Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Henry V (Modern, Folio)

Flourish. Enter Chorus.
Thus with imagined wing our swift scene flies
In motion of no less celerity
Than that of thought. Suppose that you have seen
The well-appointed king at Dover pier
Embark his royalty, and his brave fleet
1050With silken streamers the young Phoebus feigning.
Play with your fancies, and in them behold
Upon the hempen tackle ship-boys climbing.
Hear the shrill whistle, which doth order give
To sounds confused. Behold the threaden sails,
1055Borne with th'invisible and creeping wind,
Draw the huge bottoms through the furrowed sea,
Breasting the lofty surge. Oh, do but think
You stand upon the rivage, and behold
A city on th'inconstant billows dancing,
1060For so appears this fleet majestical
Holding due course to Harfleur. Follow, follow!
Grapple your minds to sternage of this navy
And leave your England as dead midnight, still,
Guarded with grandsires, babies, and old women,
1065Either past or not arrived to pith and puissance.
For who is he whose chin is but enriched
With one appearing hair, that will not follow
These culled and choice-drawn cavaliers to France?
Work, work your thoughts, and therein see a siege.
1070Behold the ordnance on their carriages,
With fatal mouths gaping on girded Harfleur.
Suppose th'ambassador from the French comes back,
Tells Harry that the king doth offer him
Catherine his daughter, and with her to dowry
1075Some petty and unprofitable dukedoms.
The offer likes not, and the nimble gunner
With linstock now the devilish cannon touches,
Alarum, and chambers go off.
And down goes all before them. Still be kind,
1080And eke out our performance with your mind.