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Monologues for Women


I call’d thee then vain flourish of my fortune;

I call’d thee then poor shadow, painted queen,

The presentation of but what I was;

The flattering index of a direful pageant;

One heav’d a-high, to be hurl’d down below;

A mother only mock’d with two fair babes;

A dream of what thou wast, a garish flag

To be the aim of every dangerous shot;

A sign of dignity, a breath, a bubble;

A queen in jest, only to fill the scene.

Where is thy husband now? Where be thy brothers?

Where be thy two sons? Wherein dost thou joy?

Who sues, and kneels, and says, “God save the Queen”?

Where be the bending peers that flattered thee?

Where be the thronging troops that followed thee?

Decline all this, and see what now thou art:

For happy wife, a most distressed widow;

For joyful mother, one that wails the name;

For one being sued to, one that humbly sues;

For queen, a very caitiff crown’d with care;

For she that scorn’d at me, now scorn’d of me;

For she being feared of all, now fearing one;

For she commanding all, obey’d of none.

Thus hath the course of justice whirl’d about,

And left thee but a very prey to time,

Having no more but thought of what thou wast

To torture thee the more, being what thou art.

Thou didst usurp my place, and dost thou not

Usurp the just proportion of my sorrow?

Now thy proud neck bears half my burden’d yoke,

From which even here I slip my weary head,

And leave the burden of it all on thee.

Farewell, York’s wife, and queen of sad mischance,

These English woes shall make me smile in France.

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