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Teach thy necessity to reason thus ;
There is no virtue like necessity.
Think not, the king did banish thee;
But thou the king: Wo doth the heavier sit,
Where it perceives it is but faintly borne.
Go, say I sent thee forth to purchase honour,
And not-the king exíl'd thee: or suppose,
Devouring pestilence hangs in our air,
And thou art flying to a fresher clime.
Look, what thy soul holds dear, imagine it
To lie that way thou go'st, not whence thou com'st:
Suppose the singing birds, musicians;
The grass whereon thou tread'st, the presence1
The flowers, fair ladies; and thy steps, no more
Than a delightful measure, or a dance:
For gnarling sorrow hath less power to bite
The man that mocks at it, and sets it light.
Boling. O, who can hold a fire in his hand,
By thinking on the frosty Caucasus?
Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite,
By bare imagination of a feast?
Or wallow naked in December snow,
By thinking on fantastic summer's heat?
O, no! the apprehension of the good,
Gives but the greater feeling to the worse:
Fell sorrow's tooth doth never rankle more,
Than when it bites, but lanceth not the sore.
Gaunt. Come, come, my son, I'll bring thee on
Had I thy youth, and cause, I would not stay. Boling. Then, England's ground, farewell; sweet soil, adieu
My mother, and my nurse, that bears me yet! Where'er I wander, boast of this I can,Though banish'd, yet a true-born Englishman.
[Exeunt. SCENE IV.-The same. A room in the king's castle. Enter King Richard, Bagot, and Green; Aumerle following.
K. Rich. We did observe.-Cousin Aumerle, How far brought you high Hereford on his way? Aum. I brought high Hereford, if you call him so, But to the next highway, and there I left him. K. Rich. And, say, what store of parting tears were shed?
Aum. 'Faith, none by me: except the northeast wind,
Which then blew bitterly against our faces,
Awak'd the sleeping rheum; and so by chance,
Did grace our hollow parting with a tear.
K. Rich. What said our cousin, when you parted
And, for my heart disdained that my tongue
Should so profane the word, that taught me craft
To counterfeit oppression of such grief,
That words seem'd buried in my sorrow's grave.
Marry, would the word farewell have lengthen'd
And added years to his short banishment,
He should have had a volume of farewells;
But, since it would not, he had none of me.
K. Rich. He is our cousin, cousin; but 'tis doubt,
When time shall call him home from banishment,
Whether our kinsman come to see his friends.
Ourself, and Bushy, Bagot here, and Green,
Observ'd his courtship to the common people :-
How he did seem to dive into their hearts,
With humble and familiar courtesy ;
What reverence he did throw away on slaves;
(1) Presence-chamber at court. (2) Growling.
Wooing poor craftsmen, with the craft of smiles,
And patient underbearing of his fortune,
As 'twere, to banish their affects with him.
Off goes his bonnet to an oyster-wench;
A brace of draymen bid-God speed him well,
And had the tribute of his supple knee,
With-Thanks, my countrymen, my loving
As were our England in reversion his,
And he our subjects' next degree in hope.
Green. Well, he is gone; and with him go these thoughts.
Now for the rebels, which stand out in Ireland ;-
Expedient manage must be made, my liege;
Ere further leisure yield them further means,
For their advantage, and your highness' loss.
K. Rich. We will ourself in person to this war. And, for our coffers-with too great a court, And liberal largess,-are grown somewhat light, We are enforc'd to farm our royal realm; The revenue whereof shall furnish us For our affairs in hand: If that come short, Our substitutes at home shall have blank charters; Whereto, when they shall know what men are rich, They shall subscribe them for large sums of gold, And send them after to supply our wants; For we will make for Ireland presently.
Gaunt. O, but they say, the tongues of dying men Enforce attention, like deep harmony: Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in
For they breathe truth, that breathe their words in pain.
He, that no more must say, is listen'd more
Than they whom youth and ease have taught to
More are men's ends mark'd, than their lives before:
The setting sun, and music at the close,
As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last;
Writ in remembrance, more than things long past:
Though Richard my life's counsel would not hear,
(4) Because, (5) Flatter.
My death's sad tale may yet undeaf his ear.
York. No; it is stopp'd with other flattering
As, praises of his state: then, there are found
Lascivious metres; to whose venom sound
The open ear of youth doth always listen:
Report of fashions in proud Italy;
Whose manners still our tardy apish nation
Limps after, in base imitation.
Where doth the world thrust forth a vanity
(So it be new, there's no respect how vile,)
That is not quickly buzz'd into his ears?
Then all too late comes counsel to be heard,
Where will doth mutiny with wit's regard.
Direct not him, whose way himself will choose;
'Tis breath thou lack'st, and that breath wilt thou
Gaunt. Methinks, I am a prophet new inspir'd;
And thus, expiring, do foretel of him:
His rash fierce blaze of 1iot cannot last;
For violent fires soon burn out themselves:
Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short;
He tires betimes, that spurs too fast betimes;
With eager feeding, food doth choke the feeder:
Light vanity, insatiate cormorant,
Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.
This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise;
This fortress, built by nature for herself,
Against infection, and the hand of war;'
This happy breed of men, this little world;
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands:
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Fear'd by their breed, and famous by their birth,
Renowned for their deeds as far from home
(For Christian service, and true chivalry,)
As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry,
Of the world's ransom, blessed Mary's son:
This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leased out (I die pronouncing it,)
Like to a tenement or pelting' farm:
England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
With inky blots, and rotten parchment bonds;
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself:
O, would the scandal vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death!
Enter King Richard, and Queen; Aumerle, Bushy,
Green, Bagot, Ross, and Willoughby.
York. The king is come: deal mildly with his
For young hot colts, being rag'd, do rage the more.
Queen. How fares our noble uncle, Lancaster?
K. Rich. What comfort, man? How is't with
Gaunt. O, how that name befits my composition!
Old Gaunt, indeed; and gaunt in being old:
Within me grief hath kept a tedious fast;
And who abstains from meat, that is not gaunt?
For sleeping England long time have I watch'd;
Watching breeds leanness, leanness is all gaunt:
The pleasure, that some fathers feed upon,
(1) Paltry. (2) Lean, thin. (3) Mad.
Is my strict fast, I mean-my children's looks;
And, therein fasting, hast thou made me gaunt':
Gaunt am I for the grave, gaunt as a grave,
Whose hollow womb inherits nought but bones.
K. Rich. Can sick men play so nicely with their
Gaunt. No, misery makes sport to mock itself:
Since thou dost seek to kill my name in me,
I mock my name great king, to flatter thee.
K. Rich. Should dying men flatter with those
Gaunt. Oh! no; thou diest, though I the sicker be.
K. Rich. I am in health, I breathe, and see thee ill?
Gaunt. Now, He that made me, knows I see
Ill in myself to see, and in thee seeing ill.
Thy death-bed is no lesser than the land,
Wherein thou liest in reputation sick :
And thou, too careless patient as thou art,
Commit'st thy anointed body to the cure
Of those physicians that first wounded thee:
A thousand flatterers sit within thy crown,
Whose compass is no bigger than thy head;
And yet, incaged in so small a verge,
The waste is no whit lesser than thy land.
O, had thy grandsire, with a prophet's eye,
Seen how his son's son should destroy his sons,
From forth thy reach he would have laid thy shame;
Deposing thee before thou wert possess'd,
Which art possess'd3 now to depose thyself.
Why, cousin, wert thou regent of the world,
It were a shame to let this land by lease:
But, for thy world, enjoying but this land,
Is it not more than shame, to shame it so?
Landlord of England art thou now, not king:
Thy state of law is bondslave to the law;
a lunatic lean-witted fool,
Presuming on an ague's privilege,
Dar'st with thy frozen admonition
Make pale our cheek; chasing the royal blood,
With fury, from his native residence.
Now by my seat's right royal majesty,
Wert thou not brother to great Edward's son,
This tongue that runs so roundly in thy head,
Should run thy head from thy unreverend shoulders.
Gaunt. O, spare me not, my brother Edward's son,
For that I was his father Edward's son;
That blood already, like the pelican,
Hast thou tapp'd out, and drunkenly carous'd:
My brother Gloster, plain well-meaning soul,
(Whom fair befall in heaven 'mongst happy souls!)
May be a precedent and witness good,
Join with the present sickness that I have;
That thou respect'st not spilling Edward's blood:
And thy unkindness be like crooked age,
To crop at once a too-long wither'd flower.
Live in thy shame, but die not shame with thee !-
These words hereafter thy tormentors be!-
Convey me to my bed, then to my grave:
Love they to live, that love and honour have.
[Exit, borne out by his attendants.
K. Rich. And let them die, that age and sullens
For both hast thou, and both become the grave.
York. 'Beseech your majesty, impute his words
To wayward sickliness and age in him:
He loves you, on my life, and holds you dear
As Harry, duke of Hereford, were he here.
K. Rich. Right; you say true: as Hereford's
love, so his!
Gaunt. No, no; men living flatter those that die.
K. Rich. Thou, now a dying, say'st-thou flat-
As theirs, so mine; and all be as it is.
His plate, his goods, his money, and his lands. York. I'll not be by, the while: My liege, farewell:
North. My liege, old Gaunt commends him to What will ensue hereof, there's none can tell ; your majesty. But by bad courses may be understood, That their events can never fall out good. K. Rich. Go, Bushy, to the earl of Wiltshire straight;
Bid him repair to us, to Ely-house,
To see this business: To-morrow next
We will for Ireland; and 'tis time, I trow;
And we create, in absence of ourself,
Our uncle York, lord governor of England,
For he is just, and always loved us well.-
Come on, our queen: to-morrow must we part;
Be merry, for our time of stay short. [Flourish.
[Exeunt King, Queen, Bushy, Aumerle,
Green, and Bagot.
North. Well, lords, the duke of Lancaster is
K. Rich. What says he now?
Nay, nothing; all is said:
His tongue is now a stringless instrument;
Words, life, and all, old Lancaster has spent.
York. Be York the next that must be bankrupt so!
Though death be poor, it ends a mortal wo.
K. Rich. The ripest fruit first falls, and so doth he;
His time is spent, our pilgrimage must be:
So much for that.--Now for our Irish wars:
We must supplant those rough rug-headed kerns ;'
Which live like venom, where no venom else,
But only they, hath privilege to live.2
And for these great affairs do ask some charge,
Towards our assistance, we do seize to us
The plate, coin, revenues, and moveables,
Whereof our uncle Gaunt did stand possess'd.
York. How long shall I be patient? Ah, how long
Shall tender duty make me suffer wrong?
Not Gloster's death, nor Hereford's banishment,
Not Gaunt's rebukes, nor England's private wrongs,
Nor the prevention of poor Bolingbroke
About his marriage, nor my own disgrace,
Have ever made me sour my patient cheek,
Or bend one wrinkle on my sovereign's face.-
I am the last of noble Edward's sons,
Of whom thy father, prince of Wales, was first;
In war, was never lion rag'd more tierce,
In peace, was never gentle lamb more mild,
Than was that young and princely gentleman:
His face thou hast, for even so look'd he,
Accomplish'd with the number of thy hours ;3
But, when he frown'd, it was against the French,
And not against his friends: his noble hand
Did win what he did spend, and spent not that
Which his triumphant father's hand had won:
His hands were guilty of no kindred's blood,
But bloody with the enemies of his kin.
O, Richard! York is too far gone with grief,
Or else he never would compare between.
K. Rich. Why, uncle, what's the matter?
O, my liege,
Pardon me, if you please; if not, I pleas'd'
Not to be pardon'd, am content withal.
Seek you to seize, and gripe into your hands,
The royalties and rights of banish'd Hereford?
Is not Gaunt dead? and doth not Hereford live?
Was not Gaunt just? and is not Harry true
Did not the one deserve to have an heir?
Is not his heir a well-deserving son?
His livery, and deny his offer'd homage,
You pluck a thousand dangers on your head,
You lose a thousand well-disposed hearts,
And prick my tender patience to those thoughts
Which honour and allegiance cannot think.
K. Rich. Think what you will; we seize into
Ross. And living too; for now his son is duke.
Willo. Barely in title, not in revenue.
North. Richly in both, if justice had her right.
Ross. My heart is great; but it must break with
Take Hereford's rights away, and take from time But basely yielded upon compromise,
His charters, and his customary rights;
Let not to-morrow then ensue to-day;
Be not thyself, for how art thou a king,
But by fair sequence and succession?
Now, afore God (God forbid, I say true!)
If you do wrongfully seize Hereford's rights,
Call in the letters patents that he hath
By his attornies-general to sue
(I) Irish soldiers.
(2) Alluding to the idea that no venomous reptiles live in Ireland.
Ere't be disburden'd with a liberals tongue.
North. Nay, speak thy mind; and let him ne'er
That speaks thy words again, to do thee harm!
Willo. Tends that thou'dst speak, to the duke
of Hereford ?
If it be so, out with it boldly, man;
Quick is mine ear to hear of good towards him.
Ross. No good at all, that I can do for him;
Unless you call it good to pity him,
Bereft and gelded of his patrimony.
North. Now, afore heaven, 'tis shame, such
wrongs are borne,
In him a royal prince, and many more
Of noble blood in this declining land.
The king is not himself, but basely led
By flatterers; and what they will inform,
Merely in hate, 'gainst any of us all,
That will the king severely prosecute
'Gainst us, our lives, our children, and our heirs.
Ross. The commons hath he pill'd' with grievous
And lost their hearts: the nobles hath he fin'd,
For ancient quarrels, and quite lost their hearts.
Willo. And daily new exactions are devis'd;
As blanks, benevolences, and I wot not what:
But what, o'God's name, doth become of this?
North. Wars have not wasted it, for warr'd he
That which his ancestors achiev'd with blows:
More hath he spent in peace, than they in wars.
Ross. The earl of Wiltshire hath the realm in
Willo. The king's grown bankrupt, like a broken
North. Reproach, and dissolution, hangeth over
Ross. He hath not money for these Irish wars,
His burdenous taxations notwithstanding,
But by the robbing of the banish'd duke."
North. His noble kinsman: most degenerate king!
But, lords, we hear this fearful tempest sing,
Yet seek no shelter to avoid the storm:
We see the wind sit sore upon our sails,
(3) When of thy age.
(4) Taking possession. (5) Free.
(6) Deprived.(7) Pillaged.
More than your lord's departure weep not; more's
And yet we strike not, but securely perish.'
Ross. We see the very wreck that we must suffer;
And unavoided is the danger now,
For suffering so the causes of our wreck.
North. Not so; even through the hollow eyes of
Or if it be, 'tis with false sorrow's eye,
Which, for things true, weeps things imaginary.
Queen. It may be so; but yet my inward soul,
Persuades me, it is otherwise: Howe'er it be,
cannot but be sad; so heavy sad,
As,-though, in thinking, on no thought I think,-
Makes me with heavy nothing faint and shrink.
Bushy. 'Tis nothing but conceit, my gracious
I spy life peering; but I dare not say
How near the tidings of our comfort is.
Willo. Nay, let us share thy thoughts, as thou
Ross. Be confident to speak, Northumberland:
We three are but thyself; and, speaking so,
Thy words are but as thoughts; therefore, be bold.
North. Then thus:-I have, from Port le Blanc,
In Brittany, received intelligence,
That Harry Hereford, Reignold lord Cobham
[The son of Richard earl of Arundel,]
That late broke from the duke of Exeter,
His brother, archbishop late of Canterbury,
S.r Thomas Erpingham, sir John Ramston,
Sir John Norberry, sir Robert Waterton, and Fran-I
Bushy. Madam, your majesty is too much sad:
You promis'd, when you parted with the king,
To lay aside life-harming heaviness,
And entertain a cheerful disposition.
Queen. To please the king, I did; to please my-
I cannot do it; yet I know no cause
Why I should welcome such a guest as grief,
Save bidding farewell to so sweet a guest
As my sweet Richard: Yet, again, methinks,
Some unborn sorrow, ripe in fortune's womb,
Is coming towards me; and my inward soul
With nothing trembles: at something it grieves,
More than with parting from my lord the king.
Bushy. Each substance of a grief hath twenty
All these well furnish'd by the duke of Bretagne,
With eight tall ships, three thousand men of war,
Are making hither with all due expedience,'
And shortly mean to touch our northern shore:
Perhaps, they had ere this; but that they stay
The first departing of the king for Ireland.
If then we shall shake off our slavish yoke,
Imp out our drooping country's broken wing,
Redeem from broking pawn the blemish'd crown,
Wipe off the dust that hides our sceptre's gilt,'
And make high majesty look like itself.
Away, with me, in post to Ravenspurg:
But if you faint, as fearing to do so,
Stay, and be secret, and myself will go.
Ross. To horse, to horse! urge doubts to them The lord Northumberland, his young son Henry
Willo. Hold out my horse, and I will first be The lords of Ross, Beaumond, and Willoughby, there. [Exeunt. With all their powerful friends, are fled to him. Bushy. Why have you not proclaim'd NorthumSCENE II.-The same. A room in the palace. berland, Enter Queen, Bushy and Bagot. And all the rest of the revolting faction, Traitors?
Green. We have: whereon the earl of Worcester
Hath broke his staff, resign'd his stewardship,
And all the household servants fled with him
Which show like grief itself, but are not so:
For sorrow's eye, glazed with blinding tears,
Divides one thing entire to many objects;
Like perspectives, which, rightly gaz'd upon,
Show nothing but confusion; ey'd awry,
Distinguish form: so your sweet majesty,
Looking awry upon your lord's departure,
Finds shapes of grief, more than himself, to wail;
Which, look'd on as it is, is nought but shadows
Of what it is not. Then, thrice-gracious queen,
Queen. 'Tis nothing less: conceit is still deriv'd
From some fore-father grief; mine is not so;
For nothing hath begot my something grief;
Or something hath the nothing that I grieve:
'Tis in reversion that I do possess ;
But what it is, that is not yet known; what
I cannot name; 'tis nameless wo, I wot.
Green. God save your majesty!—and well met, gentlemen:
hope, the king is not yet shipp'd for Ireland.
Queen. Why hop'st thou so? 'tis better hope,
For his designs crave haste, his haste good hope;
Then wherefore dost thou hope, he is not shipp'd?
Green. That he, our hope, might have retired
And driven into despair an enemy's hope,
Who strongly hath set footing in this land:
And with uplifted arms is safe arriv'd
The banish'd Bolingbroke repeals himself,
Now God in heaven forbid!
Green. O, madam, 'tis too true: and that is
Queen. So, Green, thou art the midwife to my wo,
And Bolingbroke my sorrow's dismal heir:
Now hath my soul brought forth her prodigy;
And I, a gasping new-deliver'd mother,
Have wo to wo, sorrow to sorrow join'd.
Bushy. Despair not, madam.
I will despair, and be at enmity
With cozening hope; he is a flatterer,
Who gently would dissolve the bands of life,
A parasite, a keeper-back of death,
Which false hope lingers in extremity.
Green. Here comes the duke of York.
Queen. With signs of war about his aged neck;
O, full of careful business are his looks!-
For heaven's sake, speak comfortable words.
York. Should I do so, I should belie my thoughts. Comfort's in heaven; and we are on the earth, Where nothing lives but crosses, care, and grief.
Your husband he is gone to save far off,
Whilst others come to make him lose at home:
Here am I left to underprop his land;
Who, weak with age, cannot support myself:-
Now comes the sick hour that his surfeit made;
Now shall he try his friends that flatter'd him.
Enter a Servant.
Serv. My lord, your son was gone before I came. York. He was?-Why, so!-go all which way it will!
The nobles they are fled, the commons cold,
And will, I fear, revolt on Hereford's side.-
Go, fellow [To the Servant.] get thee home, provide
And bring away the armour that is there.-
Gentlemen, will you go muster men? if I know
How, or which way, to order these affairs,
Thus thrust disorderly into my hands,
Never believe me. Both are my kinsmen ;-
The one's my sovereign, whom both my oath
And duty bids defend; the other again,
Is my kinsman, whom the king hath wrong'd;
Whom conscience and my kindred bids to right.
Well, somewhat we must do.-Come, cousin, I'll
Dispose of you:-Go, muster up your men,
And meet me presently at Berkley-castle.
I should to Plashy too;-
But time will not permit :-All is uneven,
And every thing is left at six and seven.
[Exeunt York and Queen.
Bushy. The wind sits fair for news to go to
But none returns. For us to levy power,
Proportionable to the enemy,
Is all impossible.
Green. Besides, our nearness to the king in love,
Is near the hate of those love not the king.
Bagot. And that's the wavering commons: for their love
Lies in their purses; and whoso empties them,
By so much fills their hearts with deadly hate.
Bushy. Wherein the king stands generally con-
Bagot. If judgment lie in them, then so do we, Because we ever have been near the king.
Get thee to Plashy, to my sister Gloster;
Bid her send me presently a thousand pound:
Hold, take my ring.
Boling. How far is it, my lord, to Berkley now?
North. Believe me, noble lord,
Serv. My lord, I had forgot to tell your lordship:
To-day, as I came by, I called there;
But I shall grieve you to report the rest.
York. What is it, knave?
Serv. An hour before I came, the duchess died.
York. God for his mercy! what a tide of woes
Comes rushing on this woful land at once!
I know not what to do:-I would to God,
(So my untruth' had not provok'd him to it,)
am a stranger here in Glostershire.
These high wild hills, and rough uneven ways,
Draw out our miles, and make them wearisome:
And yet your fair discourse hath been as sugar,
Making the hard way sweet and délectable.
But, I bethink me, what a weary way
From Ravenspurg to Cotswold, will be found
In Ross and Willoughby, wanting your company;
The king had cut off my head with my brother's.-Which, I protest, hath very much beguil'd
What, are there posts despatch'd for Ireland ?- The tediousness and process of my travel:
How shall we do for money for these wars?-
But theirs is sweeten'd with the hope to have
Come, sister,-cousin, I would say: pray, pardon The present benefit which I possess:
And hope to joy, is little less in joy,
Than hope enjoy'd: by this the weary lords
Shall make their way seem short; as mine hath done
By sight of what I have, your noble company.
Boling. Of much less value is my company,
Than your good words. But who comes here?
Enter Harry Percy.
Green. Well, I'll for refuge straight to Bristol castle;
Bagot. No; I'll to Ireland to his majesty.
Farewell: if heart's presages be not vain,
We three here part, that ne'er shall meet again.
Bushy. That's as York thrives to beat back Bo-
The hateful commons will perform for us;
Except like curs to tear us all to pieces.-
Will you go along with us?
Green. Alas, poor duke! the task he undertakes Is-numb'ring sands, and drinking oceans dry; Where one on his side fights, thousands will dy. Bushy. Farewell at once; for once, for all, and
Green. Well, we may meet again.
I fear me, never. [Exeunt.
SCENE III.-The Wilds in Glostershire. Enter
Bolingbroke and Northumberland, with Forces.
North. It is my son, young Harry Percy,
Sent from my brother Worcester, whencesoever.-
Harry, how fares your uncle ?
Percy. I had thought, my lord, to have learn'd
his health of you.
North. Why, is he not with the queen?
Percy. No, my good lord; he hath forsook the
Broken his staff of office, and dispers'd
The household of the king.
What was his reason?
He was not so resolv'd, when last we spake to-
Percy. Because your lordship was proclaimed
The earl of Wiltshire is already there.
Bushy. Thither will I with you: for little office To more approv'd service and desert.
But he, my lord, is gone to Ravenspurg,
To offer service to the duke of Hereford;
And sent me o'er by Berkley, to discover
What power the duke of York had levied there;
Then with direction to repair to Ravenspurg.
North. Have you forgot the duke of Hereford,
Percy. No, my good lord; for that is not forgot, Which ne'er I did remember: to my knowledge, never in my life did look on him.
North. Then learn to know him now; this is the duke.
Percy. My gracious lord, I tender you my service, Such as it is, being tender. raw, and young; Which elder days shall ripen, and confirm
Boling. I thank thee, gentle Percy; and be sure,
I count myself in nothing else so happy,
As in a soul rememb'ring my good friends;
And, as my fortune ripens with thy love,
It shall be still thy true love's recompense: