Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: King John (Modern)
  • Editor: Michael Best
  • General textual editor: Eric Rasmussen
  • Coordinating editor: Michael Best
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-410-3

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    Not Peer Reviewed

    King John (Modern)

    Enter [Lewis the] Dauphin and his train.
    The sun of heaven, methought, was loath to set,
    But stayed, and made the western welkin blush
    When English measured backward their own ground
    In faint retire. Oh bravely came we off,
    When with a volley of our needless shot,
    2530After such bloody toil, we bid good night,
    And wound our tott'ring colors clearly up,
    Last in the field, and almost lords of it.
    Enter a messenger.
    Where is my prince, the Dauphin?
    Here. What news?
    The Count Melun is slain. The English lords,
    By his persuasion, are again fall'n off,
    And your supply, which you have wished so long,
    Are cast away and sunk on Goodwin Sands.
    Ah foul, shrewd news! beshrew thy very heart!
    I did not think to be so sad tonight
    As this hath made me. Who was he that said
    King John did fly an hour or two before
    The stumbling night did part our weary powers?
    Whoever spoke it, it is true, my lord.
    Well: keep good quarter and good care tonight.
    The day shall not be up so soon as I,
    To try the fair adventure of tomorrow.