A heavy sentence, my most sovereign liege,
And all unlook’d for from your Highness’ mouth.
A dearer merit, not so deep a maim
As to be cast forth in the common air,
Have I deserved at your Highness’ hands.
The language I have learnt these forty years,
My native English, now I must forgo,
And now my tongue’s use is to me no more
Than an unstringed viol or a harp,
Or like a cunning instrument cas’d up,
Or being open, put into his hands
That knows no touch to tune the harmony.
Within my mouth you have enjail’d my tongue,
Doubly portcullis’d with my teeth and lips,
And dull unfeeling barren ignorance
Is made my jailer to attend on me.
I am too old to fawn upon a nurse,
Too far in years to be a pupil now.
What is thy sentence then but speechless death,
Which robs my tongue from breathing native breath?