Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare
SCENE II. KING JOHN’S palace.
Enter KING JOHN, PEMBROKE, SALISBURY, and other Lords
Here once again we sit, once again crown’d,
And looked upon, I hope, with cheerful eyes.
This ‘once again,’ but that your highness pleased,
Was once superfluous: you were crown’d before,
And that high royalty was ne’er pluck’d off,
The faiths of men ne’er stained with revolt;
Fresh expectation troubled not the land
With any long’d-for change or better state.
Therefore, to be possess’d with double pomp,
To guard a title that was rich before,
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw a perfume on the violet,
To smooth the ice, or add another hue
Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.
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