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And, shattered, sprinkling liquid, stain her new brocade; Forget her prayers, or miss a masquerade;
Or lose her heart or necklace at a ball;
Or whether Heaven has doomed that Shock must fall.
His post neglects, or leaves the fair at large,
He spoke; the spirits from the sails descend,
This just behind Belinda's neck he spread,
And thrice they twitched the diamonds in her ear,
Fate urged the shears and cut the sylph in twain
Then flashed the living lightning from her eyes,
"Restore the lock!" she cries, and all around,
So Heaven decrees! With Heaven who can contest?
And drew behind a radiant trail of hair.
Then cease, bright nymph! to mourn thy ravished hair
Not all the tresses that fair head can boast
[Boadicea was Queen of the Iceni, a British tribe inhabiting what are now the counties of Cambridge, Suffolk and Norfolk. The King, her husband, having died, bequeathed all his possessions to the Emperor Nero and his two daughters. The Roman centurions, however, took his kingdom, and gave his daughters to their slaves, while Boadicea was publicly scourged for some real or imaginary offence. The Roman governor being absent, she burst into London at the head of a large army, burned the city and killed thousands of the Romans and Roman subjects. The Roman governor immediately hurried home, and a battle was fought near St. Albans. The Britons, although_they fought valiantly and fiercely, were defeated by the disciplined Romans. Boadicea poisoned herself, A. D. 62.]
WHEN the British warrior Queen, bleeding from the Roman
Sought, with an indignant mien, counsel of her country's gods; Sage beneath a spreading oak sat the Druid, hoary chief; Every burning word he spoke, full of rage and full of grief:
"Princess, if our aged eyes weep upon thy matchless wrongs, 'Tis because resentment ties all the terrors of our tongues. Rome shall perish--write that word in the blood that she has spilt ; Perish hopeless and abhorred, deep in ruin as in guilt.
"Rome, for empire far renowned, tramples on a thousand states; Soon her pride shall kiss the ground-hark! the Gaul is at her gates!
Other Romans shall arise, heedless of a soldier's name ;
Sounds, not arms, shall win the prize, harmony the path to fame.
"Then the progeny that springs from the forests of our land, Armed with thunder, clad with wings, shall a wider world command,
Regions Cæsar never knew thy posterity shall sway;
Such the bard's prophetic words, pregnant with celestial fire;
She, with all a monarch's pride, felt them in her bosom glow; Rushed to battle, fought and died-dying, hurled them at the foe: "Ruffians, pitiless as proud! Heaven awards the vengeance due! Empire is on us bestowed, shame and ruin wait for you!"
[Mary, having abdicated her throne after an unsuccessful attempt to retrieve her fortunes, crossed over into England and threw herself on the protection of Elizabeth, but was made a prisoner for life. After being removed from prison to prison, she was tried at last on a charge of conspiracy against the life of Elizabeth, and sentenced to death. In the hope of arresting the execution of that sentence, Mary solicited, and at length obtained, permission for an interview with Elizabeth. This took place at the Castle of Fotheringay. The scene opens on the arrival of Elizabeth and her retinue at the Castle.]
ELIZABETH. What seat is that, my lord?
ELIZ. [to SHREWSBURY].
My lord, send back our retinue to
The people crowd too eager in the roads;
We'll seek a refuge in this quiet park.
My honest people love me overmuch;
Thus should a God be honored, not a mortal.
MARY [who has been looking at ELIZABETH].
ELIZ. What lady's that? [Silence.]
LEIC. You are at Fotheringay, my liege!
Who hath done this, my Lord of
LEIC. 'Tis past, my Queen, and now that Heaven hath led Your footsteps hither, be magnanimous,
And let sweet pity be triumphant now.
SHREWSBURY. O royal mistress! yield to our entreaties.
O cast your eyes on this unhappy one,
Who stands disclosed in anguish.
[MARY collects herself and advances toward ELIZABETH, but stops, shuddering.]
Which of you, then, announced to me a prisoner
By no means humbled by calamity.
MARY. Well, be it so; to this will I submit. Farewell, high thought and pride of noble mind! I will forget my dignity and all
My sufferings; I will fall before her feet,
Who hath reduced me to this wretchedness.
Your happy brows are now with triumph crowned;
Stretch forth your hand, your royal hand, to raise
ELIZ. You are where it becomes you, Lady Stuart,
Thus at your feet, as you now kneel at mine.
MARY. Oh, there are gods who punish wicked pride;