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Monologues for Men


Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt tears,

Sham’d their aspects with store of childish drops:

These eyes, which never shed remorseful tear—

No, when my father York and Edward wept

To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made

When black-fac’d Clifford shook his sword at him;

Nor when thy warlike father, like a child,

Told the sad story of my father’s death,

And twenty times made pause to sob and weep,

That all the standers-by had wet their cheeks

Like trees bedash’d with rain—in that sad time

My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear;

And what these sorrows could not thence exhale,

Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with weeping.

I never sued to friend nor enemy;

My tongue could never learn sweet smoothing word;

But now thy beauty is propos’d my fee,

My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to speak.

She looks scornfully at him.

Teach not thy lip such scorn; for it was made

For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.

If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive,

Lo here I lend thee this sharp-pointed sword,

Which if thou please to hide in this true breast,

And let the soul forth that adoreth thee,

I lay it naked to the deadly stroke,

And humbly beg the death upon my knee.

He lays his breast open: she offers at it with his sword.

Nay, do not pause: for I did kill King Henry—

But ’twas thy beauty that provoked me.

Nay, now dispatch: ’twas I that stabb’d young Edward

But ’twas thy heavenly face that set me on.

She falls the sword.

Take up the sword again, or take up me.

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