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KING

What, my Archy! He mocks and mimics all he sees and hears, Yet with a quaint and graceful licence—Prithee 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 prison 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.

QUEEN. 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 Archy! He weaves about himself a world of mirth Out of this wreck of ours.

LAUD.

I take with patience, as my Master did,
All scoffs permitted from above.

KING,

My lord, Pray overlook these papers. Archy's words Had wings, but these have talons.

QUEEN.

And the lion
That wears them must be tamed. My dearest lord,
I see the new-born courage in your eye
Armed 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, and awake as from a dream
Out of our worshipped state.

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LAUD.

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.

*

QUEEN.
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.

KING,

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.

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QUEEN,

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 pattern 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 brow.

KING,

Dear Henrietta !

SCENE III.

HAMPDEN, Pym, CROMWELL, and the younger VanE,

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 hast sold for thy despoiler's smile :-
How can I call thee England, or my country?
Does the wind hold ?

VANE,

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.

HAMPDEN.

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, Fair star, whose beam lies on the wide Atlantic, Athwart its zones of tempest and of calm, Bright as the path to a beloved home, O light us to the isles of th'evening land!

Like floating Edens, cradled in the glimmer
Of sunset, through the distant mist of years
Tinged by departing Hope, they gleam! Lone 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 green
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 scorn the storm
Of time, and gaze upon the light of truth,
Return to brood over the [ ] thoughts
That cannot die, and may not be repelled.

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