Arthur

Verse
 

 
 
Arthur: Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect:
Must you with hot irons burn out both mine eyes?

Hubert de Burgh: Young boy, I must.

Arthur: And will you?

Hubert de Burgh: And I will.

Arthur: Have you the heart? When your head did but ache,
I knit my handercher about your brows,
The best I had, a princess wrought it me,
And I did never ask it you again;
And with my hand at midnight held your head,
And like the watchful minutes to the hour,
Still and anon cheer'd up the heavy time,
Saying, 'What lack you?' and 'Where lies your grief?'
Or 'What good love may I perform for you?'
Many a poor man's son would have lien still
And ne'er have spoke a loving word to you;
But you at your sick service had a prince.
Nay, you may think my love was crafty love
And call it cunning: do, an if you will:
If heaven be pleased that you must use me ill,
Why then you must. Will you put out mine eyes?
These eyes that never did nor never shall
So much as frown on you.

Hubert de Burgh: I have sworn to do it;
And with hot irons must I burn them out.


Arthur: Ah, none but in this iron age would do it!
The iron of itself, though heat red-hot,
Approaching near these eyes, would drink my tears
And quench his fiery indignation
Even in the matter of mine innocence;
Nay, after that, consume away in rust
But for containing fire to harm mine eye.
Are you more stubborn-hard than hammer'd iron?
An if an angel should have come to me
And told me Hubert should put out mine eyes,
I would not have believed him,—no tongue but Hubert's.

Hubert de Burgh: Come forth.
[Stamps]
[Re-enter Executioners, with a cord, irons, &c]
Do as I bid you do.


Arthur: O, save me, Hubert, save me! my eyes are out
Even with the fierce looks of these bloody men.

Hubert de Burgh: Give me the iron, I say, and bind him here.

Arthur: Alas, what need you be so boisterous-rough?
I will not struggle, I will stand stone-still.
For heaven sake, Hubert, let me not be bound!
Nay, hear me, Hubert, drive these men away,
And I will sit as quiet as a lamb;
I will not stir, nor wince, nor speak a word,
Nor look upon the iron angerly:
Thrust but these men away, and I'll forgive you,
Whatever torment you do put me to.

 


 

 








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