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THE LIBRARY

OF

SANTA BARBARA

COLLEGE OF

THE UNIVERSITY

OF CALIFORNIA



PRESENTED BY

HENRY ADAMS



^ -









SWINBURNE'S TRAGEDIES

VOL. I



THE TRAGEDIES



OF



ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE

IN FIVE VOLUMES

VOLUME I

THE QUEEN-MOTHER

AND

ROSAMOND




HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS

NEW YORK AND LONDON

M C M V I



5507



IVITPSITY OF CATTFOKNIA
tiAllBARA COLLEGE LIBRARY



AFFFCTIONATELY INSCRIBED
TO

DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI



CONTENTS



PAGE

THE QUEEN-MOTHER i

ROSAMOND 227



VOL. I.



THE QUEEN-MOTHER



PERSONS REPRESENTED



Catholic
Nobles.



^Huguenot Nobles.



Charles IX.

Henry, King of Navarre.

Gaspard de Saulx, Marshal of Tavannes,

Henry, Duke of Guise,

Pierre de Bourdeilles, AbW de Brant6me, .

The Admiral CoLiGNY,

M. DE La Noue,

M. DE Teligny,

M. DE La Rochefoucauld,

M. de Marsillac,

M. DE SOUBISE,

M. DE Pardaillan,

CiNO Galli, Jester to the Queen-Mother.

Two Captains.

Catherine de' Medici, Queen-Mother.

Margaret, Queen of Navarre.

Claude, Duchess of Lorraine.

Duchess of Guise.

Denise de Maul]£vrier, \

Yolande de Montlitard,!^^.^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Anne de Saulx,

Ren^e de Barbezieux, j

Soldiers, People, Attendants, b'c. Scene, Paris. Time,
Aug. 22-24, 1572.



VOL. I.



THE QUEEN-MOTHER

ACT I
Scene I. Environs of the Louvre

Enter Marsillac, Pardaillan, Soubise, and

otiiers, masked ; the Duchess of Guise,

and other Ladies

marsillac

No, not the king, sir, but my lord of Guise ;
I know him by the setting of his neck,
The mask is wried there.

PARDAILLAN

Are not you the queen ?
By the head's turn you should be ; your hair too
Has just the gold stamp of a crown on it.

DUCHESS

You do dispraise her by your scorn of me.



THE QUEEN-MOTHER [act i



PARDAILLAN



Not the queen ? then that hair's real gold of yours
And no white under ?



SOUBISE



Speak low, sirs ; the king —
See him there, down between the two big stems,
Wearing a rose, some damozel with him
In the queen's colours.



MARSILLAC



111 colours those to wear ;
I doubt some loose half of a Florentine,
Clipt metal too.

PARDAILLAN

Lower : they are close by this ;
Make space, I pray you ; Christ, how thick they get !

[ The Courtiers fall hack.

Enter the King and Denise de Maulevrier

CHARLES

Why do you pluck your hands away from me ?
Have I said evil ? does it hurt you so
To let one love you ?

DENISE

Yea, hurts much, my lord.



SCENE i] THE QUEEN-MOTHER 5

CHARLES

Such soft small hands to hide in mine like birds —
Poor child, she pulls so hard — hush now, Denise,
The wrist will show a bruise, I doubt.

DENISE

My wrist ?
This is a knight, a man gilt head and feet.
And does such villainous things as that !

CHARLES

Yea now.

Will you not weep too ? will you cry for it ?
So, there, keep quiet ; let one loose the mask ;
Show me the rivet.

DENISE

No, no, not the mask ;
I pray you, sir — good love, let be the clasp,
I will not show you — ah !

CHARLES

So, so, I said
This was my lady, this one ? let the rest
Go chatter like sick flies, the rest of them,
I have my gold-headed sweet bird by the foot
To teach it words and feed it with my mouth.
I would one had some silk to tie you with
Softer than a man's fingers be.

DENISE

I too ;
Your finger pinches like a trap that shuts.



THE QUEEN-MOTHER [act i



CHARLES

Come then, what penance do you think to get
Now I have trapped you ? No, my sweet Denise,
No crying, no dear tears for it : no, love,
I am not angry. Why did you break from me ?

DENISE

Because I would not have a touch of you
Upon me somewhere ; or a word of yours
To make all music stupid in my ear.
The least kiss ever put upon your lips
Would throw me this side heaven, to live there.

What,
Am I to lose my better place i' the world,
Be stripped out of my girdled maiden's gown
And clad loose for the winter's tooth to hurt,
Because the man's a king, and I — see now,
There's no good in me, I have no wit at all ;
I pray you by your mother's eyes, my lord.
Forbear me, let the foolish maiden go
That will not love you ; masterdom of us
Gets no man praise : we are so more than poor,
The dear'st of all our spoil would profit you
Less than mere losing ; so most more than weak
It were but shame for one to smite us, who
Could but weep louder.

CHARLES

But Denise, poor sweet,
I mean you hurt, I smite you ? by God's head
I'd give you half my blood to wash your feet.

[ They pass.



SCENE i] THE QUEEN-MOTHER



DUCHESS

To speak truth, I'm a German offset, sir,
And no high woman ; I was born in Cleves,
Where half the blood runs thick.

PARDAILLAN

Ay, with your tongue and head,
Tell me of German ! your silk hair, madam,
Was spun in Paris, and your eyes that fill
The velvet slit i' the mask like two fair lamps,
Set to shake spare gold loose about the dark —
Tell me of German !

DUCHESS

See then in my hands ;
You have good skill at palm-reading, my lord ?

PARDAILLAN

The glove smells sweet inside ; that's good to touch.

DUCHESS

Give me my glove back.

PARDAILLAN

By your hand, I will not.

DUCHESS

There is no potency of oath in that ;
My hands are weak, sir.

PARDAILLAN

By your eyes then, no.



THE QUEEN-MOTHER [act i



DUCHESS



I pray you, for your courtesy, sweet lord,
Leave me the glove yet.



PARDAILLAN



Bid me tear it first ;
I'll wear this whether iron gird or silk,
Let snatch at it who will ; and whoso doth,
I've a keen tongue ensheathed to answer with.



DUCHESS

I do beseech you, not my glove, fair sir,

For your dear honour, — could you have such heart?

PARDAILLAN

Yea, truly ; do but see me fasten it ;

Nay, it drops ; help me to set in the wrist.

The queen comes ; I shall cross her sight with this :

If you be woman, as you said, of hers,

It will make sharp the inward of her soul

To see it.

Enter the Queen-Mother, Guise, and Attendants ;
CiNO Galli, and Ladies^ masked

CATHERINE

So, Denise is caught by this ;
Alack, the wolf's paw for the cat's, fair son !
That tall knight with a glove wrought curiously,
Whose friend, think you ?



SCENE i] THE QUEEN-MOTHER 9

GUISE

Some lady's here, no doubt ;
Not mine, as surely.

PARDAILLAN

Not yours, my lord of Guise.

CATHERINE

Your wife's glove, is it ? sewn with silk throughout,
And some gold work, too : her glove, certainly.

GUISE

Take no note of him, madam ; let us go. [^They pass.

PARDAILLAN

You Catholics, her glove inside my cap,
Look here, I tread it in the dirt : you, Guise,
I tread a token under foot of mine
You would be glad to wear about the heart.
Here, madam, have it back ; soiled in the seam
Perhaps a little, but good enough to wear
For any Guise I see yet.

DUCHESS

I keep it for him.

\ExU Duchess.



CINO



If he be wise I am no fool. One of you
Bid him come sup with me.



lo THE QUEEN-MOTHER [act i

PARDAILLAN

What fare, good fool ?

CINO

A sacrament of eye-water and rye-bread

Changed to mere foolish flesh and blood to sup, sir.

YOLANDE

'Ware stakes, my Cino ; is this a head to roast ?
Think, my poor fool's tongue with a nail through it,
Were it no pity ?

CINO

Fire goes out with rain, child.
I do but think, too, if I were burnt to-morrow,
What a waste of salt would there be ! what a ruin of

silk stuff!
What sweet things would one have to hear of me.
Being once got penitent ! Suppose you my soul's

father.
Here I come weeping, lame in the feet, mine eyes

big—
"Yea, my sin merely ! be it not writ against me
How the very devil in the shape of a cloth-of-gold

skirt
Lost me my soul with a mask, a most ungracious one,
A velvet riddle ; and how he set a mark on me,
A red mark, father, here where the halter throttles,
See there, Yolande writ broad ; " yet, for all that.
The queen might have worn worse paint, if it please

you note me.
If her physic-seller had kept hands cleaner, verily.



SCENE i] THE QUEEN-MOTHER ii

YOLANDE

Kind Cino ! dost not look to be kissed for this now ?

CINQ

Be something- modest, prithee : it was never good

time
Since the red ran out of the cheeks into the lips.
You are not patient ; to see how a good man's beard
May be worn out among you !

ANNE

Virtuous Cino !

CINO

Tell me the right way from a fool to a woman,
I'll tell thee why I eat spiced meat on Fridays.

YOLANDE

As many feet as take the world twice round, sweet,
Ere the fool come to the woman.

CINO

I am mocked, verily ;
None of these slippers but have lightened heels.
I'll sit in a hole of the ground, and eat rank berries.

YOLANDE

Why, Cino ?

CINO

Because I would not have a swine's mouth
And eat sweetmeats as ye do. It is a wonder in heaven
How women so nice-lipped, discreet of palate.



12 THE QUEEN-MOTHER [act i

Should be as easy for a thief to kiss

As for a king's son ; like the common grass

That lets in any sun or rain, and wears

All favours the same way ; it is a perfect wonder.

YOLANDE

A stole for Cino ; pray for me, Era Cino.

CINO

Vex me not, woman ; I renounce the works of thee.

I'll give the serpent no meat, not my heel.

To sweeten his tooth on. I marvel how your mother

Died of her apple, seeing her own sense was

So more pernicious ; the man got but lean parings,

And yet they hang too thick for him to swallow.

Well, for some three or four poor sakes of yours,

I'll eat no honey.

ANNE

Wherefore no honey, Cino ?
One saint ate honey before your head had eyes in it.

CINO

I would not think of kissing, and it remembers me.
Here are two scraps of Venus' nibbled meat ;
Keep out of the dish, as ye respect me, children,
Let not love broil you on a gold spit for Sundays.

\They retire.

Re-enter the King and Denise

CHARLES

Nay, as you will then.



SCENE i] THE QUEEN-MOTHER 13

DENISE

Not for love indeed,
Not for love only, but your own fair name,
The costliness and very price of it,
I am bold to talk thus with you. The queen, sus-
picious
And tempered full of seasonable fears,
Does partly work me into this ; truth is it,
There's no such holy secret but she knows
As deep therein as any ; all changes, hopes,
Wherewith the seed-time of this year goes heavy,
She holds and governs ; and me, as all my fellows,
Has she fed up with shreds and relics thrown
From the full service and the board of time
Where she sits guest, and sees the feast borne

through ;
I have heard her say, with a sigh shaking her.
There's none more bound to pray for you than she.
And her you love not ; and how sore it seems
To see the poisons mingle in your mouth.
And not to stay them.

CHARLES

Will she say that indeed ?
Denise, I think if she be wise and kindly.
And mixed of mother's very milk and love,
She would not say so.

DENISE

I have a fear in me
She doubts your timely speed and spur of blood ;
She thinks, being young, you shall but tax her care



14 THE QUEEN-MOTHER [act i

And liberal grace with practice and weak tricks ;

As thus, say, you conceive of me, fair lord,

As one set on and haled by golden will

(Such lust of hire as many souls hath burnt

Who wear no heat outside) to do you wrong.

To scourge and sting your lesser times with speech.

Trailing you over by some tender lies

On the queen's party ; which God doth well believe

To lie as far from me as snow from sun,

Or hence to the round sea.



CHARLES

There's no trick meant me?

DENISE

I pray, sir, think if I, so poor in wit
The times rebuke me, and myself could chide
With mine own heaviness of head, be fit
To carry such a plot and spill none over
To show the water's colour I bear with me ?
All I lay care to is but talk of love,
And put love from me I am emptier
Than vessels broken in the use ; I am sorry
That where I would fain show some good, work some-
how
To suit with reason, I am thrown out merely
And prove no help ; all other women's praise
Makes part up of my blame, and things of least

account
In them are all my praises. God help some !
If women so much loving were kept wise,
It were a world to live in.



SCENE i] THE QUEEN-MOTHER 15



CHARLES



Poor Denise,
She loves not then so wisely ? yea, sweet thing ?

DENISE

Did I say that ? nay, by God's light, my lord,
It was ill jested — was not — verily,
I see not whether I spake truth or no.

CHARLES

Ay, you play both sides on me ?

DENISE

It may prove so.
I am an ill player, for truly between times
It turns my heart sick.

CHARLES

Fear when one plays false, then.

DENISE

As good play false when I make play so hardly.
My hand is hurt, sir ; I'll no more with you.

CHARLES

Will you so cheat me ?

DENISE

Even so ; God quit you, sir !
But pardon me ; and yet no pardon, for



i6 THE QUEEN-MOTHER [act i

I'll have no stay to find it : were pardon at my feet,
I would not bow to gather it. Farewell.

[Exi/ Denise.

CHARLES

Even so ? but I'll have reason ; eh, sweet mouth ?

But I'll have reason of her, my Denise ;

How such can love one ! all that pains to talk !

What way ran out that rhyme I spun for her ?

To do just good to me, that talk ! sweet pains.

Yea, thus it fell : Dieti dit — yea, so it fell.

Dieu dit ; Choisis ; tu dois mourir ;

Le monde vaut bien une femme.

L'amour passe et fait bien souffrir.

C'est ce que Dieu me dit, madame.

Moi, je dis i Dieu ; Je ne veux,

Mon Dieu, que I'avoir dans ma couche,

La baiser dans ses beaux cheveux,

La baiser dans sa belle bouche. \Exit the King.

YOLANDE

Now, Cino?

CINO

I am considering of that apple still ;
It hangs in the mouth yet sorely ; I would fain know

too
Why nettles are not good to eat raw. Come, children.
Come, my sweet scraps ; come, painted pieces ; come.

ANNE

On after him ; he is lean of speech and moody ;
Cunning for ill words at such winter-seasons
That come i' the snow like bitter berries. On.

\Exeunt.



SCENE ii] THE QUEEN-MOTHER 17

Scene 11. In the Louvre
Enter King Henry and Margaret

MARGARET

Yea, let him say his will.

HENRY

I will not bear him.
This temperance grows half shame.

MARGARET

I doubt God hath
Fashioned our brother of like earth and fire
As moulds you up ; be patient ; bear with him
Some inches past your humour's mark.

HENRY

Bear what ?
By God I will have reason : tell me not ;
I love you with the soundest nerve i' the heart,
The cleanest part of blood in it ; but him
Even to the sharpest edge and tooth of hate
That blood doth war upon.

MARGARET

Keep in this chafe ;
Put me in counsel with you.

HENRY

It is no matter.

VOL. I. C



i8 THE QUEEN-MOTHER [act i

MARGARET

I never saw yet how you love and hate.

Are you turned bitter to me ? all old words

Buried past reach for grief to feed upon

As on dead friends ? nay, but if this be, too,

Stand you my friend ; there is no crown i' the world

So good as patience ; neither is any peace

That God puts in our lips to drink as wine.

More honey-pure, more worthy love's own praise.

Than that sweet-souled endurance which makes clean

The iron hands of anger. A man being smitten

That washes his abused cheek with blood

Purges it nothing, gets no good at all,

But is twice punished, and his insult wears

A double colour ; for where but one red was

Another blots it over. Such mere heat

r the brain and hand, even for a little stain,

A summer insolence and waspish wound.

Hurts honour to the heart, and makes that rent

That none so gracious medicine made of earth

Can heal and shut like patience. The gentle God

That made us out of pain endurable

And childbirth comforts, willed but mark therein

How life, being perfect, should keep even hand

Between a suffering and a flattered sense,

Not fail for either.

HENRY

You do think sweetly of him ;
But on this matter I could preach you out.
For see, God made us weak and marred with shame
Our mixed conception, to this end that we
Should wear remembrance each alike, and carry



SCENE ii] THE QUEEN-MOTHER 19

Strait equal raiment of humility ;
Not bare base cheeks for wrong to spit across,
Nor vex his print in us with such foul colours
As would make bondsmen blush.



MARGARET

Let him slip wrong,
So you do reason ; if such a half-king'd man
Turn gross or wag lewd lips at you, for that
Must anger strike us fool ? 'Tis not the stamp,
The purity and record of true blood.
That makes Christ fair, but piteous humbleness,
Wherein God witnesses for him, no prince
Except a peasant and so poor a man
God gives him painful bread, and for all wine
Doth feed him on sharp salt of simple tears
And bitter fast of blood.



HENRY

Yea, well ; yea, well ;
And I am patient with you Catholics ;
But this was God's sweet son, nothing like me.
Who have to get my right and wear it through
Unhelped of justice ; all do me wrong but I,
And right I'll make me.



MARGARET

But all this wording-time
I am not perfect where this wrong began ;
Last night it had no formal face to show,
That's now full-featured.

c 2



20 THE QUEEN-MOTHER [act i



HENRY

Ah ! no matter, sweet ;



Nothing, pure nought.



MARGARET



Have you no shame then current
To pay this anger ? Nay, as you are my lord,
I'll pluck it out by the lips.

HENRY

A breath, a threat,
A gesture, garment pulled this way ; nothing.

MARGARET

You do me wrong, sir, wrong.

HENRY

Well, thus then it fell out ;
By God, though, when I turn to think on it.
Shame takes me by the throat again ; well, thus.
King Charles, being red up to the eyes with wine.
In the queen's garden, meeting me — as chance
Took me to walk six paces with some girl.
Some damozel the queen's choice dwells upon.
Strayed somehow from the broader presence —

MARGARET

Well—



SCENE ii] THE QUEEN-MOTHER 21

HENRY

I swear to you by faith and faith's pure lip
That I know — that I did not hear her name
Save of his mouth.

MARGARET

I did not ask her name.

HENRY

Nor do I well remember it ; forgive,
I think it was not —

MARGARET

Pass.

HENRY

Alys de Saulx —

MARGARET

Marshal Tavannes has no such name akin.

HENRY

There's Anne de Saulx wears longest hair of all ;
A maid with grey grave eyes — a right fair thing ;
Not she, I doubt me.

MARGARET

Worse for you, my lord.



22 THE QUEEN-MOTHER [act i

HENRY

Ay, worse. Diane de Villequier is tall —

MARGARET

Are we at riddles ? — Agn6s de Bacqueville ?

HENRY

Some such name, surely ; either Ch^teauroux —

MARGARET

Her name ? as I am wedded woman, sir,
I know you have it hidden in your mouth
Like sugar ; tell me ; take it on the lip.

HENRY

There was a D in it that kissed an M.

MARGARET

Denise ? a white long woman with thick hair,
Gold, where the sun comes ?

HENRY

Ay, to the ends clean gold.

MARGARET

Yea, not the lightest thing she has, that hair.

HENRY

You hold for true —



SCENE ii] THE QUEEN-MOTHER 23



Keep in your story.



MARGARET

We have time to come for her.

HENRY



Nought, mere nought to tell
This just ; the king comes, pulls her hand from mine—

MARGARET

Ah ! no more shame ?

HENRY

No more in him than that ;
Plucked her as hard —

MARGARET

As she was glad to go.

HENRY

Not so ; she trembled to the feet, went white,
Spoke hardly —

MARGARET

Kept one hand of them your way ?

HENRY

Charles caught her wrist up, muttered next her ear,
Bade me leave care —



24 THE QUEEN-MOTHER [act i

MARGARET

Nay, here's more fool than we.
Enter Cino

CINO

The world was a wise man when he lived by bread

only ;
There be sweet tricks now. How does my worthy

sister ?

MARGARET

Not SO much ill as to cease thanks for it.
How does thy cap, fool ?

CINO

Warm, I thank it, warm ;
I need not wear it patched as much as faith.
I am fallen sick of heavy head ; sad, sad ;
I am as sick as Lent.

MARGARET

Dull, dull as dust ;
Thou hadst some nerve i' the tongue.

CINO

Why, I am old ;
This white fool three days older in my beard
Than is your wedding. But be not you cast down ;
For the mere sting is honourable in wedlock,
And the gall salve : therefore I say, praise God.



SCENE ii] THE QUEEN-MOTHER 25

HENRY

We do not catch thy sense.

CINO

Let my sense be ;
I say I could weep off mine eye-cases,
But for pity of some ladies who would run mad then.
Do not you meddle.

MARGARET

What wisdom mak'st thou here ?

CINO

Why, a fool's wisdom, to change wit with blocks.
You were late railing ; were she that you did gibe
Clean as her mother made, I tell you verily
The whitest point on you were grime and soil
To her fair footsole.

MARGARET

Ay, but she's none such.

CINO

I care not what she be ; do you not gibe,
I care no whit. Let her take twelve or six,
And waste the wicked'st part of time on them.
She doth outstand you by ten elbow-lengths.

HENRY

Hath love not played the knave with this fool's
eyes ?



26 THE QUEEN-MOTHER [act i

CINO

Let that lie shut, and put you thumb to lip ;
For kings are bone and blood ; put flesh to that,
You have the rind and raiment of a man.
If you be wise, stay wise, even for my sake ;
Learn to lie smooth, be piteous and abashed,
And though dirt fall upon your faith and you
Keep your ear sober, chide not with its news,
And use endurance well ; so shall he thrive.
That being a king doth crouch, and free doth wive.
Farewell, fair king. [Ex^ Cino.

HENRY

This fool is wried with wine.

MARGARET

French air hath nipped his brains ; what ailed my

mother
To have him north ?

HENRY

You bring her in my mind ;
Have you no service on the queen to-day ?

MARGARET

I think she would lie privately ; she said
She was not well.

HENRY

I pray you then with me.



SCENE ii] THE QUEEN-MOTHER 27



MARGARET

I will not with my lord of Pardaillan ;
You shall not break me with the king.

HENRY

Men say
Guise hath some angry matter made with him
That I would learn.

MARGARET

I am with you by the way ;
I have some tricks to tell you of Denise. \^Exeunt.



Scene HI. A Cabinet

The Queen-Mother ; Denise dressing her
hair; Tavannes

denise

Disait amour, voyant rire madame,

Qui me baisait dessous mes yeux un jour ;

La rose est plus que fleur et moins que femme,

Disait amour.
Disait amour ; m'est peine ^close en ^me ;
Dieu veuille, helas ! qu'elle me baise un jour.
Ayez merci, car je souffre, madame,

Disait amour.

CATHERINE

Set the gold higher. So, my lord Tavannes,
You have no answer of the king ?



28 THE QUEEN-MOTHER [act i

TAVANNES

Not I;
The devil would give over such hard work,
1 doubt, as you put me to.

CATHERINE

Ah well, well,
I thank you for it. Tie the next more loose.
You prick my forehead through the hair, Denise.
Strange, my lord marshal, I show less grey spots
Than gold thread in it, surely. Five years hence,
These girls will put a speckled silver on.
Because the queen's hair turns to dust-colour.
Eh, will not you, Denise ?

DENISE

If I wear white.
Gold must be out of purchase ; I'll get gold
Or wear my head shorn flat, and vex no combs.

CATHERINE

You put sweet powders in your own too much ;
There, stoop down — you may kiss me if you will —
I smell the spice and orris-root in it.
Fie, this will cheat your face, my poor Denise ;
This will bleach out the colours of your blood.
And leave the hair half old. See you, lord marshal.
This girl's was never soft and thick like mine :
Mine was so good to feel once, I know well
Kings would have spent their lips in kissing it.



SCENE III] THE QUEEN-MOTHER 29



TAVANNES

I have poor judgment of girls' hair and cheeks ;
Most women doubtless have some gold and red
Somewhere to handle, and for less or more
I care not greatly.

CATHERINE

Yea, I do well think once
I had such eyes as time did sleep in them,
And age forbear the purple at their lids ;
And my mouth's curve has been a gracious thing
For kisses to fall near : none will say now
That this was once. I may remember me
That Scotswoman did fleer at my grey face ;
I marvel now what sort of hair she has.



DENISE

The Queen of Scots lived gently in repute ;
She has much wrong.

CATHERINE

Put not your judgment to 't ;
The peril that enrings her place about
Is her own whetting. I do something praise,
Yet hardly from the outside of my heart,
Our sister England ; were I set like her,
I might look so.

TAVANNES

Yea so ? mere heretic ?



30 THE QUEEN-MOTHER [act i

CATHERINE

Beseech you, pardon me ; I am all shame

That I so far misuse your holiness.

I know as you are sharp in continence

So are you hard in faith. Mark this, Denise,

These swording-men are holier things than we ;

These would put no kiss on, these would not praise


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