Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry VI, Part 3 (Folio 1, 1623)



The third Part of Henry the Sixt.
151

A Scepter, or an Earthly Sepulchre.
475With this we charg'd againe: but out alas,
We bodg'd againe, as I haue seene a Swan
With bootlesse labour swimme against the Tyde,
And spend her strength with ouer-matching Waues.
A short Alarum within.
480Ah hearke, the fatall followers doe pursue,
And I am faint, and cannot flye their furie:
And were I strong, I would not shunne their furie.
The Sands are numbred, that makes vp my Life,
Here must I stay, and here my Life must end.

485
Enter the Queene, Clifford, Northumberland,
the young Prince, and Souldiers.

Come bloody Clifford, rough Northumberland,
I dare your quenchlesse furie to more rage:
I am your Butt, and I abide your Shot.
490Northumb. Yeeld to our mercy, proud Plantagenet.
Clifford. I, to such mercy, as his ruthlesse Arme
With downe-right payment, shew'd vnto my Father.
Now Phæton hath tumbled from his Carre,
And made an Euening at the Noone-tide Prick.
495Yorke. My ashes, as the Phoenix, may bring forth
A Bird, that will reuenge vpon you all:
And in that hope, I throw mine eyes to Heauen,
Scorning what ere you can afflict me with.
Why come you not? what, multitudes, and feare?
500 Cliff. So Cowards fight, when they can flye no further,
So Doues doe peck the Faulcons piercing Tallons,
So desperate Theeues, all hopelesse of their Liues,
Breathe out Inuectiues 'gainst the Officers.
Yorke. Oh Clifford, but bethinke thee once againe,
505And in thy thought ore-run my former time:
And if thou canst, for blushing, view this face,
And bite thy tongue, that slanders him with Cowardice,
Whose frowne hath made thee faint and flye ere this.
Clifford. I will not bandie with thee word for word,
510But buckler with thee blowes twice two for one.
Queene. Hold valiant Clifford, for a thousand causes
I would prolong a while the Traytors Life:
Wrath makes him deafe; speake thou Northumberland.
Northumb. Hold Clifford, doe not honor him so much,
515To prick thy finger, though to wound his heart.
What valour were it, when a Curre doth grinne,
For one to thrust his Hand betweene his Teeth,
When he might spurne him with his Foot away?
It is Warres prize, to take all Vantages,
520And tenne to one, is no impeach of Valour.
Clifford. I, I, so striues the Woodcocke with the
Gynne.
Northumb. So doth the Connie struggle in the
Net.
525 York. So triumph Theeues vpon their conquer'd Booty,
So True men yeeld with Robbers, so o're-matcht.
Northumb. What would your Grace haue done vnto
him now?
Queene. Braue Warriors, Clifford and Northumberland,
530Come make him stand vpon this Mole-hill here,
That raught at Mountaines with out-stretched Armes,
Yet parted but the shadow with his Hand.
What, was it you that would be Englands King?
Was't you that reuell'd in our Parliament,
535And made a Preachment of your high Descent?
Where are your Messe of Sonnes, to back you now?
The wanton Edward, and the lustie George?
And where's that valiant Crook-back Prodigie.
Dickie, your Boy, that with his grumbling voyce
540Was wont to cheare his Dad in Mutinies?
Or with the rest, where is your Darling, Rutland?
Looke Yorke, I stayn'd this Napkin with the blood
That valiant Clifford, with his Rapiers point,
Made issue from the Bosome of the Boy:
545And if thine eyes can water for his death,
I giue thee this to drie thy Cheekes withall.
Alas poore Yorke, but that I hate thee deadly,
I should lament thy miserable state.
I prythee grieue, to make me merry, Yorke.
550What, hath thy fierie heart so parcht thine entrayles,
That not a Teare can fall, for Rutlands death?
Why art thou patient, man? thou should'st be mad:
And I, to make thee mad, doe mock thee thus.
Stampe, raue, and fret, that I may sing and dance.
555Thou would'st be fee'd, I see, to make me sport:
Yorke cannot speake, vnlesse he weare a Crowne.
A Crowne for Yorke; and Lords, bow lowe to him:
Hold you his hands, whilest I doe set it on.
I marry Sir, now lookes he like a King:
560I, this is he that tooke King Henries Chaire,
And this is he was his adopted Heire.
But how is it, that great Plantagenet
Is crown'd so soone, and broke his solemne Oath?
As I bethinke me, you should not be King,
565Till our King Henry had shooke hands with Death.
And will you pale your head in Henries Glory,
And rob his Temples of the Diademe,
Now in his Life, against your holy Oath?
Oh 'tis a fault too too vnpardonable.
570Off with the Crowne; and with the Crowne, his Head,
And whilest we breathe, take time to doe him dead.
Clifford. That is my Office, for my Fathers sake.
Queene. Nay stay, let's heare the Orizons hee
makes.
575Yorke. Shee-Wolfe of France,
But worse then Wolues of France,
Whose Tongue more poysons then the Adders Tooth:
How ill-beseeming is it in thy Sex,
To triumph like an Amazonian Trull,
580Vpon their Woes, whom Fortune captiuates?
But that thy Face is Vizard-like, vnchanging,
Made impudent with vse of euill deedes.
I would assay, prowd Queene, to make thee blush.
To tell thee whence thou cam'st, of whom deriu'd,
585Were shame enough, to shame thee,
Wert thou not shamelesse.
Thy Father beares the type of King of Naples,
Of both the Sicils, and Ierusalem,
Yet not so wealthie as an English Yeoman.
590Hath that poore Monarch taught thee to insult?
It needes not, nor it bootes thee not, prowd Queene,
Vnlesse the Adage must be verify'd,
That Beggers mounted, runne their Horse to death.
'Tis Beautie that doth oft make Women prowd,
595But God he knowes, thy share thereof is small.
'Tis Vertue, that doth make them most admir'd,
The contrary, doth make thee wondred at.
'Tis Gouernment that makes them seeme Diuine,
The want thereof, makes thee abhominable.
600Thou art as opposite to euery good,
As the Antipodes are vnto vs,
Or as the South to the Septentrion.
Oh Tygres Heart, wrapt in a Womans Hide,
How