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Virtue preserved from fell destruction's blast,
Led on by heaven, and crown'd with joy at last.
In Helicanus may you well descry
A figure of truth, of faith, of loyalty:
In reverend Cerimon, there well appears,
The worth that learned charity aye wears.
For wicked Cleon and his wife, when fame
Had spread their cursed deed, and honour'd name
Of Pericles, to rage the city turn;
That him and his they in his palace burn.
The gods for murder seemed so content
To punish them; although not done, but meant.
So on your patience ever more attending,
New joy wait on you! Here our play is ending. [Exit GoWEB.
The lamentable Tragedie of Locrine, the eldest Son of King Brutus, discoursinge the Warres of the Britaines, &c., was entered on the stationers' books by Thomas Crede, July 20, 1594. On this entry no mention is made of the author of the piece; but in the title-page of the first edition, printed in November or December, 1595, it is stated to be newly set foorth, overseene, and corrected by W. S. The editor of the folio Shakspeare of 1664 was, it is believed, the first who identified these initials, W. S., with William Shakspeare; for the play is not attributed to him in Kirkman's Catalogue of Plays, printed in 1661. Malone assigns the play to Christopher Marlowe, and identifies W. S. with William Smith, the author of a collection of sonnets entitled Chloris, or the Complaint of the passionate, despised Shepheard, published in London, 1596. Dr. Farmer considers Locrine the production of the author of "Titus Andronicus."
Thunder and Lightning. Enter ATE in black, with a burning Torch in one hand, and a bloody Sword in the other. Presently let there come forth a Lion running after a Bear; then come forth an Archer, who must kill the Lion in a dumb show, and then depart. ATE remains.
Até. In pænam sectatur et umbra.
A mighty lion, ruler of the woods,
Of wondrous strength and great proportion,
With hideous noise scaring the trembling trees,
With yelling clamours shaking all the earth,
Traversed the groves, and chased the wandering beasts:
Long did he range amid the shady trees,
And drave the silly beasts before his face;
When suddenly from out a thorny bush
A dreadful archer with his bow y-bent,
Wounded the lion with a dismal shaft:
So he him struck, that it drew forth the blood,
And fill'd his furious heart with fretting ire.
But all in vain he threat'neth teeth and paws
And sparkleth fire from forth his flaming eyes,
For the sharp shaft gave him a mortal wound:
So valiant brute, the terror of the world,
Whose only looks did scare his enemies,
The archer Death brought to his latest end.
O, what may long abide above this ground,
In state of bliss and healthful happiness!
And he that would annihilate their minds,t
Soaring with Icarus too near the sun,
May catch a fall with young Bellerophon.
For when the fatal sisters have decreed
Enter BRUTUS, carried in a chair; LOCRINE, CAMBER, ALBA-
NACT, CORINEUS, GUENDOLEN, ASSARACUS, DEBON, and
Bru. Most loyal lords, and faithful followers,
That have with me, unworthy general,
Passed the greedy gulf of ocean,
Leaving the confines of fair Italy,
Behold, your Brutus draweth nigh his end,
And I must leave you, though against my will.
My sinews shrink, my numbed senses fail,
A chilling cold possesseth all my bones;
Black ugly Death, with visage pale and wan,
Presents himself before my dazzled eyes,
And with his dart prepared is to strike.
These arms, my lords, these never-daunted arms,
That oft have quell'd the courage of my foes,
And eke* dismay'd my neighbours' arrogance,
Now yield to death, o'erlaid with crooked age,
Devoid of strength and of their proper force.
Even as the lusty cedar worn with years,
That far abroad her dainty odour throws,
'Mongst all the daughters of proud Lebanon,
This heart, my lords, this ne'er-appalled heart,
That was a terror to the bordering lands,
A doleful scourge unto my neighbour kings,
Now by the weapons of unpartial death
Is clove asunder, and bereft of life:
As when the sacred oak with thunderbolts,
Sent from the fiery circuit of the heavens,
Sliding along the air's celestial vaults,
Is rent and cloven to the very roots.
In vain, therefore, I struggle with this foe;
Then welcome death, since God will have it so.
Assar. Alas! my lord, we sorrow at your case,
And grieve to see your person vexed thus.
But whatsoe'er the Fates determined have,
It lieth not in us to disannul;