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Rut. Thou sole delight—

Thou onlyjoy which life could ever give,,

Or death deprive me of—-my wedded lord !

I come, with thee, determin'd to endure

The utmost rigour of our angry stars !—

To join thee, fearless, in the grasp of death,

And seek some dwelling in a world beyond it!

Essex. Too much, thou partner of this dismal hour,

Thy gen'rous soul would prompt thee to endure!
Nor can thy tender, trembling, heart sustain it.
Long years of bliss remain in store for thee;

And smiling time his treasures shall unfold

To bribe thy stay!

Rut. Thou cruel comforter !

Alas! what's life—-what's hated life to me?

Alas, this universe, this goodly frame,

Shall all as one continued curse appear,

And every object blast, when thou art gone.

Essex. Oh, strain not thus the little strength I've left,

The weak support that holds up life ! to bear

A few short moments more, its weight of woe, _
Its loss of thee! Oh, turn away those eyes!

Nor with that look melt down my fix’d resolve!
And yet, a little longer let me gaze

On that lov’d form! Alas! I feel my sight

Grows dim, and reason from her throne retires:
For pity's sake, let go my breaking heart,

And leave me to my fate!

Rut. Why wiltthou still

Of parting talk ?

Oh, that the friendly hand of Heaven would snatch
Us both at once, above the distant stars,

Where fortune's venom’d shafts can never pierce,
Nor cruel queens destroy !

Essex. The awful Searcher, whose impartial eye

Explores the secrets of each human heart,
And every thought surveys, can witness for me,
How close thy image clings around my soul!
Retards each rising wish, and draws me back
To life, entangled by that lov’d idea!
Lieut. My lord,
It now grows late.
Esser. Lead on.
But. Stay, stay, my love! my dearest, dying lord!
Ah! whither wouldst thou go? Ah, do not leave me!
[Faints.
Essex. Thou sinking excellence! thou matchless
woman !
Shall fortune rob me of thy dear embrace,
Or earth's whole power, or death divide us now?
Stay, stay, thou spotless, injur'd saint! '
Licut. My lord, already you have been indulg’d
Beyond what I can warrant by my orders.
Essex. One moment more
Afford me to my sorrows—Oh, look there !
Could bitter anguish pierce your heart, like mine,
You'd pity now the mortal pangs I feel,
The throbs that tear my vital strings away,
And rend my agonizing soul
Lieut. My lord——
Essex. But one short moment, and I will attend.
Ye sacred ministers, that virtue guard,
And shield the righteous in the paths of peril,
Restore her back to life, and lengthen'd years
Of joy ! dry up her bleeding sorrows all !
Oh, cancel from her thoughts this dismal hour,
And blot my image from her sad remembrance !
’Tis done.— - '
And now, ye trembling cords of life, give way!
Nature and time, let go your hold !—eternity

Demands me. [Exeunt Essex and Lravrmunr.

Rut. Where has my lost, benighted, soul been wand'ring ?F

What means this mist, that hangs about my mind,

Through which reflection's painful eye discerns

Imperfect forms, and horrid shapes of woe ?----

The cloud dispels, the shades withdraw, and all

My dreadful fate appears.—Oh! where's my lord ?—

My life ! my Essex ! Oh! whither have they ta'en him ? ‘

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Qu. Eliz. To execution !—Fly with lightning's wing,

And save him!

Be calm, he shall not die! Rise up—I came

To save his life.

Rut. 'Tis mercy's voice that speaks !—

My Essex shall again be mine! My queen,

‘My bounteous, gracious queen, has said the word ! May troops of angels guard thy sacred life!

And, in thy-latest moments, waft thy soul,

To meet that mercy in the realms ofjoy, _
Which, now, thy royal goodness grants to me!

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Qu. Eliz. Alas! her sorrows pierce my suffering heart! Rut. Eternal discord tear the social world,

And nature's laws dissolve! expunge—erase

The hated marks of time's engraving hand,

And every trace destroy! Arise, Despair!

Assert thy rightful claim—possess me all !

Bear, bear me to my murder'd lord—to clasp

His bleeding body in my dying arms !

And, in the tomb, embrace his dear remains,

And mingle with his dust—for ever! [E.rit.

Qu. Eliz. Hapless woman !

She shall henceforth be partner of my sorrows:

And we'll contend who most shall weep for Essex.
Oh, quick to kill, and ready to destroy,

[To BUrtLnicr1.

Could no pretext be found—no cause appear,

To lengthen mercy out a moment more,

And stretch the span of grace ?—Oh, cruel Bur

leigh ! This, this was thy dark work, unpitying man ! Bur. My gracious mistress, blame not thus my dut , '

My firm oliiadience to your high command.

The laws condemn'd him first to die; nor think

I stood between your mercy, and his life.

It was the Lady Nottingham, not I.

Herself confess'd it all, in wild despair,

That, from your majesty to Essex sent

With terms of proffer'd grace, she then ,receiv’d,
From his own hand, a fatal ring, a pledge,

It seems, of much importance, which the earl,

With earnest suit, and warm entreaty, begg’d her,

As she would prize his life, to give your majesty;

In this she fail'd—~In this she murder'd Essex.

Qu. Eliz. Oh, barbarous woman! Surrounded still by treachery and fraud !

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