A monologue from the play by Christopher Marlowe

  • NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Masterpieces of the English Drama. Ed. William Lyon Phelps. New York: American Book Company, 1912.
  • TAMBURLAINE: Black is the beauty of the brightest day;
    The golden ball of heaven's eternal fire,
    That danc'd with glory on the silver waves,
    Now wants the fuel that inflam'd his beams;
    And all with faintness, and for foul disgrace,
    He binds his temples with a frowning cloud,
    Ready to darken earth with endless night.
    Zenocrate, that gave him light and life,
    Whose eyes shot fire from their ivory brows,
    And temper'd every soul with lively heat,
    Now by the malice of the angry skies,
    Whose jealousy admits no second mate,
    Draws in the comfort of her latest breath,
    All dazzled with the hellish mists of death.
    Now walk the angels on the walls of heaven,
    As sentinels to warn th' immortal souls
    To entertain divine Zenocrate:
    Apollo, Cynthia, and the ceaseless lamps
    That gently look'd upon this loathsome earth,
    Shine downwards now no more, but deck the heavens
    To entertain divine Zenocrate:
    The crystal springs, whose taste illuminates
    Refined eyes with an eternal sight,
    Like tried silver run through Paradise
    To entertain divine Zenocrate:
    The cherubins and holy seraphins,
    That sing and play before the King of Kings,
    Use all their voices and their instruments
    To entertain divine Zenocrate;
    And, in this sweet and curious harmony,
    The god that tunes this music to our souls
    Holds out his hand in highest majesty
    To entertain divine Zenocrate.
    Then let some holy trance convey my thoughts
    Up to the palace of th' empyreal heaven,
    That this my life may be as short to me
    As are the days of sweet Zenocrate.--
    Physicians, will no physic do her good?