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Wanting the scissars, with these hands I'll tear
Hen. O wildest thought of an abandon'd mind!
to rove. Emma. Are there not poisons, racks, and flames,
and swords, That Emma thus must die by Henry's words? Yet what could swords or poison, racks or flame, But mangle and disjoint. this brittle frame ! More fatal Henry's words, they murder Emma's
fame. And fall these sayings from that gentle tongue, Where civil speech and soft persuasion hung ? Whose artful sweetness and harmonious strain, Courting my grace, yet courting it in vain, Call'd sighs, and tears, and wishes, to its aid, And, whilst it Henry's glowing flame convey'd, Still blam'd the coldness of the Nut-brown Maid?
Let envious Jealousy and canker'd Spite
Hen. Vainly thou talk'st of loving me alone;
By Nature prompted, and for empire made,
The foolish heart thou gav'st, again receive, The only boon departing Love can give. To be less wretched, be no longer true; What strives to fly thee, why shouldst thou pursue? Forget the present fame, indulge a new : Single the loveliest of the amorous youth; Ask for his vow, but hope not for his truth. The next man (and the next thou shalt believe) Will pawn his gods, intending to deceive; Will kneel, implore, persist, o'ercome, and leave.. Hence let thy Cupid aim his arrows right; Be wise and false, shun trouble, seek delight;
* Why shouldst thou weep? let Nature judge our
Of our all-ruling mother, I pursued
This younger, fairer, pleads her rightful charms,
Nor can the wildness of thy wishes err So wide to hope that thou may'st live with her: Love, well thou know'st, no partnership allows; Cupid, averse, rejects divided vows : Then from thy foolish heart, vain maid, remove An useless sorrow and an ill-starr'd love, And leave me, with the fair, at large in woods to
rove. Emma. Are we in life through one great error led ? Is each man perjur'd, and each nymph betray'd ? Of the superior sex art thou the worst? Am I of mine the most completely curst? Yet let me go with thee, and going prove, From what I will endure, how much I love.
This potent beauty, this triumphant fair, This happy object of our different care, Her let me follow; her let me atiend, A servant; (she may scorn the name of friend) What she demands incessant I'll prepare ; I'll weave her garlands, and I'll plait her hair : My busy diligence shall deck her board, (For there, at least, I may approach my lord) And when her Henry's softer hours advise His servant's absence, with dejected eyes Far I'll recede, and sighs forbid to rise.
Yet when increasing grief brings slow disease, And ebbing life, on terms severe as these, Will have its little lamp no longer fed ;
en Henry's mistress shows him Emma dead,
Rescue my poor remains from vile neglect: With virgin honours let my hearse be deck's, And decent emblem ; and, at least, persuade This happy nymph that Emma may be laid Where thou, dear author of my death, where she With frequent eye my sepulchre may see. The nymph, amidst her joys, may haply breathe : One pious sigh, reflecting on my death, And the sad fate which she may one day prove, Who hopes from Henry's vows eternal love. And thou forsworn, thou cruel as thou art, If Emma's image ever touch'd tlıy heart, Thou sure must give one thought, and drop one tear To her whom love abandon'd to despair ; To her who, dying, on the wounded stone Bid it in lasting characters be known That, of mankind, she lov'd but thee alone.
Hen. Hear, solemn Jove, and, conscious Venus hear; And thou, bright maid, believe me whilst I swear; No time, no change, no future flame, shall move The well-plac'd basis of my lasting love. O powerful virtue ! O victorious fair! At least excuse a trial too severe; Receive the triumph, and forget the war.
No banish'd man, condemn'd in woods to rove, Entreats thy pardon, and implores thy love : No perjur'd knight desires to quit thy arms, Fairest collection of thy sex's charms, Crown of my love, and honour of my youth; Henry, thy Henry, with eternal truth, As thou may'st wish, shall all his life employ, And found his glory in his Emma's joy.
In me behold the potent Edgar's heir, Illustrious earl; him terrible in war Let Loyre confess, for she has felt his sword, And trembling fled before the British lord. Him great in peace and wealth fair Deva knows, For she amidst his spacious meadows flows, Inclines her urn upon his fatten'd lands, And sees his numerous herds imprint her sand
And thou, my fair, my dove, shalt raise thy thought To greatness next to empire: shalt be brought With solemn pomp to my paternal seat, Where peace and plenty on thy word shall wait: Music and song shall wake the marriage-day, And white the priests accuse the bride's delay, Myrtles and roses shall obstruct her way.
Friendship shall still thy evening feasts adorn, And blooming Peace shall ever bless thy morn : Succeeding years their happy race shall run, And Age unheeded by delight come on, While yet superior love shall mock his power ; And when old Time shall turn the fated hour, Which only can our well-tied knot unfold, What rests of both, one sepulchre shall hold.
Hence, then, for ever, from my Emma's breast (That heaven of softness, and that seat of rest) Ye doubts and fears, and all that know to move Tormenting grief, and all that trouble love; Scatter'd by winds recede, and wild in forests rove.
Emma. O day! the fairest sure that ever rose !
Hence let the tides of plenty ebb and flow,