« PreviousContinue »
A short delusion! for the raging pain
Returns, and their poor hearts must bleed again,
Mean time the queen new cruelty decreed ;
But ill content that they should only bleed.
A priest is sent, who, with insidious art,
Inftills his poison into Suffolk's heart;
And Guilford drank it:-hanging on the breast,
He from his childhood was with Rome poffefs’d.
When now the ministers of Death draw nigh,
And in her dearest lord she first must die,
The subtle priest, who long had watch'd to find
The most unguarded passes of her mind,
Bespoke her thus : Grieve not; 'tis in your pow'r
• Your lord to rescue from this fatal hour.'.
Her bosom pants; she draws her breath with pain ;
A sudden horror thrills thro' ev'ry vein :
Life seems fufpended, on his words intent,
And her soul trembles for the great event.
The priest proceeds : · Embrace the faith of Rome,
• And ward your own, your lord's, and father's doom.'.
Ye blessed fpirits ! now your charge fuitain;
The past was ease; now first she suffers pain. '
Must she pronounce her father's death? must she
Bid Guilford bleed ?--It must not, cannot be !
It cannot be! but 'tis the Christian's praise,
Above impossibilities to raise
The weakness of our nature, and deride
Of vain philofophy the boafted pride.
What tho' our le finews scarce impart
A moment's swiftness to the feather'd dart;
Tho' tainted air our vig'rous youth can break,
And a chill blast the hardy warrior flake ;
Yet are we strong. Hear the loud tempeft roar
From east to west, and call us weak no more ;
The lightning's unrefifted force proclaims
Our might, and thunders raise our humble names :
'Tis our Jehovah fills the heav'ns; as long
As he shall reign Almighty we are strong.
We, by devotion, borrow from his throne,
And almost make Omnipotence our own :
We force the gates of heav'n by fervent pray'r,
And call forth triumph out of man's despair.
Our lovely mourner, kneeling, lifts her eyes,
And bleeding heart, in silence, to the skies;
Devoutly fad--then, brightning, like the day,
When sudden winds sweep scatter'd clouds away,
Shining in majesty, till now unknown,
And breathing life and spirit scarce her own,
She, rising, speaks : If these the terms
Here Guilford, cruel Guilford! (barb'rous man !
Is this thy love!) as swift as lightning ran,
O’erwhelm'd her, with tempestuous sorrow fraught,
And stifed in it's birth, the mighty thought.
Then, bursting fresh into a flood of tears,
Fierce, refolute, delirious with his fears,
His fears for her alone, he beat his breaft,
And thus the fervour of his soul express’d:
« Oh ! let thy thought o'er our past converse rove,
• And shew one moment uninflam'd with love!
• Oh! if thy kindness can no longer laft,
• In pity to thyself forget the past !
• Else wilt thou never, void of thame and fear,
« Pronounce his doom whom thou hast held so dear,
• Thou, who haft took me to thy arms, and swore
• Empires were vile, and Fate could give no more;
« That to continue was it's atmost pow'r,
• And makehe future like the present hour :
• Now call a ruffian, bid his cruel sword
Lay wide the bofom of thy worthlefs lord; • Transfix his heart (fince you it's love disclaim) < And stain his honour with a traitor's name,
This might perhaps be borne without remorse, • But sure a father's pangs will have their force ! • Shall his good age, so near it's journey's end, « Thro' cruel torment to the grave descend? « His fallow blood all issue at a wound, r Wash a flave's feet, and smoke upon the ground ?
But he to you has ever been severe; • Then take your vengeance— Suffolk now drew near, Bending beneath the burden of his
His robes neglected, and his head was bare.
Decrepit Winter, in the yearly ring,
Thus flowly creeps to meet the blooming Spring :
Downward he cast a melancholy look,
Thrice turn'd to hide his grief, then faintly spoke.
• Now deep in years, and forward in decay,
• That axe can only rob me of a day:
! For thee, my soul's desire! I can't refrain ;
. And shall my tears, my last tears, flow in vain ?
« When you shall know a mother's tender name,
My heart's diftress no longer will you blame!!
At this, afar his bursting groans were heard ;
The tears ran třickling down his filver beard :
He snatch'd her hand, which to his lips he press’d,
And bid her plant a dagger in his breast;
Then, sinking, call'd her piety unjust,
And soil'd his hoary temples in the duft.
Hard-hearted men! will you no mercy
Has the queen brib'd you to distress her foe?
0, weak deserters to Misfortune's part,
By false affection thus to pierce her heart !
When she had foar'd, to let your arrows fly,
And fetch her bleeding from the middle sky.
And can her virtue, springing from the ground,
Her flight recover, and disdain the wound;
When cleaving love, and human int'rest, bind
The broken force of her aspiring mind ?
As round the gen’rous eagle, which in vain
Exerts her strength, the serpent wreaths his train,
Her struggling wings entangles, curling plies
His pois'nous tail, and stings her as the flies.
While yet the blow's first dreadful weight she feels,
And with it's force her resolution reels;
Large doors, unfolding with a mournful sound,
To view discover, welt'ring on the ground,
Three headless trunks of those whose arms maintain'd,
And in her wars immortal glory gain'd:
The lifted axe afur'd her ready doom,
And silent mourners fadden'd all the room.
Shall I proceed, or here break off my tale,
Nor truths, to stagger human faith, reveal ?
She met this utmoft malice of her fate
With Christian dignity and pious state ;
The beating storm's propitious rage the bless'd,
And all the martyr triumph'd in her breast.
Her lord and father, for a moment's space,
She strictly folded in her soft embrace !
Then thus the spoke, while angels heard on high,
And sudden gladness smil'd along the sky.
• Your over-fondness has not mov'd my hate;
• I am well pleas'd you make my death so great :
! I joy I cannot fave you; and have giv'n
- Two lives, much dearer than my own, to Heav'n,
• If so the queen decrees *.-But I have cause
; To hope my blood will satisfy the laws;
• And there is mercy still, for you in store.
With me, the bitterness of death is o'er ; • He shot his sting in that farewel embrace,
And all that is to come is joy and peace. · Then let mistaken forrow be suppress’d, : Nor seem to envy my approaching reft!'