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The full streams feed on flower of rushes,
CHASTELARD AND MARY STUART flushes From leaf to flower and flower to fruit ;
Scene. — In Prison, before Chastelard's
Queen. Would God my heart were And the hoofed heel of a satyr crushes
greater; but God wot The chestnut-husk at the chestnut I have no heart to bear with fear and die. root.
Yea, and I cannot help you : or I know
I should be nobler, bear a better heart : And Pan by noon and Bacchus by night, But as this stands — I pray you for good Fleeter of foot than the fleet-foot kid,
love, Follows with dancing and fills with delight As you hold honor a costlier thing than The Mænad and the Bassarid;
lifeAnd soft as lips that laugh and hide
Chastelard. Well ? The laughing leaves of the trees divide, Queen.
Nay, I would not And screen from seeing and leave in sight
be denied for shame; The god pursuing, the maiden hid. In brief, I pray you give me that again.
Chast. What, my reprieve? The ivy falls with the Bacchanal's hair Queen.
Even so ; deny me not. Over her eyebrows, hiding her eyes ; For your sake mainly : yea, by God you The wild vine slipping down leaves bare
know Her bright breast shortening into How fain I were to die in your death's sigbs;
stead, The wild vine slips with the weight of its For your name's sake. This were no need leaves,
to swear, But the berried ivy catches and cleaves Lest we be mock'd to death with a reTo the limbs that glitter, the feet that scare prieve, The wolf that follows, the fawn that And so both die, being sham'd. What, flies.
shall I swear ?
What, if I kiss you ? must I pluck it out? FROM THE CHORUS, " WE HAVE SEEN
You do not love me :
no, nor honor. THEE, O LOVE!”
I know you have it about you : give it me. We have seen thee, O Love, thou art fair ; Chast. I cannot yield you such a thing thou art goodly, O Love ;
again; Thy wings make light in the air as the Not as I had it. wings of a dove.
Queen. A coward ? what shift now? Thy feet are as winds that divide the Do such men make such cravens ? stream of the sea;
Chide me not : Earth is thy covering to hide thee, the gar- Pity me that I cannot help my heart. ment of thee.
Queen. Heaveu mend mine eyes that took Thou art swift and subtle and blind as a
you for a man ! flame of fire ;
What, is it sewn into your flesh ? take Before thee the laughter, behind thee the
heed tears of desire ;
Nay, but for shaine what have you done And twain go forth beside thee, a man with
with it? a maid ;
Chast. Why, there it lies, torn up. Her eyes are the eyes of a bride whom Queen.
God help me, sir ! delight makes afraid ;
done this? As the breath in the buds that stir is her Chast. Yea, sweet ; what should I do? bridal breath :
Did I not know you to the bone, my sweet ? But Fate is the name of her; and his name God speed you well ? you have a goodly is Death.
Queen. My love, sweet love, you are
more fair than he, Yea, fairer many times : I love
I think I know that well.
You have the better, being more fair than
they, They are half foul, being rather good than You are quite fair : to be quite fair is
best. Why, two nights hence I dream'd that I
could see In through your bosom under the left
flower, And there was a round hollow, and at
I know the ways of it :
love. Queen. Will you not have my chaplain
come to you? Chast. Some better thing of yours
some handkerchief, Some fringe of scarf to make confession
to You had some book about you that fell
Ay, my old lord's -
From this time forth ; nothing can hap to
throat, More soft than sleep or singing ; your calm
cheeks, Turn'd bright, turn'd wan with kisses hard
and hot ; The beautiful color of your deep curv'd
hands, Made of a red rose that bad changed to That mouth mine own holds half the sweet
ness of, Yea, my heart holds the sweetness of it,
whence My life began in me; mine that ends here Because you have no mercy,
- nay, you know You never could have mercy.
love, Kiss me again, God loves you not the Why should one woman have all goodly
things? You have all beauty ; let mean women's
lips Be pitiful and speak truth : they will not
be Such perfect things as yours.
Be not asham'd That hands not made like these that snare
men's souls Should do men good, give alms, relieve
men's pain ;
Leave me this book, I pray you : I would
read The hymn of death here over ere I die ;
I shall know soon how much he knew of
death When that was written. One thing I
know now, I shall not die with half a heart at least, Nor shift my face, nor weep my fault alive, Nor swear if I might live and do new
deeds I would do better. Let me keep the book. Queen. Yea, keep it : as would God you
had kept your life Out of mine eyes and hands. I am wrung
to the heart : This hour feels dry and bitter in my mouth As if its sorrow were my body's food More than my soul's. There are bad
thoughts in me Most bitter fancies biting me like birds That tear each other. Suppose you need
not die ? Chast. You know I cannot live for two
hours more. Our fate was made thus ere our days were
made : Will you fight fortune for so small a
grief? But for one thing I were full fain of death.
Queen. What thing is that ?
Chast. None need to name the thing. Why, what can death do with me fit to
fear? For if I sleep I shall not weep awake ; Or if their saying be true of things to Though hell be sharp, in the worst ache
of it I shall be eas'd so God will give me back Sometimes one golden gracious sight of
you — The aureole woven flowerlike through your
As I do now,
tears, Tears should not fail when the heart shud
ders so. But your bad thought ?
Chast. Well, such a thought as this : It may be, long time after I am dead, For all you are, you may see bitter days ; God may forget you or be wroth with you : Then shall you lack a little help of me,
And I shall feel your sorrow touching you,
heart Will ache for help and comfort, yea, for
love, And find less love than mine — for I do
think You never will be lov'd thus in your life. Queen. It may be man will never love
me more ; For I am sure I shall not love man twice. Chast. I know not: men must love you
in life's spite, For you will always kill them; man by man Your lips will bite them dead ; yea, though You shall not spare one ; all will die of
you ; I cannot tell what love shall do with these, But I for all my love shall have no might To help you more, mine arms and hands
no power To fasten on you more.
This cleaves my heart, That they shall never touch your body
But for your grief — you will not have to
grieve; For being in such poor eyes so beautiful It must needs be as God is more than I So much more love he hath of you than
mine; Yea, God shall not be bitter with my love, Seeing she is so sweet. Queen.
Ah, my sweet fool, Think
when God will ruin me for sin My face of color shall prevail so much With him, so soften the tooth'd iron's edge To save my throat a scar ? Nay, I am sure I shall die somehow sadly. Chast.
This is pure grief ; The shadow of your pity for my death, Mere foolishness of pity : all sweet moods Throw out such little shadows of them
selves, Leave such light fears behind. You, die
like me ? Stretch your throat out that I may kiss all
round Where mine shall be cut through : suppose
The axe-edge to bite so sweet a throat in
I am quite sure
Chast. Do not think such things ; Lest all my next world's memories of you
be As heavy as this thought. Queen.
I will not grieve you ; Forgive me that my thoughts were sick
with grief. What can I do to give you ease at heart ? Shall I kiss now? I pray you have no
face to me ; I do not grudge your face this death of It is too fair — by God, you are too fair. What noise is that ?
Queen. Can the hour be through so soon ? I bade them give me but a little hour. Ab! I do love you! such brief space for
love! I am yours all through, do all your will What if we lay and let them take us fast, Lips grasping lips. I dare do anything. Chast. Show better cheer : let no man
see you maz'd; Make haste and kiss me ; cover up your
throat, Lest one see tumbled lace and prate of it.
Enter the guard.
She caught men's eyes to turn them where
she would, And with the strong sound of her name of
queen Made their necks bend ; that even of God's
own men There were that bade refuse her not her
will, Deny not her, fair woman and great queen, Her natural freedom born, to give God
praise What way she would, and pray what
prayers ; though these Be as they were, to God abominable And venomous to men's souls.
So came there back The cursed thing cast forth of us, and so Out of her fair face and imperious eyes Lightend the light whereby men walk in
hell. And I that sole stood out and bade not let The lightning of this curse come down on
And fly with feet as fire on all winds blown To burn men's eyes out that beheld God's
face, That being long blind but now gat sight,
and saw And prais'd him seeing — I that then spake
and said, Ten thousand men here landed of our foes Were not so fearful to me on her side As one mass said in Scotland that with
stood The man to his face I lov’d, her father's
son, Then master'd by the pity of her, and
made Through that good mind not good — who
then but I Was tax'd of wrongful will, and for hard
heart Miscall’d of men ? And now, sirs, if her
prayer Were just and reasonable, and unjust I That bade shut ears against it — if the mass Hath brought forth innocent fruit, and in
this land Wherein she came to stablish it again Hath stablish'd peace with honor — if in
her It hath been found no seed of shame, and
she That lov'd and serv'd it seem now in men's
No hateful thing nor fearful - if she To bring it in your mind if God ere now stand
Have borne me witness ; in that dreary Such a queen proven as should prove hon day orable
When men's hearts faild them for pure The rule of women, and in her that thing
grief and fear Be shown forth good that was call’d evil To see the tyranny that was, and rule
Of this queen's mother, where was no light Blest and not curst - then have I sinn'd,
left and they
But of the fires wherein his servants died, That would bave cross'd me would have I bade those lords that clave in heart to cross'd not God :
God Whereof now judge ye. Hath she brought And were perplex'd with trembling and with her
with tears Peace, or a sword ? and since her incoming Lift up their hearts, and fear not; and Hath the land sat in quiet, and the men
they heard Seen rest but for one year ? or came not in What some now hear no more, the word I Behind her feet, right at her back, and spake shone
Who have been with them, as their own Above her crown'd head as a fierier crown,
souls know, Death, and about her as a raiment wrapt In their most extreme danger ; Cowper Ruin ? and where her foot was ever turn'd
Moor, Or her right hand was pointed, hath there Saint Johnston, and the Crags of Edinfallen
burgh, No fire, no cry burst forth of war, no sound Are recent in my heart ; yea, let these As of a blast blown of an host of men
know, For summons of destruction ? Hath God That dark and dolorous night wherein all shown
they For sign she had found grace in his sight, With shame and fear were driven forth of
this town For her sake favor, while she hath reign'd Is yet within my mind ; and God forbid
That ever I forget it. What, I say, One hour of good, one week of rest, one Was then my exhortation, and what word day?
Of all God ever promis’d by my mouth Or hath he sent not for an opposite sign Is fallen in vain, they live to testify Dissensions, wars, rumors of wars, and Of whom not one that then was doom'd to change,
death Flight and return of men, terror with Is perish'd in that danger ; and their foes, power,
How many of these hath God before their Triumph with trembling?
Plague-stricken with destruction! lo the God is not mock'd ; and ye shall surely thanks know
They render him, now to betray his cause What men were these, and what man he Put in their hands to stablish ; even that that spake
God's The things I speak now prophesying, and That kept them all the darkness through said
to see That if ye spare to shed her blood for Light, and the way that some now see no shame,
more, For fear or pity of her great name or face, But are gone after light of the fen's fire God shall require of you the innocent blood And walk askant in slippery ways; but ye Shed for her fair face' sake, and from your Know if God's hand have ever when I hands
spake Wring the price forth of her bloodguilti-Writ liar upon me, or with adverse proof
Turn’d my free speech to shame ; for in Nay, for ye know it, nor have I need again