Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry VI, Part 3 (Folio 1, 1623)



156
The third Part of Henry the Sixt.

Foreslow no longer, make we hence amaine.
Exeunt

Excursions. Enter Richard and Clifford.
1120Rich. Now Clifford, I haue singled thee alone,
Suppose this arme is for the Duke of Yorke,
And this for Rutland, both bound to reuenge,
Wer't thou inuiron'd with a Brazen wall.
Clif. Now Richard, I am with thee heere alone,
1125This is the hand that stabb'd thy Father Yorke,
And this the hand, that slew thy Brother Rutland,
And here's the heart, that triumphs in their death,
And cheeres these hands, that slew thy Sire and Brother,
To execute the like vpon thy selfe,
1130And so haue at thee.
They Fight, Warwicke comes, Clifford flies.
Rich. Nay Warwicke, single out some other Chace,
For I my selfe will hunt this Wolfe to death.
Exeunt.

Alarum. Enter King Henry alone.
1135Hen. This battell fares like to the mornings Warre,
When dying clouds contend, with growing light,
What time the Shepheard blowing of his nailes,
Can neither call it perfect day, nor night.
Now swayes it this way, like a Mighty Sea,
1140Forc'd by the Tide, to combat with the Winde:
Now swayes it that way, like the selfe-same Sea,
Forc'd to retyre by furie of the Winde.
Sometime, the Flood preuailes; and than the Winde:
Now, one the better: then, another best;
1145Both tugging to be Victors, brest to brest:
Yet neither Conqueror, nor Conquered.
So is the equall poise of this fell Warre.
Heere on this Mole-hill will I sit me downe,
To whom God will, there be the Victorie:
1150For Margaret my Queene, and Clifford too
Haue chid me from the Battell: Swearing both,
They prosper best of all when I am thence.
Would I were dead, if Gods good will were so;
For what is in this world, but Greefe and Woe.
1155Oh God! me thinkes it were a happy life,
To be no better then a homely Swaine,
To sit vpon a hill, as I do now,
To carue out Dialls queintly, point by point,
Thereby to see the Minutes how they runne:
1160How many makes the Houre full compleate,
How many Houres brings about the Day,
How many Dayes will finish vp the Yeare,
How many Yeares, a Mortall man may liue.
When this is knowne, then to diuide the Times:
1165So many Houres, must I tend my Flocke;
So many Houres, must I take my Rest:
So many Houres, must I Contemplate:
So many Houres, must I Sport my selfe:
So many Dayes, my Ewes haue bene with yong:
1170So many weekes, ere the poore Fooles will Eane:
So many yeares, ere I shall sheere the Fleece:
So Minutes, Houres, Dayes, Monthes, and Yeares,
Past ouer to the end they were created,
Would bring white haires, vnto a Quiet graue.
1175Ah! what a life were this? How sweet? how louely?
Giues not the Hawthorne bush a sweeter shade
To Shepheards, looking on their silly Sheepe,
Then doth a rich Imbroider'd Canopie
To Kings, that feare their Subiects treacherie?
1180Oh yes, it doth; a thousand fold it doth.
And to conclude, the Shepherds homely Curds,
His cold thinne drinke out of his Leather Bottle,
His wonted sleepe, vnder a fresh trees shade,
All which secure, and sweetly he enioyes,
1185Is farre beyond a Princes Delicates:
His Viands sparkling in a Golden Cup,
His bodie couched in a curious bed,
When Care, Mistrust, and Treason waits on him.

Alarum. Enter a Sonne that hath kill'd his Father, at
1190
one doore: and a Father that hath kill'd his Sonne at ano-
ther doore.

Son. Ill blowes the winde that profits no body,
This man whom hand to hand I slew in fight,
May be possessed with some store of Crownes,
1195And I that (haply) take them from him now,
May yet (ere night) yeeld both my Life and them
To some man else, as this dead man doth me.
Who's this? Oh God! It is my Fathers face,
Whom in this Conflict, I (vnwares) haue kill'd:
1200Oh heauy times! begetting such Euents.
From London, by the King was I prest forth,
My Father being the Earle of Warwickes man,
Came on the part of Yorke, prest by his Master:
And I, who at his hands receiu'd my life,
1205Haue by my hands, of Life bereaued him.
Pardon me God, I knew not what I did:
And pardon Father, for I knew not thee.
My Teares shall wipe away these bloody markes:
And no more words, till they haue flow'd their fill.
1210King. O pitteous spectacle! O bloody Times!
Whiles Lyons Warre, and battaile for their Dennes,
Poore harmlesse Lambes abide their enmity.
Weepe wretched man: Ile ayde thee Teare for Teare,
And let our hearts and eyes, like Ciuill Warre,
1215Be blinde with teares, and break ore-charg'd with griefe
Enter Father, bearing of his Sonne.
Fa. Thou that so stoutly hath resisted me,
Giue me thy Gold, if thou hast any Gold:
For I haue bought it with an hundred blowes.
1220But let me see: Is this our Foe-mans face?
Ah, no, no, no, it is mine onely Sonne.
Ah Boy, if any life be left in thee,
Throw vp thine eye: see, see, what showres arise,
Blowne with the windie Tempest of my heart,
1225Vpon thy wounds, that killes mine Eye, and Heart.
O pitty God, this miserable Age!
What Stragems? how fell? how Butcherly?
Erreoneous, mutinous, and vnnaturall,
This deadly quarrell daily doth beget?
1230O Boy! thy Father gaue thee life too soone,
And hath bereft thee of thy life too late.
King. Wo aboue wo: greefe, more thẽ common greefe
O that my death would stay these ruthfull deeds:
O pitty, pitty, gentle heauen pitty:
1235The Red Rose and the White are on his face,
The fatall Colours of our striuing Houses:
The one, his purple Blood right well resembles,
The other his pale Cheekes (me thinkes) presenteth:
Wither one Rose, and let the other flourish:
1240If you contend, a thousand liues must wither.
Son. How will my Mother, for a Fathers death
Take on with me, and ne're be satisfi'd?
Fa. How will my Wife, for slaughter of my Sonne,
Shed seas of Teares, and ne're be satisfi'd?
1245 King. How will the Country, for these woful chances,
Mis-thinke