Internet Shakespeare Editions

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

Henry V (Modern, Folio)

2165Enter the Dauphin, Orléans, Rambures, and Beaumont.
The sun doth gild our armor. Up, my lords!
Montez à cheval: my horse, varlet lackey, 2170ha!
Oh, brave spirit!
Via les eaux et terres.
Rien plus? L'air et feu?
Cieux, Cousin Orléans.
Enter Constable.
2175Now my lord constable?
Hark how our steeds for present service neigh.
Mount them, and make incision in their hides,
That their hot blood may spin in English eyes
2180And d'out them with superfluous courage. Ha!
What, will you have them weep our horses' blood?
How shall we then behold their natural tears?
Enter Messenger.
The English are embattled, you French 2185peers.
To horse, you gallant princes, straight to horse!
Do but behold yon poor and starvèd band
And your fair show shall suck away their souls,
Leaving them but the shales and husks of men.
2190There is not work enough for all our hands,
Scarce blood enough in all their sickly veins
To give each naked curtle-ax a stain
That our French gallants shall today draw out
And sheathe for lack of sport. Let us but blow on them,
2195The vapor of our valor will o'erturn them.
'Tis positive against all exceptions, lords,
That our superfluous lackeys and our peasants,
Who in unnecessary action swarm
About our squares of battle, were enough
2200To purge this field of such a hilding foe
Though we upon this mountain's basis by
Took stand for idle speculation,
But that our honors must not. What's to say?
A very little little let us do
2205And all is done. Then let the trumpets sound
The tucket sonance and the note to mount,
For our approach shall so much dare the field
That England shall couch down in fear and yield.
Enter Grandpré.
Why do you stay so long, my lords of France?
Yon island carrions, desperate of their bones,
Ill-favoredly become the morning field.
Their ragged curtains poorly are let loose
And our air shakes them passing scornfully.
2215Big Mars seems bankrupt in their beggared host
And faintly through a rusty beaver peeps.
The horsemen sit like fixèd candlesticks
With torch-staves in their hand, and their poor jades
Lob down their heads, dropping the hides and hips,
2220The gum down-roping from their pale dead eyes,
And in their pale dull mouths the gemelled bit
Lies foul with chawed grass, still and motionless;
And their executors, the knavish crows,
Fly o'er them all, impatient for their hour.
2225Description cannot suit itself in words
To demonstrate the life of such a battle
In life so lifeless as it shows itself.
They have said their prayers, and they stay for death.
Shall we go send them dinners and fresh suits
And give their fasting horses provender,
And after fight with them?
I stay but for my guard. On to the field;
I will the banner from a trumpet take
2235And use it for my haste. Come, come away.
The sun is high and we outwear the day.