The tyrannous and bloody act is done,
The most arch deed of piteous massacre
That ever yet this land was guilty of.
Dighton and Forrest, who I did suborn
To do this piece of ruthless butchery,
Albeit they were flesh’d villains, bloody dogs,
Melted with tenderness and kind compassion,
Wept like two children in their deaths’ sad story.
“O, thus,” quoth Dighton, “lay the gentle babes.”
“Thus, thus,” quoth Forrest, “girdling one another
Within their alablaster innocent arms.
Their lips were four red roses on a stalk,
Which in their summer beauty kiss’d each other.
A book of prayers on their pillow lay,
Which once,” quoth Forrest, “almost chang’d my mind;
But O! the devil”—there the villain stopp’d;
When Dighton thus told on, “We smothered
The most replenished sweet work of Nature
That from the prime creation e’er she framed.”
Hence both are gone with conscience and remorse
They could not speak; and so I left them both,
To bear this tidings to the bloody King.
And here he comes. All health, my sovereign lord!