King Edward II is greatly fond of his attendant, Piers Gaveston.
How fast they run to banish him I love!
They would not stir, were it to do me good.
Why should a king be subject to a priest?
Proud Rome! that hatchest such imperial grooms,
For these thy superstitious taper-lights,
Wherewith thy antichristian churches blaze,
I’ll fire thy crazed buildings, and enforce
The papal towers to kiss the lowly ground!
With slaughtered priests make Tiber’s channel swell,
And banks rais’d higher with their sepulchres!
As for the peers, that back the clergy thus,
If I be king, not one of them shall live.
My lord, I hear it whispered everywhere,
That I am banish’d, and must fly the land.
’Tis true, sweet Gaveston—O! were it false!
The legate of the Pope will have it so,
And thou must hence, or I shall be depos’d.
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