Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Sonia Massai
Not Peer Reviewed

Edward III (Quarto 1, 1596)


The Raigne of King
Pr. A flight of vgly rauens
Do croke and houer ore our souldiers heads
And keepe in triangles and cornerd squares,
2115Right as our forces areimbatteled,
With their approach there came this sodain fog,
Which now hath hid the airie flower of heauen,
And made at noone a night vnnaturall,
Vpon the quaking and dismaied world,
2120In briefe, our souldiers haue let fall their armes,
and stand like metamorphosd images,
Bloudlesse and pale, one gazing on another.
Io: I now I call to mind the prophesie,
But I must giue no enterance to afeare,
2125Returne and harten vp these yeelding soules,
Tell them the rauens seeing them in armes,
So many faire against a famisht few,
Come but to dine vpon their handie worke,
and praie vpon the carrion that they kill,
2130For when we see a horse laid downe to die,
although not dead, the rauenous birds
Sit watching the departure of his life,
Euen so these rauens for the carcases,
Of those poore English that are markt to die,
2135Houer about, and if they crie to vs,
Tis but for meate that we must kill for them,
Awaie and comfort vp my souldiers,
and sound the trumpets, and at once dispatch
This litle busines of a silly fraude.
Exit Pr.
2140
Another noise, Salisbury brought in by a
French Captaine.
Cap: Behold my liege, this knight and fortie mo,
Of whom the better part are slaine and fled,
With all indeuor sought to breake our rankes,
2145And make their waie to the incompast prince,
Dispose of him as please your maiestie.
Io: Go, & the next bough, souldier, that thou seest,
Disgrace it with his bodie presently,
Eor I doo hold a tree in France too good,
To