Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Africa
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Africa: Vol. XXIV.  1876–79.
 
Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia: Alexandria
The Death of Antony
William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
(From Antony and Cleopatra, Act IV, Scene XIII)

Enter, above, CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, and IRAS.
CLEOPATRA.  O Charmian! I will never go from hence.
  CHARMIAN.  Be comforted, dear madam.
  CLEO.                        No, I will not:
All strange and terrible events are welcome,
But comforts we despise; our size of sorrow,
Proportion’d to our cause, must be as great        5
Enter, below, DIOMEDES.
As that which makes it. How now! is he dead?
  DIOMEDES.  His death ’s upon him, but not dead.
Look out o’ the other side your monument;
His guard have brought him thither.
Enter, below, ANTONY, borne by the Guard.
  CLEO.                        O sun,
Burn the great sphere thou mov’st in!—darkling stand        10
The varying shore o’ the world. O Antony,
Antony, Antony!—Help, Charmian! help, Iras, help!
Help, friends below! let ’s draw him hither.
  ANTONY.                        Peace!
Not Cæsar’s valour hath o’erthrown Antony,
But Antony’s hath triumphed on itself.        15
  CLEO.  So it should be, that none but Antony
Should conquer Antony; but woe ’t is so!
  ANT.  I am dying, Egypt, dying; only
I here importune death awhile, until
Of many thousand kisses the poor last        20
I lay upon thy lips.—
  CLEO.            I dare not, dear,
(Dear my lord, pardon,) I dare not,
Lest I be taken: not th’ imperious show
Of the full-fortun’d Cæsar ever shall
Be brooch’d with me; if knife, drugs, serpents have        25
Edge, sting, or operation, I am safe:
Your wife Octavia, with her modest eyes
And still conclusion, shall acquire no honour
Demuring upon me.—But come, come, Antony,—
Help me, my women,—we must draw thee up:—        30
Assist, good friends.
  ANT.                Oh, quick! or I am gone.
  CLEO.  Here ’s sport, indeed!—How heavy weighs my lord!
Our strength is all gone into heaviness,
That makes the weight. Had I great Juno’s power,
The strong-wing’d Mercury should fetch thee up,        35
And set thee by Jove’s side. Yet come a little,—
Wishers were ever fools;—Oh, come, come, come!
(They draw ANTONY up.)
And welcome, welcome! die, where thou hast liv’d:
Quicken with kissing; had my lips that power,
Thus would I wear them out.
  ALL.                    A heavy sight!
        40
  ANT.  I am dying, Egypt, dying:
Give me some wine, and let me speak a little.
  CLEO.  No, let me speak; and let me rail so high,
That the false huswife Fortune break her wheel,
Provok’d by my offence.
  ANT.                One word, sweet queen:
        45
Of Cæsar seek your honour with your safety.—Oh!
  CLEO.  They do not go together.
  ANT.                        Gentle, hear me:
None about Cæsar trust, but Proculeius.
  CLEO.  My resolution and my hands I ’ll trust;
None about Cæsar.        50
  ANT.  The miserable change now at my end,
Lament nor sorrow at; but please your thoughts,
In feeding them with those my former fortunes
Wherein I liv’d, the greatest prince o’ the world,
The noblest; and do now not basely die,        55
Nor cowardly put off my helmet to
My countryman; a Roman by a Roman
Valiantly vanquish’d. Now, my spirit is going;
I can no more.            [Dies.
 
 
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