Elizabeth had recently died when Shakespeare wrote this.

(The baby ELIZABETH is carried in by her Godmother, and CRANMER blesses the KING and QUEEN.)

King Henry. Thank you, good Lord Archbishop : What is her name?


King Henry.


Stand up, Lord.

[The KING kisses the child.

With this kiss take my blessing; God protect thee! Into whose hand I give thy life.



King Henry. My noble gossips, ye have been too prodigal:

I thank ye heartily: so shall this lady
When she has so much English.



Cranmer. Let me speak, sir, For heaven now bids me; and the words I utter Let none think flattery, for they'll find 'em truth. This royal infant,-heaven still move about her!Though in her cradle, yet now promises Upon this land a thousand thousand blessings, Which time shall bring to ripeness: she shall beBut few now living can behold that goodnessA pattern to all princes living with her, And all that shall succeed: Saba was never

5. gossips] godparents.
16. Saba] Queen of Sheba.

10. still] always.



More covetous of wisdom and fair virtue
Than this pure soul shall be: all princely graces,
That mould up such a mighty piece as this is,
With all the virtues that attend the good,
Shall still be doubled on her; truth shall nurse her;
Holy and heavenly thoughts still counsel her;
She shall be lov'd and fear'd; her own shall bless her;
Her foes shake like a field of beaten corn,
And hang their heads with sorrow; good grows with


In her days every man shall eat in safety
Under his own vine what he plants; and sing
The merry songs of peace to all his neighbours.
God shall be truly known; and those about her
From her shall read the perfect ways of honour, 30
And by those claim their greatness, not by blood.

King Henry.
Thou speakest wonders.
Cranmer. She shall be, to the happiness of


An aged princess; many days shall see her,
And yet no day without a deed to crown it.
Would I had known no more! but she must die,
She must, the saints must have her, yet a virgin;
A most unspotted lily shall she pass
To the ground, and all the world shall mourn her.




Sir Humphrey Gilbert, statesman, courtier, soldier, and explorer, set out in 1583 to found the colony of Newfoundland, but the attempt was a failure. He sailed back to England in The Squirrel of ten tons burden. On the afternoon of a stormy September day he was seen by the sailors in the companion ship, The Golden Hind, sitting in the bow with a book in his hand. When they approached within hearing, he cried out: 'We are as near to Heaven by sea as by land.' On the same night, the light of The Squirrel suddenly disappeared.

[See Sir Humphrey Gilbert in Froude's Short Studies on Great Subjects, vol. i; England's Forgotten Worthies; and Kingsley's Westward Ho! chapter xiii-'How The Golden Hind came home again.']

SOUTHWARD with fleet of ice
Sailed the corsair Death;
Wild and fast blew the blast,

And the east-wind was his breath.

His lordly ships of ice

Glisten in the sun;

On each side, like pennons wide,
Flashing crystal streamlets run.

His sails of white sea-mist
Dripped with silver rain;

But where he passed there were cast
Leaden shadows o'er the main.



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Three days or more seaward he bore,
Then, alas! the land-wind failed.


Alas! the land-wind failed,

And ice-cold grew the night;
And never more, on sea or shore,
Should Sir Humphrey see the light.

He sat upon the deck,

The Book was in his hand;

'Do not fear! Heaven is as near,'

He said, 'by water as by land!'

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Seemed to rake the passing clouds.

They grappled with their prize,

At midnight black and cold!

As of a rock was the shock;
Heavily the ground-swell rolled.

Southward through day and dark
They drift in close embrace,





With mist and rain o'er the open main;
Yet there seems no change of place.

Southward, for ever southward,

They drift through dark and day;
And like a dream, in the Gulf-Stream
Sinking, vanish all away.


13. Campobello. An island in the Bay of Fundy.


22. The Book was More's Utopia, but Longfellow apparently means the Bible.



When in 1568 Mary crossed the Border to sue for Elizabeth's protection against the Scottish lords, she virtually became a prisoner for nineteen years. During all this time she was the centre of the plots against Elizabeth, and a source of perplexity and anxiety to the English Queen and her ministers. At last she was found guilty of complicity in Babington's conspiracy to kill Elizabeth, who reluctantly consented to the English Parliament's petition that she should be executed. How far Mary was really guilty will never be known; historians take sides on the matter. All, however, are agreed on the personal charm she shed on those around her; even dour John Knox felt it.

Enter MARY STUART, led by two gentlemen and preceded by the Sheriff; MARY BEATON, BARBARA MOWBRAY, and other ladies behind, who remain in the doorway.

Melville (kneeling to Mary).

Woe am I,

Madam, that I must bear to Scotland back

Such tidings watered with such tears as these. Mary Stuart. Weep not, good Melville; rather

should your heart

Rejoice that here an end is come at last

Of Mary Stuart's long sorrows: for be sure

That all this world is only vanity.


And this record I pray you make of me,

That a true woman to my faith I die,


And true to Scotland and to France: but God
Forgive them that have long desired mine end
And with false tongues have thirsted for my blood
As the hart thirsteth for the water-brooks.

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