A monologue from Act V, Scene iii

by: Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher

NOTE: Philaster, or Love Lies a-Bleeding was produced about 1609 and first printed in an imperfect quarto in 1620. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.

BELLARIO: Right royal sir, I should
sing you an epithalamion of these lovers,
But having lost my best airs with my fortunes,
And wanting a celestial harp to strike
This blessed union on, thus in glad story
I give you all. These two fair cedar branches,
The noblest of the mountain where they grew,
Straightest and tallest, under whose still shades
The worthier beasts have made their lairs, and slept
Free from [the fervor of] [1] the Sirian star
And the fell thunderstroke, free from the clouds
When they were big with humor [2], and delivered
In thousand spouts their issues to the earth
(O, there was none but silent quiet there),
Till never-pleaséd Fortune shot up shrubs,
Base underbrambles, to divorce these branches;
And for a while they did so, and did reign
Over the mountain, and choke up his beauty
With brakes, rude thorns, and thistles, till the sun
Scorched them even to the roots and dried them there.
And now a gentle gale hath blown again,
That made these branches meet and twine together,
Never to be divided. The god that sings
His holy numbers [3] over marriage beds
Hath knit their noble hearts; and here they stand,
Your children, mighty king; and I have done.

1 From 1620 edn.

2 Moisture.

3 Verses.

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