Saint's Tragedy, The - Scene 4

SCENE IV.

The Bridal Feast E LIZABETH , Lewis , S OPHIA , and Company seated at the Dais table. Court Minstrel and Court Fool sitting on the Dais steps . Min.

How gaily smile the heavens,
The light winds whisper gay;
For royal birth and knightly worth
Are knit to one to-day. Fool
(drowning his voice)
So we'll flatter them up, and we'll cocker them up
Till we turn young brains;
And pamper the brach till we make her a wolf,
And get bit by the legs for our pains Monks
(chanting without).
A fastu et superbiâ
Domine libera nos. Min .
'Neath sandal red and samite,
Are knights and ladies set;
The henchmen tall stride through the hall,
The board with wine is wet. Fool .
Oh! merrily growls the starving hind,
At my full skin;
And merrily howl wolf, wind, and owl,
While I lie warm within. Monks .
A luxu et avaritiâ
Domine libera nos Min .
Hark! from the bridal bower,
Rings out the bridesmaid's song;
" 'Tis the mystic hour of an untried power,
The bride she tarries long. " Fool .
She's schooling herself and she's steeling herself,
Against the dreary day,
When she'll pine and sigh from her lattice high
For the knight that's far away. Monks .
A carnis illectamentis
Domine libera nos. Min .
Blest maid! fresh roses o'er thee
The careless years shall fling;
While days and nights shall new delights
To sense and fancy bring. Fool .
Satins and silks, and feathers and lace,
Will gild life's pill;
In jewels and gold folks cannot grow old,
Fine ladies will never fall ill. Monks .
A vanitatibus saeculi
Domine libera nos.

Sophia (to the Fool) Silence, you screech-owl —
Come strew flowers, fair ladies,
And lead into her bower our fairest bride,
The cynosure of love and beauty here,
Who shrines heaven's graces in earth's richest casket.
Eliz . I come ( aside ) Here, Guta, take those monks a fee —
Tell them I thank them — bid them pray for me.
I am half mazed with trembling joy within,
And noisy wassail round. 'Tis well, for else
The spectre of my duties and my dangers
Would whelm my heart with terror. Ah! poor self!
Thou took'st this for the term and bourne of troubles —
And now 'tis here, thou findest it the gate
Of new sin-cursed infinities of labour,
Where thou must do, or die!
( aloud ) Lead on. I'll follow.

Fool . There, now. No fee for the fool; and yet
my prescription was as good as those old Jeremies'.
But in law, physic, and divinity folks had sooner be
poisoned in Latin, than saved in the mother-tongue.
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