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About this text

  • Title: The History of King Leir (Quarto, 1605)
  • Editor: Andrew Griffin

  • Copyright Queen's Men Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Anonymous
    Editor: Andrew Griffin
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    The History of King Leir (Quarto, 1605)

    and his three daughters.
    Gon. About it presently, I long till it be done.
    1060Mes. I fly, I fly. Exeunt.
    Enter Cordella solus.
    I haue bin ouer-negligent to day,
    In going to the Temple of my God,
    To render thanks for all his benefits,
    1065Which he miraculously hath bestowed on me,
    In raysing me out of my meane estate,
    When as I was deuoyd of worldly friends,
    And placing me in such a sweet content,
    As far exceeds the reach of my deserts.
    1070My kingly husband, myrrour of his time,
    For zeale, for iustice, kindnesse, and for care
    To God, his subiects, me, and Common weale,
    By his appoyntment was ordayned for me.
    I cannot wish the thing that I do want;
    1075I cannot want the thing but I may haue,
    Saue only this which I shall ne're obtayne,
    My fathers loue, oh this I ne're shall gayne.
    I would abstayne from any nutryment,
    And pyne my body to the very bones:
    1080Bare foote I would on pilgrimage set forth
    Vnto the furthest quarters of the earth,
    And all my life time would I sackcloth weare,
    And mourning-wise powre dust vpon my head:
    So he but to forgiue me once would please,
    1085That his grey haires might go to heauen in peace.
    And yet I know now how I him offended,
    Or wherein iustly I haue deserued blame.
    Oh sisters! you are much to blame in this,
    It was not he, but you that did me wrong.
    1090Yet God forgiue both him, and you and me,
    Euen as I doe in perfit charity.
    I will to Church, and pray vnto my Sauiour,
    That ere I dye, I may obtayne his fauour. Exit.
    Enter Leir and Perillus fayntly.
    1095Per. Rest on me, my Lord, and stay your selfe,
    The way seemes tedious to your aged lymmes.
    D4 Leir. Nay,