Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: James D. Mardock
Peer Reviewed

Henry V (Folio 1, 1623)


Enter the King, Exeter, Bedford, and Gloucester.
Alarum: Scaling Ladders at Harflew.
King. Once more vnto the Breach,
Deare friends, once more;
1085Or close the Wall vp with our English dead:
In Peace, there's nothing so becomes a man,
As modest stillnesse, and humilitie:
But when the blast of Warre blowes in our eares,
Then imitate the action of the Tyger:
1090Stiffen the sinewes, commune vp the blood,
Disguise faire Nature with hard-fauour'd Rage:
Then lend the Eye a terrible aspect:
Let it pry through the portage of the Head,
Like the Brasse Cannon: let the Brow o'rewhelme it,
1095As fearefully, as doth a galled Rocke
O're-hang and iutty his confounded Base,
Swill'd with the wild and wastfull Ocean.
Now set the Teeth, and stretch the Nosthrill wide,
Hold hard the Breath, and bend vp euery Spirit
1100To his full height. On, on, you Noblish English,
Whose blood is fet from Fathers of Warre-proofe:
Fathers, that like so many Alexanders,
Haue in these parts from Morne till Euen fought,
And sheath'd their Swords, for lack of argument.
1105Dishonour not your Mothers: now attest,
That those whom you call'd Fathers, did beget you.
Be Coppy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to Warre. And you good Yeomen,
Whose Lyms were made in England; shew vs here
1110The mettell of your Pasture: let vs sweare,
That you are worth your breeding: which I doubt not:
For there is none of you so meane and base,
That hath not Noble luster in your eyes.
I see you stand like Grey-hounds in the slips,
1115Straying vpon the Start. The Game's afoot:
Follow your Spirit; and vpon this Charge,
Cry, God for Harry, England, and S. George.
Alarum, and Chambers goe off.