Front Page Titles (by Subject) SCENE III. - The Works of Christopher Marlowe, vol. 3 (Poems)
SCENE III. - Christopher Marlowe, The Works of Christopher Marlowe, vol. 3 (Poems) 
The Works of Christopher Marlowe, ed. A.H. Bullen (London: John C. Nimmo, 1885). Vol. 3.
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- Publisher's Notice
- Hero and Leander.
- To the Right-worshipful Sir Thomas Walsingham, Knight
- Hero and Leander.
- The First Sestiad.
- The Second Sestiad.
- The Epistle Dedicatory
- The Third Sestiad.
- The Fourth Sestiad.
- The Fifth Sestiad.
- The Sixth Sestiad.
- Ovid's Elegies.
- P. Ovidii Nasonis 'amorum Liber Primus
- Elegia I. Quemadmodum a Cupidine, Pro Bellis Amores Scribere Coactus Sit.
- Elegia II. Quod Primo Amore Correptus, In Triumphum Duci Se a Cupidine Patiatur.
- Elegia III. Ad Amicam.
- Elegia IV. Amicam, Qua Arte Quibusque Nutibus In Cæna, Presente Viro, Uti Debeat, Admonet.
- Elegia V. Corinnæ Concubitus.
- Elegia VI. Ad Janitorem, Ut Fores Sibi Aperiat.
- Elegia VII. Ad Pacandam Amicam, Quam Verberaverat.
- Elegia VIII. Execratur Lenam Quæ Puellam Suam Meretricis Arte Instituebat.
- Elegia Ix Ad Atticum, Amantem Non Oportere Desidiosum Esse, Sicuti Nec Militem.
- Elegia X Ad Puellam, Ne Pro Amore Præmia Poscat.
- Elegia XI. Napen Alloqutur, Ut Paratas Tabellas Ad Cornnam Perferat.
- Elegia XII. Tabellas Quas Miserat Execratur Quod Amica Noctem Negabat.
- Elegia XIII. Ad Auroram Ne Properet.
- Elegia XIV. Puellam Consolatur Cui Præ Nimia Cura Comæ Deciderant.
- Elegia XV. Ad Invidos, Quod Fama Poetarum Sit Perennis.
- P. Ovidii Nasonis Amorum. Liber Secundus .
- Elegia I. Quod Pro Gigantomachia Amores Scribere Sit Coactus.
- Elegia II. Ad Bagoum, Ut Custodiam Puellæ Sibi Commissæ Laxiorem Habeat
- Elegia III. Ad Eunuchum Servantem Dominam.
- Elegia IV. Quod Amet Mulieres, Cujuscunque Formæ Sint.
- Elegia V. Ad Amicam Corruptam.
- Elegia VI. In Mortem Psittaci.
- Elegia VII. Amicæ Se Purgat, Quod Ancillam Non Amet.
- Elegia VIII. Ad Cypassim Ancillam Corinnæ.
- Elegia IX. Ad Cupidinem.
- Elegia X. Ad Græcinum Quod Eodem Tempore Duas Amet.
- Elegia XI. Ad Amicam Navigantem.
- Elegia XII. Exultat, Quod Amica Potitus Sit.
- Elegia XIII. Ad Isidem, Ut Parientem Corinnam Servet
- Elegia XIV. In Amicam, Quod Abortivum Ipsa Fecerit.
- Elegia XV. Ad Annulum, Quem Dono Amicæ Dedit.
- Elegia XVI. Ad Amicam, Ut Ad Rura Sua Veniat.
- Elegia XVII. Quod Corinnæ Soli Sit Serviturus.
- Elegia XVIII. Ad Macrum, Quod De Amoribus Scribat,
- Elegia XIX. Ad Rivalem Cut Nxor Curæ Non Erat.
- P. Ovidii Masonis Amorum. Liber Tertius .
- Elegia I. Deliberatio Poetæ, Utrum Elegos Pergat Scribere an Potius Tragoedias.
- Elegia II. Ad Amicam Cursum Equorum Spectantem.
- Elegia III. De Amica Quæ Perjuraverat.
- Elegia IV. Ad Virum Servantem Conjugem.
- Elegia VI. Ad Amnem Dum Iter Faceret Ad Amicam.
- Elegia VII. Quod Ab Amica Receptus, Cum Ea Coire Non Potuit Conqueritur.
- Elegia VIII. Quod Ab Amica Non Recipiatur, Dolet.
- Elegia IX. Tibulli Mortem Deflet.
- Elegia X. Ad Cererem, Conquerens Quod Ejus Sacris Cum Amica Concumbere Non Permittatur.
- Elegia XI. Ad Amicam a Cujus Amore Discedere Non Potest.
- Elegia XII. Dolet Amicam Suam Ita Suis Carminibus Innotuisse Ut Rivales Multos Sibi Pararit.
- Elegia XIII. De Junonis Festo.
- Elegia XIV. Ad Amicam, Si Peccatura Est, Ut Occulte Peccet.
- Elegia XV. Ad Venerem, Quod Elegis Finem Imponat.
- Epigrams By J[ohn] D[avies].
- Ad Musam. I.
- Of a Gull. II.
- In Refum. III.
- In Quintum. IV.
- In Plurimos. V.
- In Titum. VI.
- In Faustum. VII.
- In Katam. VIII.
- In Librum. IX.
- In Medontem. X
- In Gellam. XI.
- In Quintum. XII.
- In Severum. XIII.
- In Leucam. XIV.
- In Macrum. XV.
- In Faustum. XVI.
- In Cosmum. XVII.
- In Flaccum. XVIII.
- In Cineam. XIX.
- In Gerontem. XX.
- In Marcum. XXI.
- In Cyprium. XXII.
- In Cineam. XXIII.
- In Gallum. XXIV.
- In Decium. XXV.
- In Gellam. XXVI.
- In Syllam. XXVII.
- In Syllam. XXVIII.
- In Heywodum. XXIX.
- In Dacum. XXX.
- In Priscum. XXXI.
- In Brunum. XXXII.
- In Francum. XXXIII.
- In Castorem. XXXIV.
- In Septimium. XXXV.
- Of Tobacco. XXXVI.
- In Crassum. Xxxvii
- In Philonem. XXXVIII.
- In Fuscum. XXXIX.
- In Afrum. Xl.
- In Paulum. Xli.
- In Lycum. Xlii.
- In Publium. Xliii.
- In Syllam. Xliv.
- In Dacum. Xlv.
- In Marcum. Xlvi.
- Meditations of a Gull. Xlvii.
- Ad Musam. Xlviii.
- The First Book of Lucan.
- To His Kind and True Friend, Edward Blunt.
- The First Book of Lucan.
- The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.
- Dialogue In Verse.
- No. 1. the Atheist’s Tragedie.
- No. II.
- No. III. a Note
- No. IV.: The Death of Marlowe.
- Scene I.
- Scene II.
- Scene III.
A room in the Triple Tun, Blackfriars.
Marlowe, Middleton, Heywood, and Gentlemen.
- I do rejoice to find myself among
- The choicest spirits of the age: health, sirs!
- I would commend your fame to future years,
- But that I know ere this ye must be old
- In the conviction, and that ye full oft
- With sure posterity have shaken hands
- Over the unstable bridge of present time.
- Not so: we write from the full heart within,
- And leave posterity to find her own.
- Health, sir!—your good deeds laurel you in heaven.
- Twere best men left their fame to chance and fashion,
- As birds bequeath their eggs to the sun's hatching,
- Since Genius can make no will
- Troth, can it!
- But for the conseqnences of the deed,
- What fires of blind fatality may catch them!
- Say, you do love a woman—do adore her—
- You may embalm the memory of her worth
- And chronicle her beauty to all time,
- In words whereat great Jove himself might flush,
- And feel Olympus tremble at his thoughts;
- Yet where is your security? Some clerk
- Wanting a foolscap, or some boy a kite,
- Some housewife fuel, or some sportsman wadding
- To wrap a ball (which hits the poet's bran
- By merest accident) seizes your record,
- And to the wind thus scatters all your will,
- Or, rather, your will's object. Thus, our pride
- Swings like a planet by a single hair,
- Obedient to God's breath. More wine! more wine!
- I preach—and I grow melancholy—wine!
Enter Drawer with a tankard.
A Gentleman (rising).
We're wending homeward—gentlemen, good night!
- Not yet—not yet—the night has scarce begun—
- Nay, Master Heywood—Middleton, you'll stay!
- Bright skies to those who go—high thoughts go with ye,
- And constant youth!
We thank you, sir—good night!
Let's follow—'tis near morning.
- Do not go.
- I'm ill at ease, touching a certain matter
- I've taken to heart—don't speak of't—and besides
- I have a sort of horror of my bed.
- Last night a squadron charged me in a dream,
- With Isis and Osiris at the flanks,
- Towering and waving their colossal arms,
- While in a van a fiery chariot roll'd,
- Wherein a woman stood—I knew her well—
- Who seem'd but newly risen from the grave!
- She whirl'd a javelin at me, and methought
- I woke; when, slowly at the foot o' the bed
- The mist-like curtains parted, and upon me
- Did learned Faustus look! He shook his head
- With grave reproof, but more of sympathy,
- As though his past humanity came o'er him—
- Then went away with a low, gushing sigh,
- That startled his own death-cold breast, and seem'd
- As from a marble urn where passion's ashes
- Their sleepless vigil keep. Well—perhaps they do.
(after a pause)
- Lived he not greatly? Think what was his power!
- All knowledge at his beck—the very Devil
- His common slave. And, O, brought he not back,
- Through the thick-million'd catacombs of ages,
- Helen's unsullied loveliness to his arms?
So—let us have more wine, then!
- Spirit enough
- Springs from thee, Master Marlowe—what need more.
- Drawer! lift up thy leaden poppy-head!
- Up man!—where art? The night seems wondrous hot!
(Marlowethrows open a side window that reaches down to the floor, and stands there, looking out.)
- The air flows in upon his heated face,
- And he grows pale with looking at the stars;
- Thinking the while of many things in heaven.
- And some one on the earth—as fair to him—
- For, lo you!—is't not she?
(Pointing towards the open window.)
- The lady, folded
- In the long mantle, coming down the street?
- Let be; we cannot help him.
(HeywoodandMiddletonretire apart—Ceciliais passing by the open window.)
- Stay awhile!—
- One moment stay!
That is not much to ask.
(She steps in through the window.)
- Nor much for you to grant; but O, to me
- That moment is a circle without bounds,—
- Because I see no end to my delight!
- O, sir, you make me very sad at heart;
- Let's speak no more of this. I am on my way
- To walk beside the river.
May I come?
Ah, no; I'll go alone.
- 'Tis dark and dismal;
- Nor do I deem it safe!
- What can harm me?
- If not above, at least I am beyond
- All common dangers. No, you shall not come.
- I have some questions I would ask myself;
- And in the sullen, melancholy flow
- O' the unromantic Thames, that has been witness
- Of many tragical realities,
- Bare of adornment as its cold stone stairs,
- I may find sympathy, if not response.
- You find both here. I know thy real life;
- We do not see the truth—or, O, how little!
- Pure light sometimes through painted windows streams;
- And, when all's dark around thee, thou art fair!
- Thou bear'st within an ever-burning lamp,
- To me more sacred than a vestal's shrine;
- For she may be of heartless chastity,
- False in all else, and proud of her poor ice,
- As though 'twere fire suppress'd; but thou art good
- For goodness' sake;—true-hearted, lovable,
- For truth and honour's sake; and such a woman,
- That man who wins, the gods themselves may envy.
- Considering all things, this is bitter sweet.
And I may come? (following her).
You shall not.
I obey you.
- Ah! Kit Marlowe,—
- You think too much of me—and of yourself
- Too little!
Then I may——(advancing).
- Wilt promise
- To see me for one “good night” ere you sleep?
(She turns to look at him—then steps through the window—Exit.)
Be sure—be sure!
Now, Marlowe!—you desert us!
- Say not so;—
- Or, saying so, add—that I have lost myself!
- Nay, but I have; yonder I go in the dark!
Street Music.—Jacconot, singing outside.
- Ram out the link, boys; ho, boys!
- There's daylight in the sky!
- While the trenchers strew the floor,
- And the worn-out grey beards snore,
- Jolly throats continue dry!
- Ram out the link, boys, &c.
What voice is that?
Marlowe (through his teeth).
From one of the hells.
- The roystering singer approaches.
EnterJacconot, with a full tankard.
Ever awake and shining, my masters! and here am I, your twin lustre, always ready to herald and anoint your pleasures, like a true Master of the Revels. I ha' just stepped over the drawer's body, laid nose and heels together on the door-mat, asleep, and here's wherewith to continue the glory!
We need not your help.
We thank you, Jack-o'-night: we would be alone.
What say you, Master Marlowe? you look as grim as a sign-painter's first sketch on a tavern bill, after his ninth tankard.
Cease your death-rattle, night-hawk!
That's well said.
Is it? So 'tis my gallants—a night-bird like yourselves, am I.
Beast!—we know you.
Your merry health, Master Kit Marlowe! I'll bring a loud pair of palms to cheer your soul the next time you strut in red paint with a wooden weapon at your thigh.
Who sent for you, dorr-hawk?—go!
Go! Aha!—I remember the word—same tone, same gesture—or as like as the two profiles of a monkey, or as two squeaks for one pinch. Go!—not I—here's to all your healths! One pull more! There, I've done—take it, Master Marlowe; and pledge me as the true knight of London's rarest beauties!
(Dashes the tankard at his head.)
Jacconot (stooping quickly).
A miss, 'fore-gad!—the wall has got it! See where it trickles down like the long robe of some dainty fair one! And look you here—and there again, look you!—what make you of the picture he hath presented?
Marlowe (staggers as he stares at the wall).
- O subtle Nature! who hath so compounded
- Our senses, playing into each other's wheels,
- That feeling oft acts substitute for sight,
- As sight becomes obedient to the thought—
- How canst thou place such wonders at the mercy
- Of every wretch that crawls? I feel—I see!
- (Street Music as before, but farther off.)
- Ram out the link, boys; ho, boys!
- The blear-eyed morning's here;
- Let us wander through the streets,
- And kiss whoe'er one meets;
- St. Cecil is my dear!
- Ram out the link, boys, &c.
Lightning come up from hell and strangle thee!
- Nay, Marlowe! Marlowe!
- (they hold him back).
Away, thou bestial villain!
Jacconot (singing atMarlowe).
St. Cecil is my dear!
- Blast! blast and scatter
- Thy body to ashes! Off! I'll have his ghost!
(rushes atJacconot—they fight—Marlowedisarms him; butJacconotwrestsMarlowe'sown sword from his hand, and stabs him—Marlowefalls).
Marlowe (clasping his forehead).
- Who's down?—answer me, friends—is't I?—
- Or in the maze of some delirious trance,
- Some realm unknown, or passion newly born—
- Ne'er felt before—am I transported thus?
- My fingers paddle, too, in blood—is't mine?
O, content you, Master Marplot—it's you that's down, drunk or sober; and that's your own blood on your fingers, running from a three-inch groove in your ribs for the devil's imps to slide into you. Ugh! cry gramercy! for it's all over with your rhyming!
O, heartless mischief!
Hence, thou rabid cur!
- What demon in the air with unseen arm
- Hath turn'd my unchain'd fury against myself?
- Recoiling dragon! thy resistless force
- Scatters thy mortal master in his pride,
- To teach him, with self-knowledge, to fear thee.
- Forgetful of all corporal conditions,
- My passion hath destroy'd me!
No such matter; it was my doing. You shouldn't ha‘ran at me in that fashion with a real sword—I thought it had been one o’ your sham ones.
- See! his face changes—lift him up!
- (they raise and support him)
- Here—place your hand upon his side—here, here—
- Close over mine, and staunch the flowing wound!
- Bright is the day—the air with glory teems—
- And eagles wanton in the smile of Jove:
- Can these things be, and Marlowe live no more!
- O Heywood! Heywood! I had a world of hopes
- About that woman—now in my heart they rise
- Confused, as flames from my life's coloured map,
- That burns until with wrinkling agony
- Its ashes flatten, separate, and drift
- Through gusty darkness. Hold me fast by the arm!
- A little aid will save me:—See! she's here!
- I clasp thy form—I feel thy breath, my love—
- And know thee for a sweet saint come to save me!
- Save!—is it death I feel—it cannot be death?
Jacconot (half aside).
Marry, but it can!—or else your sword's a foolish dog that dar'n't bite his owner.
- O friends—dear friends—this is a sorry end—
- A most unworthy end! To think—O God!—
- To think that I should fall by the hand of one
- Whose office, like his nature, is all baseness,
- Gives Death ten thousand stings, and to the Grave
- A damning victory! Fame sinks with life!
- A galling—shameful—ignominious end! (sinks down).
- O mighty heart! O full and orbed heart,
- Flee to thy kindred sun, rolling on high!
- Or let the hoary and eternal sea
- Sweep me away, and swallow body and soul!
There'll be no “encore” to either, I wot; for thou'st led an ill life, Master Marlowe; and so the sweet Saint thou spok'st of will remain my fair game—behind the scenes.
- Liar! slave! sla—Kind Master Heywood,
- You will not see me die thus!—thus by the hand
- And maddening tongue of such a beast as that!
- Haste, if you love me—fetch a leech to help me—
- Here—Middleton—sweet friend—a bandage here—
- I cannot die by such a hand—I will not—
- I say I will not die by that vile hand!
- Go bring Cecilia to me—bring the leech—
- Close—close this wound—you know I did it myself—
- Bring sweet Cecilia—haste—haste—instantly—
- Bring life and time—bring heaven!—Oh, I am dying!—
- Some water—stay beside me—maddening death,
- By such a hand! O villain! from the grave
- I constantly will rise—to curse! curse! curse thee!
(Rises—and falls dead.)
O God!—he is quite gone!
‘Twas dreadful—’twas! Christ help us! and lull him to sleep in's grave. I stand up for mine own nature none the less. (Voices without.) What noise is that?
This is our man—ha! murder has been here! You are our prisoner—the gallows waits you!
What have I done to be hung up like a miracle? The hemp's not sown nor the ladder-wood grown, that shall help fools to finish me! He did it himself! He said so with his last words!—there stands his friends and brother players—put them to their Testament if he said not he did it himself?
Who is it lies here?—methinks that I should know him, But for the fierce distortion of his face!
- He who erewhile wrote with a brand of fire,
- Now, in his passionate blood, floats tow'rds the grave!
- The present time is ever ignorant—
- We lack clear vision in our self-love's maze;
- But Marlowe in the future will stand great,
- Whom this—the lowest caitiff in the world—
- A nothing, save in grossness, hath destroy'd.
“Caitiff” back again in your throat! and “gross nothing” to boot—may you have it to live upon for a month, and die mad and starving! Would'st swear my life away so lightly? Tut! who was he? I could always find the soundings of a quart tankard, or empty a pasty in half his time, and swear as rare oaths between whiles—who was he? I too ha‘writ my odes and Pindar jigs with the twinkling of a bedpost, to the sound of the harp and hurdygurdy, while Capricornus wagged his fiery beard; I ha’ sung songs to the faint moon's echoes at daybreak and danced here away and there away, like the lightning through a forest! As to your sword and dagger play, I've got the trick o' the eye and wrist—who was he? What's all his gods—his goddesses and lies?—the first a'nt worth a word; and for the two last, I was always a prince of both! “Caitiff!” and “beast!” and “nothing!”—who was he?
- You're ours, for sundry villanies committed,
- Sufficient each to bring your vice to an end;
- The law hath got you safely in its grasp!
Jacconot (after a pause).
Then may Vice and I sit crown'd in heaven, while Law and Honesty stalk damned through hell! Now do I see the thing very plain!—treachery—treachery, my masters! I know the jade that hath betrayed me—I know her. 'Slud! who cares? She was a fine woman, too—a rare person—and a good spirit; but there's an end of all now—she's turned foolish and virtuous, and a tell-tale, and I am to be turned to dust through it—long, long before my time: and these princely limbs must go make a dirt-pie—build up a mud hut—or fatten an alderman's garden! There! calf-heads—there's a lemon for your mouths! Heard'st ever such a last dying speech and confession! Write it in red ochre on a sheet of Irish, and send it to Mistress Cecily for a death-winder. I know what you've got against me—and I know you all deserve just the same yourselves—but lead on, my masters!
- O Marlowe! canst thou rise with power no more?
- Can greatness die thus?
Heywood (bending over the body).
(A shriek outside the house.)
That cry!—what may that mean?
Heywood (as if awaking).
I hear no cry.
What is't comes hither, like a gust of wind?
- Where—where? O, then, 'tis true—and he is dead!
- All's over now—there's nothing in the world—
- For he who raised my heart up from the dust,
- And show'd me noble lights in mine own soul,
- Has fled my gratitude and growing love—
- I never knew how deep it was till now!
- Through me, too!—do not curse me!—I was the cause—
- Yet do not curse me—No! no! not the cause,
- But that it happen'd so. This is the reward
- Of Marlowe's love!—why, why did I delay?
- O, gentlemen, pray for me! I have been
- Lifted in heavenly air—and suddenly
- The arm that placed me, and with strength sustain'd me,
- Is snatch'd up, starward: I can neither follow,
- Nor can I touch the gross earth any more!
- Pray for me, gentlemen!—but breathe no blessings—
- Let not a blessing sweeten your dread prayers—
- I wish no blessings—nor could bear their weight;
- For I am left, I know not where or how:
- But, pray for me—my soul is buried here.
(Sinks down upon the body.
“Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight, And burned is Apollo's laurel bough!”