Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Edward III (Quarto 1, 1596)
  • Editor: Sonia Massai

  • Copyright Sonia Massai. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Sonia Massai
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Edward III (Quarto 1, 1596)

    The Raigne of King
    At Sea we are as puissant as the force;
    Of Agamemnon in the Hauen of Troy:
    By land with Zerxes we compare of strength,
    1105Whose souldiers drancke vp riuers in their thirst:
    Then Bayardlike, blinde ouerweaning Ned,
    To reach at our imperiall dyadem,
    Is either to be swallowed of the waues,
    Or hackt a peeces when thou comest a shore.
    Mar. Neere to the cost I haue discribde my Lord,
    As I was busie in my watchfull charge.
    The proud Armado of king Edwards ships,
    Which at the first far off when I did ken,
    1115Seemd as it were a groue of withered pines,
    But drawing neere, their glorious bright aspect,
    Their streaming Ensignes wrought of coulloured silke,
    Like to a meddow full of sundry flowers,
    Adornes the naked bosome of the earth.
    1120Maiesticall the order of their course,
    Figuring the horned Circle of the Moone,
    And on the top gallant of the Admirall,
    And likewise all the handmaides of his trayne:
    The Armes of England and of Fraunce vnite,
    1125Are quartred equally by Heralds art;
    Thus titely carried with a merrie gale,
    They plough the Ocean hitherward amayne:
    Dare he already crop the Flewer de Luce:
    I hope the hony being gathered thence,
    1130He with the spider afterward approcht
    Shall sucke forth deadly venom from the leaues,
    But wheres out Nauy, how are they prepared,
    To wing them selues against this flight of Rauens.
    Ma. They hauing knowledge, brought them by the scouts,
    1135Did breake from Anchor straight, and puft with rage,
    No otherwise then were their sailes with winde,
    Made forth, as when the empty Eagle flies,