WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR. Ah, good my Lords, misconster not the cause; At least, suspect not my displeased brows: I amorously do bear to your intent, For thanks and all that you can wish I yield. But that which makes me blush and shame to tell Is cause why thus I turn my conquering eyes To cowards looks and beaten fantasies.
MOUNTNEY. Since we are guiltless, we the less dismay To see this sudden change possess your cheer, For if it issue from your own conceits Bred by suggestion of some envious thoughts, Your highness wisdom may suppress it straight. Yet tell us, good my Lord, what thought it is That thus bereaves you of your late content, That in advise we may assist your grace, Or bend our forces to revive your spirits.
William the conqueror.
Ah, Marques Lubeck, in thy power it lies
To rid my bosom of these thralled dumps:
And therefore, good my Lords, forbear a while
That we may parley of these private cares,
Whose strength subdues me more than all the world.
We go and wish thee private conference
Publicke afffects in this accustomed peace.
[Exit all but William and the Marques.]
Now, Marques, must a Conquerer at arms
Disclose himself thrald to unarmed thoughts,
And, threatnd of a shadow, yield to lust.
No sooner had my sparkling eyes beheld
The flames of beauty blazing on this piece,
But suddenly a sense of miracle,
Imagined on thy lovely Maistre’s face,
Made me abandon bodily regard,
And cast all pleasures on my wounded soul:
Then, gentle Marques, tell me what she is,
That thus thou honourest on thy warlike shield;
And if thy love and interest be such
As justly may give place to mine,
That if it be, my soul with honors wing
May fly into the bosom of my dear;
If not, close them, and stoop into my grave!
If this be all, renowned Conquerer,
Advance your drooping spirits, and revive
The wonted courage of your Conquering mind;
For this fair picture painted on my shield
Is the true counterfeit of lovely Blaunch,
Princess and daughter to the King of Danes,
Whose beauty and excess of ornaments
Deserves another manner of defence,
Pomp and high person to attend her state
Then Marques Lubeck any way presents.
Therefore her vertues I resign to thee,
Already shrined in thy religious breast,
To be advanced and honoured to the full;
Nor bear I this an argument of love,
But to renown fair Blaunch, my Sovereigns child
In every place where I by arms may do it.
Ah, Marques, thy words bring heaven unto my soul,
And had I heaven to give for thy reward,
Thou shouldst be throned in no unworthy place.
But let my uttermost wealth suffice thy worth,
Which here I vow; and to aspire the bliss
That hangs on quick achievement of my love,
Thy self and I will travel in disguise,
To bring this Lady to our Brittain Court.