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  • Title: Henry VI, Part 1 (Folio 1, 1623)

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
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    Henry VI, Part 1 (Folio 1, 1623)


    The first Part of Henry the Sixt.

    1Actus Primus. Scoena Prima.

    Dead March.

    Enter the Funerall of King Henry the Fift, attended on by
    the Duke of Bedford, Regent of France; the Duke
    5of Gloster, Protector; the Duke of Exeter War-
    wicke, the Bishop of Winchester, and
    the Duke of Somerset.

    HVng be ye heauens with black, yield day to night;
    10Comets importing change of Times and States,
    Brandish your crystall Tresses in the Skie,
    And with them scourge the bad reuolting Stars,
    That haue consented vnto Henries death:
    King Henry the Fift, too famous to liue long,
    15England ne're lost a King of so much worth.
    Glost. England ne're had a King vntill his time:
    Vertue he had, deseruing to command,
    His brandisht Sword did blinde men with his beames,
    His Armes spred wider then a Dragons Wings:
    20His sparkling Eyes, repleat with wrathfull fire,
    More dazled and droue back his Enemies,
    Then mid-day Sunne, fierce bent against their faces.
    What should I say? his Deeds exceed all speech:
    He ne're lift vp his Hand, but conquered.
    25 Exe. We mourne in black, why mourn we not in blood?
    Henry is dead, and neuer shall reuiue:
    Vpon a Woodden Coffinwe attend;
    And Deaths dishonourable Victorie,
    We with our stately presence glorifie,
    30Like Captiues bound to a Triumphant Carre.
    What? shall we curse the Planets of Mishap,
    That plotted thus our Glories ouerthrow?
    Or shall we thinke the subtile-witted French,
    Coniurers and Sorcerers, that afraid of him,
    35By Magick Verses haue contriu'd his end.
    Winch. He was a King, blest of the King of Kings.
    Vnto the French, the dreadfull Iudgement-Day
    So dreadfull will not be, as was his sight.
    The Battailes of the Lord of Hosts he fought:
    40The Churches Prayers made him so prosperous.
    Glost. The Church? where is it?
    Had not Church-men pray'd,
    His thred of Life had not so soone decay'd.
    None doe you like, but an effeminate Prince,
    45Whom like a Schoole-boy you may ouer-awe.
    Winch. Gloster, what ere we like, thou art Protector,
    And lookest to command the Prince and Realme.
    Thy Wife is prowd, she holdeth thee in awe,
    More then God or Religious Church-men may.

    50 Glost. Name not Religion, for thou lou'st the Flesh,
    And ne're throughout the yeere to Church thou go'st,
    Except it be to pray against thy foes.
    Bed. Cease, cease these Iarres, & rest your minds in peace:
    Let's to the Altar: Heralds wayt on vs;
    55In stead of Gold, wee'le offer vp our Armes,
    Since Armes auayle not, now that Henry's dead,
    Posteritie await for wretched yeeres,
    When at their Mothers moistned eyes, Babes shall suck,
    Our Ile be made a Nourish of salt Teares,
    60And none but Women left to wayle the dead.
    Henry the Fift, thy Ghost I inuocate:
    Prosper this Realme, keepe it from Ciuill Broyles,
    Combat with aduerse Planets in the Heauens;
    A farre more glorious Starre thy Soule will make,
    65Then Iulius Caesar, or bright----

    Enter a Messenger.
    Mess. My honourable Lords, health to you all:
    Sad tidings bring I to you out of France,
    Of losse, of slaughter, and discomfiture:
    70Guyen, Champaigne, Rheimes, Orleance,
    Paris, Guysors, Poictiers, are all quite lost.
    Bedf. What say'st thou man, before dead Henry's Coarse?
    Speake softly, or the losse of those great Townes
    Will make him burst his Lead, and rise from death.
    75 Glost. Is Paris lost? is Roan yeelded vp?
    If Henry were recall'd to life againe,
    These news would cause him once more yeeld the Ghost.
    Exe. How were they lost? what trecherie was vs'd?
    Mess. No trecherie, but want of Men and Money.
    80Amongst the Souldiers this is muttered,
    That here you maintaine seuerall Factions:
    And whil'st a Field should be dispatcht and fought,
    You are disputing of your Generals.
    One would haue lingring Warres, with little cost;
    85Another would flye swift, but wanteth Wings:
    A third thinkes, without expence at all,
    By guilefull faire words, Peace may be obtayn'd.
    Awake, awake, English Nobilitie,
    Let not slouth dimme your Honors, new begot;
    90Cropt are the Flower-de-Luces in your Armes
    Of Englands Coat, one halfe is cut away.
    Exe. Were our Teares wanting to this Funerall,
    These Tidings would call forth her flowing Tides.
    Bedf. Me they concerne, Regent I am of France:
    95Giue me my steeled Coat, Ile fight for France.
    Away with these disgracefull wayling Robes;
    Wounds will I lend the French, in stead of Eyes,
    To weepe their intermissiue Miseries.