My Lord Melun, let this be copied out
Dauphin, handing a paper to Melun
My Lord Melun, let this be copied out,
And keep it safe for our remembrance.
Return the precedent to these lords again,
That having our fair order written down,
Both they and we, perusing o'er these notes,
May know wherefore we took the Sacrament,
And keep our faiths firm and inviolable.
Upon our sides it never shall be broken.
And, noble dauphin, albeit we swear
A voluntary zeal and unurged faith
To your proceedings, yet believe me, prince,
I am not glad that such a sore of time
Should seek a plaster by contemned revolt
And heal the inveterate canker of one wound
By making many. O, it grieves my soul
That I must draw this metal from my side
To be a widow-maker! O, and there
Where honorable rescue and defense
Cries out upon the name of Salisbury!
But such is the infection of the time
That for the health and physic of our right,
We cannot deal but with the very hand
Of stern injustice and confusèd wrong.
And is ‘t not pity, O my grievèd friends,
That we, the sons and children of this isle,
Was born to see so sad an hour as this,
Wherein we step after a stranger, march
Upon her gentle bosom, and fill up
Her enemies' ranks? I must withdraw and weep
Upon the spot of this enforcèd cause,
To grace the gentry of a land remote,
And follow unacquainted colors here.
What, here? O nation, that thou couldst remove,
That Neptune's arms, who clippeth thee about,
Would bear thee from the knowledge of thyself
And grapple thee unto a pagan shore,
Where these two Christian armies might combine
The blood of malice in a vein of league,
And not to spend it so unneighborly. He weeps.
A noble temper dost thou show in this,
And great affections wrestling in thy bosom
Doth make an earthquake of nobility.
O, what a noble combat hast thou fought
Between compulsion and a brave respect!
Let me wipe off this honorable dew
That silverly doth progress on thy cheeks.
My heart hath melted at a lady's tears,
Being an ordinary inundation,
But this effusion of such manly drops,
This shower, blown up by tempest of the soul,
Startles mine eyes and makes me more amazed
Than had I seen the vaulty top of heaven
Figured quite o'er with burning meteors.
Lift up thy brow, renownèd Salisbury,
And with a great heart heave away this storm.
Commend these waters to those baby eyes
That never saw the giant world enraged,
Nor met with fortune other than at feasts
Full warm of blood, of mirth, of gossiping.
Come, come; for thou shalt thrust thy hand as deep
Into the purse of rich prosperity
As Louis himself.—So, nobles, shall you all,
That knit your sinews to the strength of mine.
And even there, methinks, an angel spake.