Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry VI, Part 3 (Folio 1, 1623)


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 the King, and not be satisfied?
Son. Was euer sonne, so rew'd a Fathers death?
Fath. Was euer Father so bemoan'd his Sonne?
Hen. Was euer King so greeu'd for Subiects woe?
1250Much is your sorrow; Mine, ten times so much.
Son. Ile beare thee hence, where I may weepe my fill.
Fath. These armes of mine shall be thy winding sheet:
My heart (sweet Boy) shall be thy Sepulcher,
For from my heart, thine Image ne're shall go.
1255My sighing brest, shall be thy Funerall bell;
And so obsequious will thy Father be,
Men for the losse of thee, hauing no more,
As Priam was for all his Valiant Sonnes,
Ile beare thee hence, and let them fight that will,
1260For I haue murthered where I should not kill.
Exit
Hen. Sad-hearted-men, much ouergone with Care;
Heere sits a King, more wofull then you are.
Alarums. Excursions. Enter the Queen, the
Prince, and Exeter.
1265Prin. Fly Father, flye: for all your Friends are fled.
And Warwicke rages like a chafed Bull:
Away, for death doth hold vs in pursuite.
Qu. Mount you my Lord, towards Barwicke post a-
maine:
1270Edward and Richard like a brace of Grey-hounds,
Hauing the fearfull flying Hare in sight,
With fiery eyes, sparkling for very wrath,
And bloody steele graspt in their yrefull hands
Are at our backes, and therefore hence amaine.
1275 Exet. Away: for vengeance comes along with them.
Nay, stay not to expostulate, make speed,
Or else come after, Ile away before.
Hen. Nay take me with thee, good sweet Exeter:
Not that I feare to stay, but loue to go
1280Whether the Queene intends. Forward, away.
Exeunt