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CHARLES THE FIRST. 9 dfragnunt.
The Pageant to celebrate the arrival oj the Queen.
Place for the Marshal of the Masque!
What thinkest thou of this quaint masque, which
And Hell to Heaven.
And they seem hours, since in this populous street
THIRD SPEAKER (a youth).
Yet, father, 'tis a happy sight to see,
Beautiful, innocent, and unforbidden
By God or man ;—'tis like the bright procession
Of skiey visions in a solemn dream
From which men wake as from a paradise,
And draw new strength to tread the thorns of life.
If God bo good, wherefore should this be evil!
And if this be not evil, dost thou not draw
Unseasonable poison from the flowers
Which bloom so rarely in this barren world!
Oh, kill these bitter thoughts which make the
present Dark as the future !— • • * • » •
When avarice and tyranny, vigilant fear,
And open-eyed conspiracy, lie sleeping
How young art thou in this old age of time I
Rather say the Pope. London will be soon his Rome: he walks As if he trod upon the heads of men. He looks elate, drunken with blood and gold ;— Beside him moves the Babylonian woman Invisibly, and with her as with his shadow, Mitred adulterer ! he is joined in sin, Which turns Heaven's milk of mercy to revenge.
Another Citizen (lifting up his eyes). Good Lord ! rain it down upon him. Amid her ladies walks the papist queen, As if her nice feet scorned our English earth. There's old Sir Henry Vane, the Earl of Pembroke, Lord Essex, and Lord Keeper Coventry, And others who made base their English breed By vile participation of their honours With papists, atheists, tyrants, and apostates. When lawyers mask 'tis time for honest men To strip the vizor from their purposes. ******
Fourth Speaker (a pursuivant). Give place, give place!
You torch-bearers, advance to the great gate,
Fifth Speaker (a law student).
What thinkest thou Of this quaint show of ours, my aged friend?
I will not think but that our country's wounds May yet be healed—The king is just and gracious, Though wicked counsels now pervert his will: These once cast off—
As adders cast their skins And keep their venom, so kings often change; Councils and councillors hang on one another, Hiding the loathsome [ ]
Like the base patchwork of a leper's rags.
Oh, still those dissonant thoughts—List, loud music
Aye, there they i
At once the sign and the thing signified—
A troop of cripples, beggars, and lean outcasts,
Horsed upon stumbling shapes, carted with dung,
Dragged for a day from cellars and low cabins
And rotten hiding-holes, to point the moral
Of this presentiment, and bring up the rear
Of painted pomp with misery!
Tisbut The anti-masque, and serves as discords do In sweetest music. Who would love May flo If they succeeded not to Winter's flaw; Or day unchanged by night; or joy itself Without the touch of sorrow?
Enter the Kino, Quxen, Laud, Wkxtwchtth, and Abuht.
Thanks, gentlemen. I heartily accept
This token of your service: your gay masque
Was performed gallantly.
And, gentlemen, Call your poor Queen your debtor. Your quaint
The careful weight of this great monarchy.
KINO. My lord of Canterbury.
The fool is here.
I crave permission of your Majesty
What, my Archy '. He mocks and mimics all he Bees and hears, Yet with a quaint and graceful licence—Prithe« For this once do not as Prynne would, were he Primate of England.
He lives in his own world ; and, like a parrot. Hung in his gilded prisou from the window
Of a queen's bower over the public way, Blasphemes with a bird's mind :—his words, like
arrows Which know no aim beyond the archer's wit, Strike sometimes what eludes philosophy.
Go, sirrah, and repent of your offence
Ten minutes in the rain : be it your penance
To bring news how the world goes there. Poor
I take with patience, as my Master did, All scoffs permitted from above.
My lord, Pray overlook these papers. Archy's words Had wings, but these have talons.
And the lion That wears them must be tamed. My dearest
lord, I see the new-born courage in your eye A rmed to strike dead the spirit of the time.
Do thou persist: for, faint but in resolve,
And it were better thou hadst still remained
The slave of thine own slaves, who tear like curs
The fugitive, and flee from the pursuer;
And Opportunity, that empty wolf,
Flies at his throat who falls. Subdue thy actions,
Even to the disposition of thy purpose,
And be that tempered as the Ebro's steel;
And banish weak-eyed Mercy to the weak,
Whence she will greet thee with a gift of peace,
And not betray thee with a traitor's kiss,
As when she keeps the company of rebels,
Who think that she is fear. This do, lest we
Should fall as from a glorious pinnacle
In a bright dream, ana wake as from a dream
Out of our worshipped state.
* * * And if this suffice not,
Unleash the sword and fire, that in their thirst
They may lick up that scum of schismatics.
I laugh at those weak rebels who, desiring
What we possess, still prate of christian peace,
As if those dreadful messengers of wrath,
Which play the part of God 'twixt right and wrong,
Should be let loose against innocent sleep
Of templed cities and the smiling fields,
For some poor argument of policy
Which touches our own profit or our pride,
Where indeed it were christian charity
To turn the cheek even to the smiter's hand:
And when our great Redeemer, when our God
Is scorned in his immediate ministers,
They talk of peace!
Such peace as Canaan found, let Scotland now.
My beloved lord,
Have you not noted that the fool of late
Has lost his careless mirth, and that his words
Sound like the echoes of our saddest fears '.
What can it mean? I should be loth to think
Some factious slave had tutored him.
It partly is, That our minds piece the vacant intervals Of his wild words with their own fashioning; As in the imagery of summer clouds, Or coals in the winter fire, idlers find The perfect shadows of their teeming thoughts: And partly, that the terrors of the time Are sown by wandering Rumour in all spirits; And in the lightest and the least, may best Be seen the current of the coming wind.
Your brain is overwrought with these deep
thoughts. Come, I will sing to you; let us go try These airs from Italy,—and you shall see A cradled miniature of yourself asleep, Stamped on the heart by never-erring love; Liker than any Vandyke ever made, A patteru to the unborn age of thee, Over whose sweet beauty I have wept for joy A thousand times, and now should weep for sorrow, Did I not think that after we were dead Our fortunes would spring high in him, and that The cares we waste upon our heavy crown Would make it light and glorious as a wreath Of heaven's beams for his dear innocent crow.
Hampden, Pym, Cromwell, and the younger Vank.
HAMPDEN. England, farewell! thou, who hast been my cradle, Shalt never be my dungeon or my grave! I held what I inherited in thee As pawn for that inheritance of freedom Which thou bast sold for thy despoiler's smile :— How can I call thee England, or my country? Does the wind hold 1
The vanes sit steady Upon the Abbey-towers. The silver lightnings Of the evening star, spite of the city's smoke, ■" Tell that the north wind reigns in the upper air. Mark too that flock of fleecy-winged clouds Sailing athwart St. Margaret's.
Hail, fleet herald Of tempest! that wild pilot who shall guide Hearts free as his, to realms as pure as thee.
Beyond the shot of tyranny! And thou,
regions, Where power's poor dupes and victims yet have
never Propitiated the savage fear of kings With purest blood of noblest hearts; whose dew Is yet unstained with tears of those who wake To weep each day the wrongs on which it dawns; Whose sacred silent air owns yet no echo Of formal blasphemies ; nor impious rites Wrest man's free worship from the God who loves Towards the worm, who envies us his love. Receive thou, young [ ] of Paradise,
These exiles from the old and sinful world!
This glorious clime, this firmament, whose lights
Dart mitigated influence through the veil
Of pale-blue atmosphere; whose tears keep greeo
The pavement of this moist all-feeding earth;
This vaporous horizon, whose dim round
Is bastioned by the circumfluous sea,
Repelling invasion from the sacred towers;
Presses upon me like a dungeon's grate,
A low dark roof, a damp and narrow vault:
The mighty universe becomes a cell
Too narrow for the soul that owns no master.
While the loathliest spot Of this wide prison, England, is a nest Of cradled peace built on the mountain tops, To which the eagle-spirits of the free, Which range through heaven and earth, and scon
the storm Of time, and gaze upon the light of truth, Return to brood over the [ ] thoughts
That cannot die, and may not he repelled.