Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Adrian Kiernander
Peer Reviewed

Richard the Third (Quarto 1, 1597)


of Richard the third.
Edward, my Lord, your sonne our King is dead.
1315Why grow the branches, now the roote is witherd?
Why wither not the leaues, the sap being gone?
If you will liue, lament: if die, be briefe:
That our swiftwinged soules may catch the Kings,
Or like obedient subiects, follow him
1320To his new kingdome of perpetuall rest.
Dut. Ah so much interest haue I in thy sorrow,
As I had title in thy noble husband:
I haue bewept a worthy husbands death,
And liu'd by looking on his images.
1325Bnt now two mirrours of his Princely semblance,
Are crackt in pieces by malignant death:
And I for comfort haue but one false glasse,
Which grieues me when I see my shame in him.
Thou art a widdow, yet thou art a mother,
1330And hast the comfort of thy children left thee:
But death hath snatcht my children from mine armes,
And pluckt two crutches from my feeble limmes,
Edward and Clarence, Oh what cause haue I
Then, being but moity of my griefe,
1335To ouergo thy plaints and drowne thy cries?
Boy. Good Aunt, you wept not for our fathers death,
How can we aide you with our kindreds teares.
Gerl. Our fatherlesse distresse was left vnmoand,
Your widdowes dolours likewise be vnwept.
1340Qu. Giue me no help in lamentation,
I am not barren to bring foorth laments:
All springs reduce their currents to mine eies,
That I being gouernd by the watry moane,
May send foorth plenteous teares to drowne the world:
1345Oh for my husband, for my eire Lo: Edward.
Ambo Oh for our father, for our deare Lo: Clarence.
Dut. Alas for both, both mine Edward and Clarence.
Qu. What stay had I but Edward, and he is gone?
Am. What stay had we but Clarence, and he is gone?
1350Dut. What staies had I but they, and they are gone?
Qu. Was neuer Widdow, had so deare a losse.
E2
Ambo