Queen, and dare to be a woman
of manors, benefices, lands, and palaces, Play fool upon thy dizzy precipice,
III husbanding their limited maintenance, Nor smile, nor word, nor look, nor thought but's noted Are brought to beggary and painful want: In our dark registers ; each playful jest
Therefore our bounty must outrun awhile Is chronicled, and we are rich in all
Our better wisdom.
I obey your Highness.
As for your prompt compliance.Boy which our slaves are trammell'd: we 'll let slip
Gracious Heaven! Thy own fierce passions, ruthless as the dogs
I thought a throne would give the power of blessing or war, to prey on thy obdurate heart;
Illimitable—o speak, were to make glad And they shall drag thee down, base, suppliant, All hearts. Alas! the higher we aspire, Beneath our feet-or drive thee maddening on,
The wider spreads beneath us the dark scene A hideous monster of all guilt, to fright
of human wretchedness, which even to lighten The world from its apostasy, and brand
Wants not Heaven's goodness only, but Heaven s The Heretic cause with thy eternal shame.
While easy mischief waits on meanest minds.
The idiot with a wanton brand may fire
Th'imperial city, a base beggar's brood QUEEN ANNE, ATTENDANTs, her ALMONER.
Infect a paradise with pestilence,
While deep-laid schemes of princeliest goodness end So please your Majesty, your pensioners
In wider evil, and thrice heavier ruin.
Upon these laughter-loving lips.
Is ever thus, or gladdening with your mirth
Or teaching with your wisdom.
Lady Rochford, When thou dost serve ourself, not our poor neighbours. Might I not add that thou art ever flattering?
A brother's wife sbould 100 sincerely love
I much mistrust you
In truth I do.
Well, Heaven be praised for all, And still rebuked-curse on her proud humility!
Chiefly that I and thy good Father, Anne,
Have lived with our own eyes to witness il
And now, come when it will, thou 'lt have me buried To this grave reasoning forces oli a smile
In royal state; my funeral pomp shall have Even on Compassion's tearful face; the strange, Scepires and royal scutcheons in its train : The motley groups! the doubts, the awe, the fears, I'll not endure that my base epitaph The pride of beggary! There are, who patch, Write me plain wife of good Sir Thomas Boleyn, As though in honour of the royal feast,
I'll be emblazed in characters of gold, With scarlet and rich hues their loose-hung tatters;
The mother of Queen Anne. And some will creep, as they were led to justice.
QUEEN Along the hall, and the next instant pledge,
Ay, in good time, Like jovial courtiers, the Queen's health. But those Some twenty years or more we 'll think of this : of the old religion move me most. They steal But, by my faith, best mother, there's no joy Reluctant with suspicious steps, each instant
of all that wait like chain'd and harness'd slaves Crossing themselves, to exorcise, no doubt,
Around the thrones of kings-the pomp, the splendour, The fiends beneath the board : each time they touch The hearty voice of popular acclaim, Or dish or flagon, they renew the charm,
The grave esteem of godly men, the power As though the viands flavour'd of rank heresy,
Boundless of succouring the distress'd, the grace And 't were a deadly sin to taste the dole
And favour of a royal Husband, worthiest, Of wicked Gospeller. Last noon came in
Were he a peasant, of our fondest dotage; Two maids, whose tatter'd veils but ill conceald
The consciousness of being a humble means Their wan and famine-sunken cheeks, not worn
To build anew Christ's desolated Church With holy fast, but bitter withering want;
There's nought more full, sincere, and rapturous Desperate they ate, as conscious of their sin:
noughtAnon a pattering sound of beads I heard,
Than thus repaying all the pains, the prayers A voice half breathless muttering broken Aves;
Of her that bore me, nursed me, train'd me up Lo, the good lady Abbess, come to save
To this high doom, making me like herself.
Makes gladness speak her truer language-tears:
And here comes one will not rebuke our weeping, ATTENDANT.
My noble Rochford.
Does your Highness pardon
This bold intrusion? My child !-Your Highness' pardon; my old lips
QUEEN. Will never learn th'unwonted reverence;
I will pardon all Still clings the old familiar fondness round me.
But this cold courteous ceremony:
I would not, Brother, for my throne, forego
My station in thy heart. Wert thou a stranger,
Which whoso visits not hath lost all title Beside the cradle of my child—and thus
To that nobility which lives for ages, Within my mother's arms —
Where Kings are proud to enter. There's no clime [The Ladies retire. Nor age not even the Heaven of Heavens, but sends,
Summon’d by your plumed herald Fantaisie,
Oh! who had thought Its embassage of noblest images
Right royally, do make them move to music
QUEEN. of the Queen's majesty.
Nay, your Sister!
The misdirected homage, vain and blind;
Aside thou turnest thy offended ears
Oh! conscious child of Eve, I've been enriching my rude verse with thoughts
Mary, thy soul doth grieve I stole from thee in that religious converse
At godhead's sacred rite to thee assign'd; We held some days ago, when we discuss'd Mourning the rash unholy injury done The vain idolatries of Rome, adoring
To the redeeming name of thy Almighty Son! With disproportionate and erring reverence
Save where his conscious presence glorified;
Thee, therefore, lovelier far we deem
Than eye may see or soul may dream. Seems made for solemn music, even as nature
Unchanged-unwasted by the pains of earth, Breathed silence over all in earth and Heaven,
Thou didst bring forth the fair immortal birth : Vocal alone with grateful men's thanksgiving.
And Hope and Faith, and deep maternal Joy,
And Love, and not unholy Pride,
With soft unevanescent glory dyed
Thy cheeks, while gazing on the peerless boy ;
And surer than prophetic consciousness,
That he was born all human-kind to bless!
The musical and peopled air was dim, And look thou touch it masterly: her Grace
Mary, where'er thy haunt, Hath that nice ear that vibrates to the touch
With angels visitant, Of harmony, so tremblingly alive,
Nor always did the viewless Seraphim The slightest discord jars on it like anguish.
Stand with their plumed glories unconfest, Not with that shaking hand
To see the Eternal Child while cradled on thy breast. Look, the Queen smilos!
4. Right, boy, thou own'st that inspiration.
And what, though in the winter, bleak and wild, The Protestant's Hymn to the Virgin. Thou didst bring forth the unregarded child,
The summon'd star made haste to shine 1.
Upon that new-born face divine, Oh! Virgin Mother! not with choral hymn
And the low dwelling of the stabled beast Around the lamp-deck'd altar high and dim,
Shone with the homage of the gorgeons East. Where silver bells are faintly ringing,
Though driven far off to Nilus' reedy shore, And odorous censers lightly swinging;
As thou didst slake thy burning feet, Till blazing forth above, beneath, around,
Where o'er the desert fount the arching palmRolls the full organ's never-ceasing sound:
trees meet: Not with the costly gift of gold and gem,
Still its soft pillow'd charge thy bosom bore ; Where thy enshrined image stands,
And thou didst watch in rapture his sweet sleep; Loveliest, though framed by daring human hands, Or gaze, while sportive he thy locks carest, And halo'd with thy sun-like diadern:
Or drank the living fountain of thy breast. Not with the deep devotion of the heart,
Yet, Mary, o'er thy soul
A silent sadness stole,
For Rachel, desolale, in agony,
And Bethlehem's mothers childless all but thee.
5. The incommunicable meed of Deity.
Nor fail'd thy watchful spirit to behold
The secret in born Deity unfold: 2.
Nor e'er without a painless awe, And thon, where'er thy everlasting seat
The wonderous youth the mother saw; If ever human prayer, with noise unmeet,
For in the Baptist's playful love appear'd Up to thy radiant throne on high,
The homage of a heart that almost fear'd : Mscend through the reluctant sky;
And though in meek subjection still he dwelt Or earthly music its fond notes intrude
Beneath thy husband's lowly home, Upon the silence of beatitude:
Oft from his lips would words myeterious come, Lowliest as loveliest among mortal maids !
The soul untaught the present Saviour felt.
As more than prophet raplures o'er him broke,
Half-bow'd lo earth unconscious knees adored :
Mary, before thy sight,
We gaze, admire, and wonder--love and bless : The wonder-working might,
Pure, blameless, holy, every praise be thine, Prerogative of highest Godhead woke;
All honour, save thy Son's, all glory but divine, Unfearful yet!-when instant at his sign, The water vessels blush'd with generous wine.
The Palace of the Bishop of Winchester.
More blood! more blood !-three noble brethren more Around the child thy bosom nurst ;
From the Carthusian's decimated house (1). The dumb began to sing, the lame to leap;
Doom'd to the block—ay, pour it forth like water! His unwet footsteps trod the unyielding deep;
Make your Thames red, till your proud galleys plough Suill at his word disease and anguish ceased,
Their way, and leave a sanguine wake behind them: And healthful blood began to flow,
Set wide the gates of Hell, and summon thence Ruddy, beneath the leper's skin of snow;
Murder, enthroned on your high judgment-seat; And shuddering fiends the tortured soul released ;
Arm her dark sister, lawless Massacre, And from the grave arose the summond dead? With the dread axe of public Execution ; Yet, ah! did ne'er thy mother's heart repine,
Can Hell. or Earth's confederate Kings prevail When he set forth upon his dread design?
'Gainst the true Church ?- But, oh! ye martyr'd souls! Mary, did ne'er thy love
Spirits, with whose sainily blood their robes are wetHis piteous fate reprove,
Oh! all-accomplish'd More, and sainted Fisher, When on the rock reposed his houseless head? Rejoice ye not that with your death ye muse Seem'd it not strange to thy oflicious zeal
The fire-wing'd ministers of Heaven's just wrath, All pains, all sorrows, save his own, to heal ? That welcoming your souls to th'abode of bliss,
Stand with spread wings, and ready girt for vengeance! 7.
But ye, the pulpit Captains of the Schism, Yet, oh! how awful, Desolate! to thee,
Worse than the worst-soul murderers, Hell's AposThus to have shrined the living Deity!
tles-When underneath the loaded Rood,
Ye would pour oil into the Church's wounds Forlorn the childless mother stood :
That your own parricide hands have rent, and think Then when that voice, whose first articulate breath
They will not plead against you.--Oh! ye blind Thrill'd her enraptured ear, had now in death
To earthly wisdom as Heaven's light, that dare not Bequeath'd her to his care whom best he loved ;
Greatly to sin, or, politicly severe, When the cold death-dew bathed his brow,
Crush where ye conquer-ye will stand aloof And faint the drooping head began to bow,
From the black scaffold, preach, protest, forswear Wert thou not, saddest, too severely proved ?
All deeds of blood ; yet your infected cause As in thy sight each rigid limb grew cold,
Shall smell of it to latest generations ! And the lip whiten’d with the burning thirst,
Oh fools! to plunge in internecine strife,
Yet pause, and fear to slay :-deserving none,
And by Ileaven's throne receiving none, to dream
Of showing mercy; either way ye perish, By Prophets and Angelic harps foretold ?
Or shed the martyrs' blood, whose dying voices Was strength to thy undoubting spirit given ? Or did not human love o'erpower thy trust in Heaven? Abstain, the uncheck'd recoil of our fierce vengeance
Arm Earth, Hell, Heaven, “gainst your ungodly cause 8.
Shall sweep you to the appointed pit of Hell! But when Death's conqueror from the tomb return'd,
Follow'd him not thy constant sight,
My Lord of Winchester, thou hast received
Our full credentials from St. Peter's chair?
Brother in Christ, thou know’st this land rejects We deem not, but that circled round,
Rome's Bishop and his tyrannous usurpation. With ringing harps of Heaven's most glorious sound,
That Stephen Gardiner owns no power in Rome Thy spirit, redeem'd through thy Son's blood, ascended: I know, nor yet in England. What cares he There evermore in lowliest loftiness,
For King or Ponriff, so he may maintain
The proud supremacy of Stephen Gardiner.
With thine unbounded soul, wouldst rule o'er all-
Church, State, the world