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Brother at once and son! He left my side,
A summer bloom on his fair cheeks, a smile
Parting his innocent lips. In one short hour,
The pretty, harmless boy was slain! I saw
The corse, the mangled corse, and then I cried
For vengeance! Rouse, ye Romans: rouse, ye slaves!
Have ye brave sons? Look, in the next fierce brawl,
To see them die. Have ye daughters fair? Look,
To see them live, torn from your arms, distained,
Dishonoured; and, if ye dare call for justice,
Be answered by the lash. Yet this is Rome,
That sat on her seven hills, and, from her throne
Of beauty, ruled the world! Yet we are Romans!
Why, in that elder day, to be a Roman
Was greater than a king! And once, again,—
Hear me, ye walls, that echoed to the tread
Of either Brutus !-once again, I swear,
The eternal city shall be free! her sons
Shall walk with princes!
BUCKINGHAM'S SPEECH ON GOING TO EXECUTION.
SHAKESPEARE'S "HENRY VIII."
ALL good people,
You that thus far have come to pity me,
Hear what I say, and then go home and lose me.
I have this day received a traitor's judgment,
And by that name must die: Yet, heaven bear witness,
And if I have a conscience, let it sink me,
Even as the axe falls, if I be not faithful!
The law I bear no malice for my death ;
It has done, upon the premises, but justice:
But those that sought it I could wish more Christian:
Be what they will, I heartily forgive them :
Yet let them look they glory not in mischief,
Nor build their evils on the graves of great men ;
For then my guiltless blood must cry against them.
For further life in this world I ne'er hope,
Nor will I sue, although the king have mercies
More than I dare make faults. You few that loved me,
And dare be bold to weep for Buckingham,
His noble friends, and fellows, whom to leave
Is only bitter to him, only dying,
Go with me, like good angels, to my end;
And, as the long divorce of steel falls on me,
Make of your prayers one sweet sacrifice,
And lift my soul to heaven.
Sir Thomas Lovell, I as free forgive you
As I would be forgiven: I forgive all:
There cannot be those numberless offences
'Gainst me that I cannot take peace with:
No black envy shall mark my grave.
Commend me to his grace;
And if he speak of Buckingham, pray tell him,
You met him half in heaven: my vows and prayers
Yet are the king's; and, till my soul forsake,
Shall cry for blessings on him: may he live
Longer than I have time to tell his years!
Ever beloved, and loving, may his rule be!
And, when old time shall lead him to his end,
Goodness and he fill up one monument!
When I came hither I was lord high constable,
And duke of Buckingham; now, poor Edward Bohun :
Yet I am richer than my base accusers,
That never knew what truth meant: I now seal it ; And with that blood will make them one day groan for 't.
My noble father, Henry of Buckingham,
Who first raised head against usurping Richard,
Flying for succour to his servant Banister,
Being distressed, was by that wretch betrayed,
And without trial fell; God's peace be with him!
Henry the Seventh succeeding, truly pitying
My father's loss, like a most royal prince,
Restored me to my honours, and, out of ruins,
Made my name once more noble. Now his son,
Henry the Eighth, life, honour, name, and all
That made me happy, at one stroke has taken
For ever from the world. I had my trial,
And, must needs say, a noble one; which makes me
A little happier than my wretched father:
Yet thus far we are one in fortunes :-both
Fell by our servants, by those men we loved most;
A most unnatural and faithless service!
Heaven has an end in all: Yet, you that hear me,
This from a dying man receive as certain :
Where you are liberal of your loves and counsels,
Be sure you be not loose; for those you make friends,
And give your hearts to, when they once perceive
The least rub in your fortunes, fall away
Like water from ye, never found again
But where they mean to sink ye. All good people, Pray for me! I must now forsake ye; the last hour Of my long weary life is come upon me.
And when you would say something that is sad, Speak how I fell.-I have done; and God forgive me!
Whose edge is sharper than the sword; whose tongue
Outvenoms all the worms of Nile; whose breath
Rides on the posting winds, and doth belie
All corners of the world,-kings, queens, and states,
Maids, matrons-nay, the secrets of the grave
This viperous slander enters.
MARINO FALIERO'S FAREWELL
LORD BYRON'S "MARINO FALIERO."
Now, that the priest is gone, 'twere useless all
To linger out the miserable minutes;
But one pang more, the pang of parting from thee,
And I will leave the few last grains of sand
Which yet remain of the accorded hour,
Still falling-I have done with Time.
Then farewell, Angiolina !-One embrace-
Forgive the old man who hath been to thee
A fond but fatal husband-love my memory-
I would not ask so much for me still living,
But thou canst judge of me more kindly now,
Seeing my evil feelings are at rest.
Besides, of all the fruit of these long years,
Glory, and wealth, and power, and fame, and name,
Which generally leave some flowers to bloom
Even o'er the grave, I have nothing left, not even
A little love, or friendship, or esteem,
No, not enough to extract an epitaph
From ostentatious kinsmen; in one hour
I have uprooted all my former life,
And outlived everything, except thy heart,
The pure, the good, the gentle, which will oft
With unimpaired but not a clamorous grief
Still keep-Thou turns't so pale !-Alas! she faints, She has no breath, no pulse !-Guards! Lend your aid
I cannot leave her thus; and yet 'tis better,
Since every lifeless moment spares a pang.
When she shakes off this temporary death
I shall be with the Eternal.-Call her women—
One look!-how cold her hand!-as cold as mine
Shall be ere she recovers.-Gently tend her,
And take my last thanks-I am ready now.
MARINO FALIERO'S JMPRECATION
LORD BYRON'S "MARINO FALIERO."
The top of the "Giant's Staircase" (where the Doges took the oaths); the Executioner is stationed there with his sword. The Doge enters in his ducal robes, in procession with the Council of Ten and other patricians. The outer gates of the Ducal Palace are shut against the people. A Chief of the Ten takes off the ducal cap from the Doge's head.
So now the Doge is nothing, and at last
I am again Marino Faliero:
'Tis well to be so, though but for a moment.
Here was I crowned, and here, bear witness, Heaven!
With how much more contentment I resign
That shining mockery, the ducal bauble,
Than I received the fatal ornament.
I speak to Time and to Eternity,
Of which I grow a portion, not to man.
Ye elements! in which to be resolved
I hasten, let my voice be as a spirit
Upon you! Ye blue waves! which bore my banner,
Ye winds which fluttered o'er as if you loved it,
And filled my swelling sails as they were wafted
To many a triumph! Thou, my native earth,
Which I have bled for, and thou, foreign earth,
Which drank this willing blood from many a wound!