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CROMWELL AND THE CROWN

 ("Ah! je le tiens enfin.") 
 
 {CROMWELL, Act II., October, 1827.} 


THURLOW communicates the intention of Parliament to 
 offer CROMWELL the crown. 
 
 CROMWELL. And is it mine? And have my feet at length 
 Attained the summit of the rock i' the sand? 
 
 THURLOW. And yet, my lord, you have long reigned. 
 
 CROM. Nay, nay! 
 Power I have 'joyed, in sooth, but not the name. 
 Thou smilest, Thurlow. Ah, thou little know'st 
 What hole it is Ambition digs i' th' heart 
 What end, most seeming empty, is the mark 
 For which we fret and toil and dare! How hard 
 With an unrounded fortune to sit down! 
 Then, what a lustre from most ancient times 
 Heaven has flung o'er the sacred head of kings! 
 King—Majesty—what names of power! No king, 
 And yet the world's high arbiter! The thing 
 Without the word! no handle to the blade! 
 Away—the empire and the name are one! 
 Alack! thou little dream'st how grievous 'tis, 
 Emerging from the crowd, and at the top 
 Arrived, to feel that there is something still 
 Above our heads; something, nothing! no matter— 
 That word is everything. 
 
 LEITCH RITCHIE. 


 





Poem by Victor Hugo
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