Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Henry V (Modern, Folio)

Flourish. Enter Chorus.
Now all the youth of England are on fire
And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies.
465Now thrive the armorers, and honor's thought
Reigns solely in the breast of every man.
They sell the pasture now to buy the horse,
Following the mirror of all Christian kings
With wingèd heels, as English Mercuries.
470For now sits expectation in the air
And hides a sword from hilts unto the point
With crowns imperial, crowns and coronets
Promised to Harry and his followers.
The French, advised by good intelligence
475Of this most dreadful preparation,
Shake in their fear, and with pale policy
Seek to divert the English purposes.
O England, model to thy inward greatness,
Like little body with a mighty heart,
480What mightst thou do, that honor would thee do,
Were all thy children kind and natural!
But see, thy fault France hath in thee found out:
A nest of hollow bosoms, which he fills
With treacherous crowns; and three corrupted men,
485One, Richard, Earl of Cambridge, and the second
Henry, Lord Scrope of Masham, and the third
Sir Thomas Grey, knight of Northumberland,
Have for the gilt of France -- oh, guilt indeed! --
Confirmed conspiracy with fearful France.
490And by their hands this grace of kings must die,
If hell and treason hold their promises,
Ere he take ship for France, and in Southampton.
Linger your patience on, and we'll digest
Th'abuse of distance, force a play.
495The sum is paid, the traitors are agreed,
The king is set from London, and the scene
Is now transported, gentles, to Southampton.
There is the playhouse now, there must you sit,
And thence to France shall we convey you safe
500And bring you back, charming the narrow seas
To give you gentle pass; for if we may,
We'll not offend one stomach with our play.
But when the king come forth, and not till then,
Unto Southampton do we shift our scene.