Ah, Leicester, weigh how hardly I can...

Edward II

King Edward II

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Text

Ah, Leicester, weigh how hardly I can brook

To lose my crown and kingdom without cause;

To give ambitious Mortimer my right,

That, like a mountain, overwhelms my bliss;

In which extreme my mind here murder'd is!

But that the heavens appoint I must obey.—

Here, take my crown; the life of Edward too: [Taking off the crown.

Two kings in England cannot reign at once.

But stay a while: let me be king till night,

That I may gaze upon this glittering crown;

So shall my eyes receive their last content,

My head, the latest honour due to it,

And jointly both yield up their wished right.

Continue ever, thou celestial sun;

Let never silent night possess this clime;

Stand still, you watches of the element;

All times and seasons, rest you at a stay,

That Edward may be still fair England's king!

But day's bright beams doth vanish fast away,

And needs I must resign my wished crown.

Inhuman creatures, nurs'd with tiger's milk,

Why gape you for your sovereign's overthrow?

My diadem, I mean, and guiltless life.

See, monsters, see! I'll wear my crown again.

                                             _[Putting on the crown._

What, fear you not the fury of your king?—

But, hapless Edward, thou art fondly led;

They pass not for thy frowns as late they did,

But seek to make a new-elected king;

Which fills my mind with strange despairing thoughts,

Which thoughts are martyred with endless torments;

And in this torment comfort find I none,

But that I feel the crown upon my head;

And therefore let me wear it yet a while.

Christopher Marlowe, Edward II. http://elizabethandrama.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Edward-II-Annotated.pdf

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