A sight as baneful to their souls, I think, As are Thessalian drugs or mithridate: But go, my lords, put the rest to the sword. [Exeunt all except TAMBURLAINE.] Ah, fair Zenocrate!--divine Zenocrate! Fair is too foul an epithet for thee,-- That in thy passion(262) for thy country's love, And fear to see thy kingly father's harm, With hair dishevell'd wip'st thy watery cheeks; And, like to Flora in her morning's pride, Shaking her silver tresses in the air, Rain'st on the earth resolved(263) pearl in showers, And sprinklest sapphires on thy shining face, Where Beauty, mother to the Muses, sits, And comments volumes with her ivory pen, Taking instructions from thy flowing eyes; Eyes, when that Ebena steps to heaven,(264) In silence of thy solemn evening's walk, Making the mantle of the richest night, The moon, the planets, and the meteors, light; There angels in their crystal armours fight(265) A doubtful battle with my tempted thoughts For Egypt's freedom and the Soldan's life, His life that so consumes Zenocrate; Whose sorrows lay more siege unto my soul Than all my army to Damascus' walls; And neither Persia's(266) sovereign nor the Turk Troubled my senses with conceit of foil So much by much as doth Zenocrate. What is beauty, saith my sufferings, then? If all the pens that ever poets held Had fed the feeling of their masters' thoughts, And every sweetness that inspir'd their hearts, Their minds, and muses on admired themes; If all the heavenly quintessence they still(267) From their immortal flowers of poesy, Wherein, as in a mirror, we perceive The highest reaches of a human wit; If these had made one poem's period, And all combin'd in beauty's worthiness, Yet should there hover in their restless heads One thought, one grace, one wonder, at the least, Which into words no virtue can digest. But how unseemly is it for my sex, My discipline of arms and chivalry, My nature, and the terror of my name, To harbour thoughts effeminate and faint! Save only that in beauty's just applause, With whose instinct the soul of man is touch'd; And every warrior that is rapt with love Of fame, of valour, and of victory, Must needs have beauty beat on his conceits: I thus conceiving,(268) and subduing both, That which hath stoop'd the chiefest of the gods, Even from the fiery-spangled veil of heaven, To feel the lovely warmth of shepherds' flames, And mask in cottages of strowed reeds, Shall give the world to note, for all my birth, That virtue solely is the sum of glory, And fashions men with true nobility.-- Who's within there? Enter ATTENDANTS. Hath Bajazeth been fed to-day?

ATTEND.(269) Ay, my lord.

TAMBURLAINE. Bring him forth; and let us know if the town be ransacked. [Exeunt ATTENDANTS.]


TECHELLES. The town is ours, my lord, and fresh supply Of conquest and of spoil is offer'd us.

TAMBURLAINE. That's well, Techelles. What's the news?

TECHELLES. The Soldan and the Arabian king together March on us with(270) such eager violence As if there were no way but one with us.(271)

TAMBURLAINE. No more there is not, I warrant thee, Techelles.

ATTENDANTS bring in BAJAZETH in his cage, followed by ZABINA. Exeunt ATTENDANTS.

THERIDAMAS. We know the victory is ours, my lord; But let us save the reverend Soldan's life For fair Zenocrate that so laments his state.

TAMBURLAINE. That will we chiefly see unto, Theridamas, For sweet Zenocrate, whose worthiness Deserves a conquest over every heart.-- And now, my footstool, if I lose the field, You hope of liberty and restitution?-- Here let him stay, my masters, from the tents, Till we have made us ready for the field.-- Pray for us, Bajazeth; we are going. [Exeunt all except BAJAZETH and ZABINA.]

BAJAZETH. Go, never to return with victory! Millions of men encompass thee about, And gore thy body with as many wounds! Sharp forked arrows light upon thy horse! Furies from the black Cocytus' lake, Break up the earth, and with their fire-brands Enforce thee run upon the baneful pikes! Vollies of shot pierce through thy charmed skin, And every bullet dipt in poison'd drugs! Or roaring cannons sever all thy joints, Making thee mount as high as eagles soar!


Tamburlaine the Great, Part 1 Page 25

Christopher Marlowe

16th Century Literature

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Christopher Marlowe
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