The tyrannous and bloody act is done,
The most arch deed of piteous massacre
That ever yet this land was guilty of.
Dighton and Forrest, whom I did suborn
To do this piece of ruthless butchery,
Albeit they were fleshed villains, bloody dogs,
Melted with tenderness and mild compassion,
Wept like two children in their deaths' sad story.
“O thus” quoth Dighton, “lay those gentle babes.”
“Thus, thus,” quoth Forrest, “girdling one another
Within their alabaster innocent arms.
Their lips were four red roses on a stalk,
And in their summer beauty kissed each other.
A book of prayers on their pillow lay,
Which once,” quoth Forrest, “almost changed my mind,
But O, the devil—”There the villain stopped;
When Dighton thus told on: “We smotherèd
The most replenishèd sweet work of nature
That from the prime creation e'er she framed.”
Hence both are gone with conscience and remorse;
They could not speak; and so I left them both
To bear this tidings to the bloody king.
The tyrant’s bloody request has been met. It was the most ruthless massacre this country has ever been guilty of. Dighton and Forrest, whom I hired to perform the butchery, are used to killing people, the bloody dogs. But they melted with tenderness and human compassion, weeping like children, when they described what they’d done. “The tender babes lay like this,” said Dighton. “Like this,” said Forrest, “with their innocent white arms around each other. Their lips, like four red roses on a stalk, touched. A prayer book lay on their pillow, which” said Forrest, “almost made me change my mind. But, oh, the devil”—there he stopped talking and Dighton took up where he left off: “We smothered the perfect, most sweet work of nature.” The two men were both destroyed by remorse. They couldn’t speak. So I left them to bring the news to the murderous king. And here he comes.
And here he comes.—All health, my sovereign lord.
Here he comes.—Health to you, my king.
Kind Tyrrel, am I happy in thy news?
Kind Tyrrel, will your news make me happy?