Act I, Scene I
Alarum. Enter Plantagenet, Edward, Richard, Norfolke,
Mountague, Warwicke, and Souldiers.
I Wonder how the King escap'd our hands?
While we pursu'd the Horsmen of ye North,
He slyly stole away, and left his men:
Whereat the great Lord of Northumberland,
Whose Warlike eares could neuer brooke retreat,
Chear'd vp the drouping Army, and himselfe.
Lord Clifford and Lord Stafford all a-brest
Charg'd our maine Battailes Front: and breaking in,
Were by the Swords of common Souldiers slaine.
Lord Staffords Father, Duke of Buckingham,
Is either slaine or wounded dangerous.
I cleft his Beauer with a down-right blow:
That this is true (Father) behold his blood.
And Brother, here's the Earle of Wiltshires blood,
Whom I encountred as the Battels ioyn'd.
Speake thou for me, and tell them what I did.
Richard hath best deseru'd of all my sonnes:
But is your Grace dead, my Lord of Somerset?
Such hope haue all the line of Iohn of Gaunt.
Thus do I hope to shake King Henries head.
And so doe I, victorious Prince of Yorke.
Before I see thee seated in that Throne,
Which now the House of Lancaster vsurpes,
I vow by Heauen, these eyes shall neuer close.
This is the Pallace of the fearefull King,
And this the Regall Seat: possesse it Yorke,
For this is thine, and not King Henries Heires.
Assist me then, sweet Warwick, and I will,
For hither we haue broken in by force.
Wee'le all assist you: he that flyes, shall dye.
Thankes gentle Norfolke, stay by me my Lords,
And Souldiers stay and lodge by me this Night.
They goe vp.
And when the King comes, offer him no violence,
Vnlesse he seeke to thrust you out perforce.
The Queene this day here holds her Parliament,
But little thinkes we shall be of her counsaile,
By words or blowes here let vs winne our right.
Arm'd as we are, let's stay within this House.
The bloody Parliament shall this be call'd,
Vnlesse Plantagenet, Duke of Yorke, be King,
And bashfull Henry depos'd, whose Cowardize
Hath made vs by-words to our enemies.
Then leaue me not, my Lords be resolute,
I meane to take possession of my Right.
Neither the King, nor he that loues him best,
The prowdest hee that holds vp Lancaster,
Dares stirre a Wing, if Warwick shake his Bells.
Ile plant Plantagenet, root him vp who dares:
Resolue thee Richard, clayme the English Crowne.
Flourish. Enter King Henry, Clifford, Northumberland,
Westmerland, Exeter, and the rest.
My Lords, looke where the sturdie Rebell sits,
Euen in the Chayre of State: belike he meanes,
Backt by the power of Warwicke, that false Peere,
To aspire vnto the Crowne, and reigne as King.
Earle of Northumberland, he slew thy Father,
And thine, Lord Clifford, & you both haue vow'd reuenge
On him, his sonnes, his fauorites, and his friends.
If I be not, Heauens be reueng'd on me.
The hope thereof, makes Clifford mourne in Steele.
What, shall we suffer this? lets pluck him down,
My heart for anger burnes, I cannot brooke it.
Be patient, gentle Earle of Westmerland.
Patience is for Poultroones, such as he:
He durst not sit there, had your Father liu'd.
My gracious Lord, here in the Parliament
Let vs assayle the Family of Yorke.
Well hast thou spoken, Cousin be it so.
Ah, know you not the Citie fauours them,
And they haue troupes of Souldiers at their beck?
But when the Duke is slaine, they'le quickly flye.
Farre be the thought of this from Henries heart,
To make a Shambles of the Parliament House.
Cousin of Exeter, frownes, words, and threats,
Shall be the Warre that Henry meanes to vse.
Thou factious Duke of Yorke descend my Throne,
And kneele for grace and mercie at my feet,
I am thy Soueraigne.
I am thine.
For shame come downe, he made thee Duke of Yorke.
It was my Inheritance, as the Earledome was.
Thy Father was a Traytor to the Crowne.
Exeter thou art a Traytor to the Crowne,
In following this vsurping Henry.
Whom should hee follow, but his naturall King?
True Clifford, that's Richard Duke of Yorke.
And shall I stand, and thou sit in my Throne?
It must and shall be so, content thy selfe.
Be Duke of Lancaster, let him be King.
He is both King, and Duke of Lancaster,
And that the Lord of Westmerland shall maintaine.
And Warwick shall disproue it. You forget,
That we are those which chas'd you from the field,
And slew your Fathers, and with Colours spread
Marcht through the Citie to the Pallace Gates.
Yes Warwicke, I remember it to my griefe,
And by his Soule, thou and thy House shall rue it.
Plantagenet, of thee and these thy Sonnes,
Thy Kinsmen, and thy Friends, Ile haue more liues
Then drops of bloud were in my Fathers Veines.
Vrge it no more, lest that in stead of words,
I send thee, Warwicke, such a Messenger,
As shall reuenge his death, before I stirre.
Poore Clifford, how I scorne his worthlesse Threats.
Will you we shew our Title to the Crowne?
If not, our Swords shall pleade it in the field.
What Title hast thou Traytor to the Crowne?
My Father was as thou art, Duke of Yorke,
Thy Grandfather Roger Mortimer, Earle of March.
I am the Sonne of Henry the Fift,
Who made the Dolphin and the French to stoupe,
And seiz'd vpon their Townes and Prouinces.
Talke not of France, sith thou hast lost it all.
The Lord Protector lost it, and not I:
When I was crown'd, I was but nine moneths old.
You are old enough now, / And yet me thinkes you loose:
Father teare the Crowne from the Vsurpers Head.
Sweet Father doe so, set it on your Head.
Good Brother, / As thou lou'st and honorest Armes,
Let's fight it out, and not stand cauilling thus.
Sound Drummes and Trumpets, and the King will flye.
Peace thou, and giue King Henry leaue to speake.
Plantagenet shal speake first: Heare him Lords,
And be you silent and attentiue too,
For he that interrupts him, shall not liue.
Think'st thou, that I will leaue my Kingly Throne,
Wherein my Grandsire and my Father sat?
No: first shall Warre vnpeople this my Realme;
I, and their Colours often borne in France,
And now in England, to our hearts great sorrow,
Shall be my Winding-sheet. Why faint you Lords?
My Title's good, and better farre then his.
Proue it Henry, and thou shalt be King.
Henry the Fourth by Conquest got the Crowne.
'Twas by Rebellion against his King.
I know not what to say, my Titles weake:
Tell me, may not a King adopt an Heire?
And if he may, then am I lawfull King:
For Richard, in the view of many Lords,
Resign'd the Crowne to Henry the Fourth,
Whose Heire my Father was, and I am his.
He rose against him, being his Soueraigne,
And made him to resigne his Crowne perforce.
Suppose, my Lords, he did it vnconstrayn'd,
Thinke you 'twere preiudiciall to his Crowne?
No: for he could not so resigne his Crowne,
But that the next Heire should succeed and reigne.
Art thou against vs, Duke of Exeter?
His is the right, and therefore pardon me.
Why whisper you, my Lords, and answer not?
My Conscience tells me he is lawfull King.
All will reuolt from me, and turne to him.
Plantagenet, for all the Clayme thou lay'st,
Thinke not, that Henry shall be so depos'd.
Depos'd he shall be, in despight of all.
Thou art deceiu'd: / 'Tis not thy Southerne power
Of Essex, Norfolke, Suffolke, nor of Kent,
Which makes thee thus presumptuous and prowd,
Can set the Duke vp in despight of me.
King Henry, be thy Title right or wrong,
Lord Clifford vowes to fight in thy defence:
May that ground gape, and swallow me aliue,
Where I shall kneele to him that slew my Father.
Oh Clifford, how thy words reuiue my heart.
Henry of Lancaster, resigne thy Crowne:
What mutter you, or what conspire you Lords?
Doe right vnto this Princely Duke of Yorke,
Or I will fill the House with armed men,
And ouer the Chayre of State, where now he sits,
Write vp his Title with vsurping blood.
He stampes with his foot, and the Souldiers shew
My Lord of Warwick, heare but one word,
Let me for this my life time reigne as King.
Confirme the Crowne to me and to mine Heires,
And thou shalt reigne in quiet while thou liu'st.
I am content: Richard Plantagenet
Enioy the Kingdome after my decease.
What wrong is this vnto the Prince, your Sonne?
What good is this to England, and himselfe?
Base, fearefull, and despayring Henry.
How hast thou iniur'd both thy selfe and vs?
I cannot stay to heare these Articles.
Come Cousin, let vs tell the Queene these Newes.
Farwell faint-hearted and degenerate King,
In whose cold blood no sparke of Honor bides.
Be thou a prey vnto the House of Yorke,
And dye in Bands, for this vnmanly deed.
In dreadfull Warre may'st thou be ouercome,
Or liue in peace abandon'd and despis'd.
Turne this way Henry, and regard them not.
They seeke reuenge, and therefore will not yeeld.
Why should you sigh, my Lord?
Not for my selfe Lord Warwick, but my Sonne,
Whom I vnnaturally shall dis-inherite.
But be it as it may: I here entayle
The Crowne to thee and to thine Heires for euer,
Conditionally, that heere thou take an Oath,
To cease this Ciuill Warre: and whil'st I liue,
To honor me as thy King, and Soueraigne:
And neyther by Treason nor Hostilitie,
To seeke to put me downe, and reigne thy selfe.
This Oath I willingly take, and will performe.
Long liue King Henry: Plantagenet embrace him.
And long liue thou, and these thy forward Sonnes.
Now Yorke and Lancaster are reconcil'd.
Accurst be he that seekes to make them foes.
Senet. Here they come downe.
Farewell my gracious Lord, Ile to my Castle.
And Ile keepe London with my Souldiers.
And I to Norfolke with my followers.
And I vnto the Sea, from whence I came.
And I with griefe and sorrow to the Court.
Enter the Queene.
Heere comes the Queene, / Whose Lookes bewray her anger:
Ile steale away.
Exeter so will I.
Nay, goe not from me, I will follow thee.
Be patient gentle Queene, and I will stay.
Who can be patient in such extreames?
Ah wretched man, would I had dy'de a Maid?
And neuer seene thee, neuer borne thee Sonne,
Seeing thou hast prou'd so vnnaturall a Father.
Hath he deseru'd to loose his Birth-right thus?
Hadst thou but lou'd him halfe so well as I,
Or felt that paine which I did for him once,
Or nourisht him, as I did with my blood;
Thou would'st haue left thy dearest heart-blood there,
Rather then haue made that sauage Duke thine Heire,
And dis-inherited thine onely Sonne.
Father, you cannot dis-inherite me:
If you be King, why should not I succeede?
Pardon me Margaret, pardon me sweet Sonne,
The Earle of Warwick and the Duke enforc't me.
Enforc't thee? Art thou King, and wilt be forc't?
I shame to heare thee speake: ah timorous Wretch,
Thou hast vndone thy selfe, thy Sonne, and me,
And giu'n vnto the House of Yorke such head,
As thou shalt reigne but by their sufferance.
To entayle him and his Heires vnto the Crowne,
What is it, but to make thy Sepulcher,
And creepe into it farre before thy time?
Warwick is Chancelor, and the Lord of Callice,
Sterne Falconbridge commands the Narrow Seas,
The Duke is made Protector of the Realme,
And yet shalt thou be safe? Such safetie findes
The trembling Lambe, inuironned with Wolues.
Had I beene there, which am a silly Woman,
The Souldiers should haue toss'd me on their Pikes,
Before I would haue granted to that Act.
But thou preferr'st thy Life, before thine Honor.
And seeing thou do'st, I here diuorce my selfe,
Both from thy Table Henry, and thy Bed,
Vntill that Act of Parliament be repeal'd,
Whereby my Sonne is dis-inherited.
The Northerne Lords, that haue forsworne thy Colours,
Will follow mine, if once they see them spread:
And spread they shall be, to thy foule disgrace,
And vtter ruine of the House of Yorke.
Thus doe I leaue thee: Come Sonne, let's away,
Our Army is ready; come, wee'le after them.
Stay gentle Margaret, and heare me speake.
Thou hast spoke too much already: get thee gone.
Gentle Sonne Edward, thou wilt stay me?
I, to be murther'd by his Enemies.
When I returne with victorie to the field,
Ile see your Grace: till then, Ile follow her.
Come Sonne away, we may not linger thus.
Poore Queene, / How loue to me, and to her Sonne,
Hath made her breake out into termes of Rage.
Reueng'd may she be on that hatefull Duke,
Whose haughtie spirit, winged with desire,
Will cost my Crowne, and like an emptie Eagle,
Tyre on the flesh of me, and of my Sonne.
The losse of those three Lords torments my heart:
Ile write vnto them, and entreat them faire;
Come Cousin, you shall be the Messenger.
And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all.
Act I, Scene II
Enter Richard, Edward, and Mountague.
Brother, though I bee youngest, giue mee leaue.
No, I can better play the Orator.
But I haue reasons strong and forceable.
Enter the Duke of Yorke.
Why how now Sonnes, and Brother, at a strife?
What is your Quarrell? how began it first?
No Quarrell, but a slight Contention.
About that which concernes your Grace and vs,
The Crowne of England, Father, which is yours.
Mine Boy? not till King Henry be dead.
Your Right depends not on his life, or death.
Now you are Heire, therefore enioy it now:
By giuing the House of Lancaster leaue to breathe,
It will out-runne you, Father, in the end.
I tooke an Oath, that hee should quietly reigne.
But for a Kingdome any Oath may be broken:
I would breake a thousand Oathes, to reigne one yeere.
No: God forbid your Grace should be forsworne.
I shall be, if I clayme by open Warre.
Ile proue the contrary, if you'le heare mee speake.
Thou canst not, Sonne: it is impossible.
An Oath is of no moment, being not tooke
Before a true and lawfull Magistrate,
That hath authoritie ouer him that sweares.
Henry had none, but did vsurpe the place.
Then seeing 'twas he that made you to depose,
Your Oath, my Lord, is vaine and friuolous.
Therefore to Armes: and Father doe but thinke,
How sweet a thing it is to weare a Crowne,
Within whose Circuit is Elizium,
And all that Poets faine of Blisse and Ioy.
Why doe we linger thus? I cannot rest,
Vntill the White Rose that I weare, be dy'de
Euen in the luke-warme blood of Henries heart.
Richard ynough: I will be King, or dye.
Brother, thou shalt to London presently,
And whet on Warwick to this Enterprise.
Thou Richard shalt to the Duke of Norfolke,
And tell him priuily of our intent.
You Edward shall vnto my Lord Cobham,
With whom the Kentishmen will willingly rise.
In them I trust: for they are Souldiors,
Wittie, courteous, liberall, full of spirit.
While you are thus imploy'd, what resteth more?
But that I seeke occasion how to rise,
And yet the King not priuie to my Drift,
Nor any of the House of Lancaster.
But stay, what Newes? Why comm'st thou in such poste?
The Queene, With all the Northerne Earles and Lords,
Intend here to besiege you in your Castle.
She is hard by, with twentie thousand men:
And therefore fortifie your Hold, my Lord.
I, with my Sword. What? think'st thou, that we feare them?
Edward and Richard, you shall stay with me,
My Brother Mountague shall poste to London.
Let Noble Warwicke, Cobham, and the rest,
Whom we haue left Protectors of the King,
With powrefull Pollicie strengthen themselues,
And trust not simple Henry, nor his Oathes.
Brother, I goe: Ile winne them, feare it not.
And thus most humbly I doe take my leaue.
Enter Mortimer, and
Sir Iohn, and Sir Hugh Mortimer, mine Vnckles,
You are come to Sandall in a happie houre.
The Armie of the Queene meane to besiege vs.
Shee shall not neede, wee'le meete her in the field.
What, with fiue thousand men?
I, with fiue hundred, Father, for a neede.
A Woman's generall: what should we feare?
A March afarre off.
I heare their Drummes: / Let's set our men in order,
And issue forth, and bid them Battaile straight.
Fiue men to twentie: though the oddes be great,
I doubt not, Vnckle, of our Victorie.
Many a Battaile haue I wonne in France,
When as the Enemie hath beene tenne to one:
Why should I not now haue the like successe?
Act I, Scene III
Enter Rutland, and his Tutor.
Ah, whither shall I flye, to scape their hands?
Ah Tutor, looke where bloody Clifford comes.
Chaplaine away, thy Priesthood saues thy life.
As for the Brat of this accursed Duke,
Whose Father slew my Father, he shall dye.
And I, my Lord, will beare him company.
Souldiers, away with him.
Ah Clifford, murther not this innocent Child,
Least thou be hated both of God and Man.
How now? is he dead alreadie? / Or is it feare,
that makes him close his eyes? / Ile open them.
So looks the pent-vp Lyon o're the Wretch,
That trembles vnder his deuouring Pawes:
And so he walkes, insulting o're his Prey,
And so he comes, to rend his Limbes asunder.
Ah gentle Clifford, kill me with thy Sword,
And not with such a cruell threatning Looke.
Sweet Clifford heare me speake, before I dye:
I am too meane a subiect for thy Wrath,
Be thou reueng'd on men, and let me liue.
In vaine thou speak'st, poore Boy: / My Fathers blood
hath stopt the passage / Where thy words should enter.
Then let my Fathers blood open it againe,
He is a man, and Clifford cope with him.
Had I thy Brethren here, their liues and thine
Were not reuenge sufficient for me:
No, if I digg'd vp thy fore-fathers Graues,
And hung their rotten Coffins vp in Chaynes,
It could not slake mine ire, nor ease my heart.
The sight of any of the House of Yorke,
Is as a furie to torment my Soule:
And till I root out their accursed Line,
And leaue not one aliue, I liue in Hell.
Oh let me pray, before I take my death:
To thee I pray; sweet Clifford pitty me.
Such pitty as my Rapiers point affords.
I neuer did thee harme: why wilt thou slay me?
Thy Father hath.
But 'twas ere I was borne.
Thou hast one Sonne, for his sake pitty me,
Least in reuenge thereof, sith God is iust,
He be as miserably slaine as I.
Ah, let me liue in Prison all my dayes,
And when I giue occasion of offence,
Then let me dye, for now thou hast no cause.
No cause? thy Father slew my Father: therefore dye.
Dij faciant laudis summa sit ista tua.
Plantagenet, I come Plantagenet:
And this thy Sonnes blood cleauing to my Blade,
Shall rust vpon my Weapon, till thy blood
Congeal'd with this, doe make me wipe off both.
Act I, Scene IV
Alarum. Enter Richard, Duke of Yorke.
The Army of the Queene hath got the field:
My Vnckles both are slaine, in rescuing me;
And all my followers, to the eager foe
Turne back, and flye, like Ships before the Winde,
Or Lambes pursu'd by hunger-starued Wolues.
My Sonnes, God knowes what hath bechanced them:
But this I know, they haue demean'd themselues
Like men borne to Renowne, by Life or Death.
Three times did Richard make a Lane to me,
And thrice cry'de, Courage Father, fight it out:
And full as oft came Edward to my side,
With Purple Faulchion, painted to the Hilt,
In blood of those that had encountred him:
And when the hardyest Warriors did retyre,
Richard cry'de, Charge, and giue no foot of ground,
And cry'de, A Crowne, or else a glorious Tombe,
A Scepter, or an Earthly Sepulchre.
With this we charg'd againe: but out alas,
We bodg'd againe, as I haue seene a Swan
With bootlesse labour swimme against the Tyde,
And spend her strength with ouer-matching Waues.
A short Alarum within.
Ah hearke, the fatall followers doe pursue,
And I am faint, and cannot flye their furie:
And were I strong, I would not shunne their furie.
The Sands are numbred, that makes vp my Life,
Here must I stay, and here my Life must end.
Enter the Queene, Clifford, Northumberland, the
young Prince, and Souldiers.
Come bloody Clifford, rough Northumberland,
I dare your quenchlesse furie to more rage:
I am your Butt, and I abide your Shot.
Yeeld to our mercy, proud Plantagenet.
I, to such mercy, as his ruthlesse Arme
With downe-right payment, shew'd vnto my Father.
Now Phaton hath tumbled from his Carre,
And made an Euening at the Noone-tide Prick.
My ashes, as the Phoenix, may bring forth
A Bird, that will reuenge vpon you all:
And in that hope, I throw mine eyes to Heauen,
Scorning what ere you can afflict me with.
Why come you not? what, multitudes, and feare?
So Cowards fight, when they can flye no further,
So Doues doe peck the Faulcons piercing Tallons,
So desperate Theeues, all hopelesse of their Liues,
Breathe out Inuectiues 'gainst the Officers.
Oh Clifford, but bethinke thee once againe,
And in thy thought ore-run my former time:
And if thou canst, for blushing, view this face,
And bite thy tongue, that slanders him with Cowardice,
Whose frowne hath made thee faint and flye ere this.
I will not bandie with thee word for word,
But buckler with thee blowes twice two for one.
Hold valiant Clifford, for a thousand causes
I would prolong a while the Traytors Life:
Wrath makes him deafe; speake thou Northumberland.
Hold Clifford, doe not honor him so much,
To prick thy finger, though to wound his heart.
What valour were it, when a Curre doth grinne,
For one to thrust his Hand betweene his Teeth,
When he might spurne him with his Foot away?
It is Warres prize, to take all Vantages,
And tenne to one, is no impeach of Valour.
I, I, so striues the Woodcocke with the Gynne.
So doth the Connie struggle in the Net.
So triumph Theeues vpon their conquer'd Booty,
So True men yeeld with Robbers, so o're-matcht.
What would your Grace haue done vnto him now?
Braue Warriors, Clifford and Northumberland,
Come make him stand vpon this Mole-hill here,
That raught at Mountaines with out-stretched Armes,
Yet parted but the shadow with his Hand.
What, was it you that would be Englands King?
Was't you that reuell'd in our Parliament,
And made a Preachment of your high Descent?
Where are your Messe of Sonnes, to back you now?
The wanton Edward, and the lustie George?
And where's that valiant Crook-back Prodigie.
Dickie, your Boy, that with his grumbling voyce
Was wont to cheare his Dad in Mutinies?
Or with the rest, where is your Darling, Rutland?
Looke Yorke, I stayn'd this Napkin with the blood
That valiant Clifford, with his Rapiers point,
Made issue from the Bosome of the Boy:
And if thine eyes can water for his death,
I giue thee this to drie thy Cheekes withall.
Alas poore Yorke, but that I hate thee deadly,
I should lament thy miserable state.
I prythee grieue, to make me merry, Yorke.
What, hath thy fierie heart so parcht thine entrayles,
That not a Teare can fall, for Rutlands death?
Why art thou patient, man? thou should'st be mad:
And I, to make thee mad, doe mock thee thus.
Stampe, raue, and fret, that I may sing and dance.
Thou would'st be fee'd, I see, to make me sport:
Yorke cannot speake, vnlesse he weare a Crowne.
A Crowne for Yorke; and Lords, bow lowe to him:
Hold you his hands, whilest I doe set it on.
I marry Sir, now lookes he like a King:
I, this is he that tooke King Henries Chaire,
And this is he was his adopted Heire.
But how is it, that great Plantagenet
Is crown'd so soone, and broke his solemne Oath?
As I bethinke me, you should not be King,
Till our King Henry had shooke hands with Death.
And will you pale your head in Henries Glory,
And rob his Temples of the Diademe,
Now in his Life, against your holy Oath?
Oh 'tis a fault too too vnpardonable.
Off with the Crowne; and with the Crowne, his Head,
And whilest we breathe, take time to doe him dead.
That is my Office, for my Fathers sake.
Nay stay, let's heare the Orizons hee makes.
Shee-Wolfe of France, / But worse then Wolues of France,
Whose Tongue more poysons then the Adders Tooth:
How ill-beseeming is it in thy Sex,
To triumph like an Amazonian Trull,
Vpon their Woes, whom Fortune captiuates?
But that thy Face is Vizard-like, vnchanging,
Made impudent with vse of euill deedes.
I would assay, prowd Queene, to make thee blush.
To tell thee whence thou cam'st, of whom deriu'd,
Were shame enough, to shame thee, / Wert thou not shamelesse.
Thy Father beares the type of King of Naples,
Of both the Sicils, and Ierusalem,
Yet not so wealthie as an English Yeoman.
Hath that poore Monarch taught thee to insult?
It needes not, nor it bootes thee not, prowd Queene,
Vnlesse the Adage must be verify'd,
That Beggers mounted, runne their Horse to death.
'Tis Beautie that doth oft make Women prowd,
But God he knowes, thy share thereof is small.
'Tis Vertue, that doth make them most admir'd,
The contrary, doth make thee wondred at.
'Tis Gouernment that makes them seeme Diuine,
The want thereof, makes thee abhominable.
Thou art as opposite to euery good,
As the Antipodes are vnto vs,
Or as the South to the Septentrion.
Oh Tygres Heart, wrapt in a Womans Hide,
How could'st thou drayne the Life-blood of the Child,
To bid the Father wipe his eyes withall,
And yet be seene to beare a Womans face?
Women are soft, milde, pittifull, and flexible;
Thou, sterne, obdurate, flintie, rough, remorselesse.
Bidst thou me rage? why now thou hast thy wish.
Would'st haue me weepe? why now thou hast thy will.
For raging Wind blowes vp incessant showers,
And when the Rage allayes, the Raine begins.
These Teares are my sweet Rutlands Obsequies,
And euery drop cryes vengeance for his death,
'Gainst thee fell Clifford, and thee false French-woman.
Beshrew me, but his passions moues me so,
That hardly can I check my eyes from Teares.
That Face of his, / The hungry Caniballs
would not haue toucht, / Would not haue stayn'd with blood:
But you are more inhumane, more inexorable,
Oh, tenne times more then Tygers of Hyrcania.
See, ruthlesse Queene, a haplesse Fathers Teares:
This Cloth thou dipd'st in blood of my sweet Boy,
And I with Teares doe wash the blood away.
Keepe thou the Napkin, and goe boast of this,
And if thou tell'st the heauie storie right,
Vpon my Soule, the hearers will shed Teares:
Yea, euen my Foes will shed fast-falling Teares,
And say, Alas, it was a pittious deed.
There, take the Crowne, and with the Crowne, my Curse,
And in thy need, such comfort come to thee,
As now I reape at thy too cruell hand.
Hard-hearted Clifford, take me from the World,
My Soule to Heauen, my Blood vpon your Heads.
Had he been slaughter-man to all my Kinne,
I should not for my Life but weepe with him,
To see how inly Sorrow gripes his Soule.
What, weeping ripe, my Lord Northumberland?
Thinke but vpon the wrong he did vs all,
And that will quickly drie thy melting Teares.
Heere's for my Oath, heere's for my Fathers Death.
And heere's to right our gentle-hearted King.
Open thy Gate of Mercy, gracious God,
My Soule flyes through these wounds, to seeke out thee.
Off with his Head, and set it on Yorke Gates,
So Yorke may ouer-looke the Towne of Yorke.
Alarum. Enter York, Edward, Richard, Norfolk,
Montague, Warwick, and soldiers, with white roses
in their hats
I wonder how the King escaped our hands?
While we pursued the horsemen of the north,
He slily stole away and left his men;
Whereat the great Lord of Northumberland,
Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat,
Cheered up the drooping army; and himself,
Lord Clifford, and Lord Stafford, all abreast,
Charged our main battle's front, and, breaking in,
Were by the swords of common soldiers slain.
Lord Stafford's father, Duke of Buckingham,
Is either slain or wounded dangerous;
I cleft his beaver with a downright blow.
That this is true, father, behold his blood.
And, brother, here's the Earl of Wiltshire's blood,
Whom I encountered as the battles joined.
Speak thou for me and tell them what I did.
He throws down the Duke of Somerset's head
Richard hath best deserved of all my sons.
But is your grace dead, my lord of Somerset?
Such hope have all the line of John of Gaunt!
Thus do I hope to shake King Henry's head.
And so do I. Victorious Prince of York,
Before I see thee seated in that throne
Which now the house of Lancaster usurps,
I vow by heaven these eyes shall never close.
This is the palace of the fearful King,
And this the regal seat; possess it, York;
For this is thine and not King Henry's heirs'.
Assist me then, sweet Warwick, and I will;
For hither we have broken in by force.
We'll all assist you; he that flies shall die.
Thanks, gentle Norfolk; stay by me, my lords.
And, soldiers, stay and lodge by me this night.
They go up
And when the King comes, offer him no violence,
Unless he seek to thrust you out perforce.
The Queen this day here holds her parliament,
But little thinks we shall be of her council;
By words or blows here let us win our right.
Armed as we are, let's stay within this house.
The bloody parliament shall this be called
Unless Plantagenet, Duke of York, be king,
And bashful Henry deposed, whose cowardice
Hath made us by-words to our enemies.
Then leave me not; my lords, be resolute;
I mean to take possession of my right.
Neither the King nor he that loves him best,
The proudest he that holds up Lancaster,
Dares stir a wing if Warwick shake his bells.
I'll plant Plantagenet, root him up who dares.
Resolve thee, Richard; claim the English crown.
Flourish. Enter King Henry, Clifford, Northumberland,
Westmorland, Exeter, and soldiers, with
red roses in their hats
My lords, look where the sturdy rebel sits,
Even in the chair of state! Belike he means,
Backed by the power of Warwick, that false peer,
To aspire unto the crown and reign as king.
Earl of Northumberland, he slew thy father,
And thine, Lord Clifford; and you both have vowed revenge
On him, his sons, his favourites, and his friends.
If I be not, heavens be revenged on me!
The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn in steel.
What! Shall we suffer this? Let's pluck him down.
My heart for anger burns; I cannot brook it.
Be patient, gentle Earl of Westmorland.
Patience is for poltroons, such as he;
He durst not sit there had your father lived.
My gracious lord, here in the parliament
Let us assail the family of York.
Well hast thou spoken, cousin; be it so.
Ah, know you not the city favours them,
And they have troops of soldiers at their beck?
But when the Duke is slain they'll quickly fly.
Far be the thought of this from Henry's heart,
To make a shambles of the Parliament House!
Cousin of Exeter, frowns, words, and threats
Shall be the war that Henry means to use.
Thou factious Duke of York, descend my throne,
And kneel for grace and mercy at my feet;
I am thy sovereign.
I am thine.
For shame, come down; he made thee Duke of York.
It was my inheritance, as the earldom was.
Thy father was a traitor to the crown.
Exeter, thou art a traitor to the crown
In following this usurping Henry.
Whom should he follow but his natural king?
True, Clifford; that is Richard Duke of York.
And shall I stand, and thou sit in my throne?
It must and shall be so; content thyself.
Be Duke of Lancaster; let him be king.
He is both king and Duke of Lancaster;
And that the Lord of Westmorland shall maintain.
And Warwick shall disprove it. You forget
That we are those which chased you from the field
And slew your fathers, and with colours spread
Marched through the city to the palace gates.
Yes, Warwick, I remember it to my grief;
And, by his soul, thou and thy house shall rue it.
Plantagenet, of thee and these thy sons,
Thy kinsmen, and thy friends, I'll have more lives
Than drops of blood were in my father's veins.
Urge it no more; lest that, instead of words,
I send thee, Warwick, such a messenger
As shall revenge his death before I stir.
Poor Clifford, how I scorn his worthless threats!
Will you we show our title to the crown?
If not, our swords shall plead it in the field.
What title hast thou, traitor, to the crown?
Thy father was, as thou art, Duke of York;
Thy grandfather, Roger Mortimer, Earl of March.
I am the son of Henry the Fifth,
Who made the Dauphin and the French to stoop
And seized upon their towns and provinces.
Talk not of France, sith thou hast lost it all.
The Lord Protector lost it, and not I.
When I was crowned I was but nine months old.
You are old enough now, and yet, methinks, you lose.
Father, tear the crown from the usurper's head.
Sweet father, do so; set it on your head.
Good brother, as thou lovest and honourest arms,
Let's fight it out and not stand cavilling thus.
Sound drums and trumpets, and the King will fly.
Peace, thou! And give King Henry leave to speak.
Plantagenet shall speak first. Hear him, lords;
And be you silent and attentive too,
For he that interrupts him shall not live.
Thinkest thou that I will leave my kingly throne,
Wherein my grandsire and my father sat?
No; first shall war unpeople this my realm;
Ay, and their colours, often borne in France,
And now in England to our hearts' great sorrow,
Shall be my winding-sheet. Why faint you, lords?
My title's good, and better far than his.
Prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be king.
Henry the Fourth by conquest got the crown.
'Twas by rebellion against his king.
I know not what to say; my title's weak. –
Tell me, may not a king adopt an heir?
An if he may, then am I lawful king;
For Richard, in the view of many lords,
Resigned the crown to Henry the Fourth,
Whose heir my father was, and I am his.
He rose against him, being his sovereign,
And made him to resign his crown perforce.
Suppose, my lords, he did it unconstrained,
Think you 'twere prejudicial to his crown?
No; for he could not so resign his crown
But that the next heir should succeed and reign.
Art thou against us, Duke of Exeter?
His is the right, and therefore pardon me.
Why whisper you, my lords, and answer not?
My conscience tells me he is lawful king.
All will revolt from me and turn to him.
Plantagenet, for all the claim thou layest,
Think not that Henry shall be so deposed.
Deposed he shall be, in despite of all.
Thou art deceived; 'tis not thy southern power
Of Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, nor of Kent,
Which makes thee thus presumptuous and proud,
Can set the Duke up in despite of me.
King Henry, be thy title right or wrong,
Lord Clifford vows to fight in thy defence;
May that ground gape and swallow me alive,
Where I shall kneel to him that slew my father!
O Clifford, how thy words revive my heart!
Henry of Lancaster, resign thy crown.
What mutter you, or what conspire you, lords?
Do right unto this princely Duke of York,
Or I will fill the house with armed men,
And over the chair of state, where now he sits,
Write up his title with usurping blood.
He stamps with his foot, and the soldiers show
My Lord of Warwick, hear but one word;
Let me for this my lifetime reign as king.
Confirm the crown to me and to mine heirs,
And thou shalt reign in quiet while thou livest.
I am content; Richard Plantagenet,
Enjoy the kingdom after my decease.
What wrong is this unto the Prince your son!
What good is this to England and himself!
Base, fearful, and despairing Henry!
How hast thou injured both thyself and us!
I cannot stay to hear these articles.
Come, cousin, let us tell the Queen these news.
Farewell, faint-hearted and degenerate King,
In whose cold blood no spark of honour bides.
Be thou a prey unto the house of York,
And die in bands for this unmanly deed!
In dreadful war mayst thou be overcome,
Or live in peace abandoned and despised!
Turn this way, Henry, and regard them not.
They seek revenge and therefore will not yield.
Why should you sigh, my lord?
Not for myself, Lord Warwick, but my son,
Whom I unnaturally shall disinherit.
But be it as it may. (to York) I here entail
The crown to thee and to thine heirs for ever;
Conditionally that here thou take an oath
To cease this civil war; and, whilst I live,
To honour me as thy king and sovereign;
And neither by treason nor hostility
To seek to put me down and reign thyself.
This oath I willingly take and will perform.
Long live King Henry! Plantagenet, embrace him.
And long live thou and these thy forward sons!
Now York and Lancaster are reconciled.
Accursed be he that seeks to make them foes!
Sennet. Here they come down
Farewell, my gracious lord; I'll to my castle.
Exeunt York and his sons
And I'll keep London with my soldiers.
And I to Norfolk with my followers.
And I unto the sea from whence I came.
And I with grief and sorrow to the court.
Enter the Queen and the Prince of Wales
Here comes the Queen, whose looks bewray her anger;
I'll steal away.
Exeter, so will I.
Nay, go not from me. I will follow thee.
Be patient, gentle Queen, and I will stay.
Who can be patient in such extremes?
Ah, wretched man! Would I had died a maid,
And never seen thee, never borne thee son,
Seeing thou hast proved so unnatural a father!
Hath he deserved to lose his birthright thus?
Hadst thou but loved him half so well as I,
Or felt that pain which I did for him once,
Or nourished him as I did with my blood,
Thou wouldst have left thy dearest heart-blood there,
Rather than have made that savage Duke thine heir
And disinherited thine only son.
Father, you cannot disinherit me;
If you be king, why should not I succeed?
Pardon me, Margaret; pardon me, sweet son;
The Earl of Warwick and the Duke enforced me.
Enforced thee! Art thou king, and wilt be forced?
I shame to hear thee speak. Ah, timorous wretch!
Thou hast undone thyself, thy son, and me;
And given unto the house of York such head
As thou shalt reign but by their sufferance.
To entail him and his heirs unto the crown,
What is it but to make thy sepulchre,
And creep into it far before thy time?
Warwick is Chancellor and the Lord of Calais;
Stern Falconbridge commands the narrow seas;
The Duke is made Protector of the realm;
And yet shalt thou be safe? Such safety finds
The trembling lamb environed with wolves.
Had I been there, which am a silly woman,
The soldiers should have tossed me on their pikes
Before I would have granted to that act.
But thou preferrest thy life before thine honour;
And, seeing thou dost, I here divorce myself
Both from thy table, Henry, and thy bed,
Until that act of parliament be repealed
Whereby my son is disinherited.
The northern lords that have forsworn thy colours
Will follow mine, if once they see them spread;
And spread they shall be, to thy foul disgrace
And utter ruin of the house of York.
Thus do I leave thee. Come, son, let's away.
Our army is ready; come, we'll after them.
Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me speak.
Thou hast spoke too much already; get thee gone.
Gentle son Edward, thou wilt stay with me?
Ay, to be murdered by his enemies.
When I return with victory from the field,
I'll see your grace; till then I'll follow her.
Come, son, away; we may not linger thus.
Exeunt Queen and Prince
Poor Queen! How love to me and to her son
Hath made her break out into terms of rage!
Revenged may she be on that hateful Duke,
Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire,
Will cost my crown, and like an empty eagle
Tire on the flesh of me and of my son!
The loss of those three lords torments my heart;
I'll write unto them and entreat them fair.
Come, cousin, you shall be the messenger.
And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all.
Enter Richard, Edward, and Montague
Brother, though I be youngest, give me leave.
No, I can better play the orator.
But I have reasons strong and forcible.
Enter the Duke of York
Why, how now, sons and brother! At a strife?
What is your quarrel? How began it first?
No quarrel, but a slight contention.
About that which concerns your grace and us –
The crown of England, father, which is yours.
Mine, boy? Not till King Henry be dead.
Your right depends not on his life or death.
Now you are heir; therefore enjoy it now.
By giving the house of Lancaster leave to breathe,
It will outrun you, father, in the end.
I took an oath that he should quietly reign.
But for a kingdom any oath may be broken;
I would break a thousand oaths to reign one year.
No; God forbid your grace should be forsworn.
I shall be, if I claim by open war.
I'll prove the contrary, if you'll hear me speak.
Thou canst not, son; it is impossible.
An oath is of no moment, being not took
Before a true and lawful magistrate
That hath authority over him that swears:
Henry had none, but did usurp the place.
Then, seeing 'twas he that made you to depose,
Your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous.
Therefore to arms! And, father, do but think
How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown;
Within whose circuit is Elysium
And all that poets feign of bliss and joy.
Why do we linger thus? I cannot rest
Until the white rose that I wear be dyed
Even in the lukewarm blood of Henry's heart.
Richard, enough! I will be king or die.
Brother, thou shalt to London presently,
And whet on Warwick to this enterprise.
Thou, Richard, shalt to the Duke of Norfolk
And tell him privily of our intent.
You, Edward, shall unto my Lord Cobham,
With whom the Kentishmen will willingly rise;
In them I trust, for they are soldiers,
Witty, courteous, liberal, full of spirit.
While you are thus employed, what resteth more
But that I seek occasion how to rise,
And yet the King not privy to my drift,
Nor any of the house of Lancaster?
Enter a Messenger
But stay; what news? Why comest thou in such post?
The Queen with all the northern earls and lords
Intend here to besiege you in your castle.
She is hard by with twenty thousand men;
And therefore fortify your hold, my lord.
Ay, with my sword. What! Thinkest thou that we fear them?
Edward and Richard, you shall stay with me;
My brother Montague shall post to London.
Let noble Warwick, Cobham, and the rest,
Whom we have left protectors of the King,
With powerful policy strengthen themselves,
And trust not simple Henry nor his oaths.
Brother, I go; I'll win them, fear it not;
And thus most humbly I do take my leave.
Enter Sir John Mortimer and Sir Hugh Mortimer,
Sir John and Sir Hugh Mortimer, mine uncles,
You are come to Sandal in a happy hour;
The army of the Queen mean to besiege us.
She shall not need; we'll meet her in the field.
What, with five thousand men?
Ay, with five hundred, father, for a need.
A woman's general; what should we fear?
A march afar off
I hear their drums; let's set our men in order,
And issue forth and bid them battle straight.
Five men to twenty! Though the odds be great,
I doubt not, uncle, of our victory.
Many a battle have I won in France,
When as the enemy hath been ten to one;
Why should I not now have the like success?
Alarum. Enter Rutland and his Tutor
Ah, whither shall I fly to 'scape their hands?
Ah, tutor, look where bloody Clifford comes!
Enter Clifford and soldiers
Chaplain, away! Thy priesthood saves thy life.
As for the brat of this accursed duke,
Whose father slew my father, he shall die.
And I, my lord, will bear him company.
Soldiers, away with him!
Ah, Clifford, murder not this innocent child,
Lest thou be hated both of God and man.
Exit, dragged off by soldiers
How now? Is he dead already? Or is it fear
That makes him close his eyes? I'll open them.
So looks the pent-up lion o'er the wretch
That trembles under his devouring paws;
And so he walks, insulting o'er his prey,
And so he comes, to rend his limbs asunder.
Ah, gentle Clifford, kill me with thy sword,
And not with such a cruel threatening look!
Sweet Clifford, hear me speak before I die.
I am too mean a subject for thy wrath;
Be thou revenged on men, and let me live.
In vain thou speakest, poor boy; my father's blood
Hath stopped the passage where thy words should enter.
Then let my father's blood open it again;
He is a man, and, Clifford, cope with him.
Had I thy brethren here, their lives and thine
Were not revenge sufficient for me;
No, if I digged up thy forefathers' graves
And hung their rotten coffins up in chains,
It could not slake mine ire nor ease my heart.
The sight of any of the house of York
Is as a fury to torment my soul;
And till I root out their accursed line
And leave not one alive, I live in hell.
He lifts his sword
O, let me pray before I take my death!
To thee I pray; sweet Clifford, pity me!
Such pity as my rapier's point affords.
I never did thee harm; why wilt thou slay me?
Thy father hath.
But 'twas ere I was born.
Thou hast one son; for his sake pity me,
Lest in revenge thereof, sith God is just,
He be as miserably slain as I.
Ah, let me live in prison all my days;
And when I give occasion of offence,
Then let me die, for now thou hast no cause.
Thy father slew my father; therefore, die.
He stabs Rutland
Di faciant laudis summa sit ista tuae.
Plantagenet! I come, Plantagenet!
And this thy son's blood cleaving to my blade
Shall rust upon my weapon, till thy blood
Congealed with this, do make me wipe off both.
Alarum. Enter Richard Duke of York
The army of the Queen hath got the field;
My uncles both are slain in rescuing me;
And all my followers to the eager foe
Turn back and fly, like ships before the wind
Or lambs pursued by hunger-starved wolves.
My sons, God knows what hath bechanced them;
But this I know, they have demeaned themselves
Like men born to renown by life or death.
Three times did Richard make a lane to me,
And thrice cried ‘ Courage, father! Fight it out!’
And full as oft came Edward to my side,
With purple falchion, painted to the hilt
In blood of those that had encountered him.
And when the hardiest warriors did retire,
Richard cried ‘ Charge! And give no foot of ground!’
And cried ‘ A crown, or else a glorious tomb!
A sceptre or an earthly sepulchre!’
With this we charged again; but, out, alas!
We budged again; as I have seen a swan
With bootless labour swim against the tide
And spend her strength with overmatching waves.
A short alarum within
Ah, hark! The fatal followers do pursue,
And I am faint and cannot fly their fury;
And were I strong, I would not shun their fury.
The sands are numbered that makes up my life;
Here must I stay, and here my life must end.
Enter the Queen, Clifford, Northumberland, the
young Prince, and soldiers
Come, bloody Clifford, rough Northumberland,
I dare your quenchless fury to more rage;
I am your butt, and I abide your shot.
Yield to our mercy, proud Plantagenet.
Ay, to such mercy as his ruthless arm
With downright payment showed unto my father.
Now Phaethon hath tumbled from his car,
And made an evening at the noontide prick.
My ashes, as the phoenix, may bring forth
A bird that will revenge upon you all;
And in that hope I throw mine eyes to heaven,
Scorning whate'er you can afflict me with.
Why come you not? What! Multitudes, and fear?
So cowards fight when they can fly no further;
So doves do peck the falcon's piercing talons;
So desperate thieves, all hopeless of their lives,
Breathe out invectives 'gainst the officers.
O Clifford, but bethink thee once again,
And in thy thought o'errun my former time;
And, if though canst for blushing, view this face,
And bite thy tongue, that slanders him with cowardice
Whose frown hath made thee faint and fly ere this!
I will not bandy with thee word for word,
But buckler with thee blows, twice two for one.
He draws his sword
Hold, valiant Clifford! For a thousand causes
I would prolong awhile the traitor's life.
Wrath makes him deaf; speak thou, Northumberland.
Hold, Clifford! Do not honour him so much
To prick thy finger, though to wound his heart.
What valour were it, when a cur doth grin,
For one to thrust his hand between his teeth,
When he might spurn him with his foot away?
It is war's prize to take all vantages;
And ten to one is no impeach of valour.
They fight and York is taken
Ay, ay, so strives the woodcock with the gin.
So doth the cony struggle in the net.
So triumph thieves upon their conquered booty;
So true men yield, with robbers so o'ermatched.
What would your grace have done unto him now?
Brave warriors, Clifford and Northumberland,
Come, make him stand upon this molehill here
That raught at mountains with outstretched arms,
Yet parted but the shadow with his hand.
What! Was it you that would be England's king?
Was't you that revelled in our parliament
And made a preachment of your high descent?
Where are your mess of sons to back you now?
The wanton Edward, and the lusty George?
And where's that valiant crook-back prodigy,
Dicky your boy, that with his grumbling voice
Was wont to cheer his dad in mutinies?
Or, with the rest, where is your darling Rutland?
Look, York, I stained this napkin with the blood
That valiant Clifford, with his rapier's point,
Made issue from the bosom of the boy;
And if thine eyes can water for his death,
I give thee this to dry thy cheeks withal.
Alas, poor York! But that I hate thee deadly,
I should lament thy miserable state.
I prithee grieve, to make me merry, York.
What! Hath thy fiery heart so parched thine entrails
That not a tear can fall for Rutland's death?
Why art thou patient, man? Thou shouldst be mad;
And I, to make thee mad, do mock thee thus.
Stamp, rave, and fret, that I may sing and dance.
Thou wouldst be fee'd, I see, to make me sport;
York cannot speak, unless he wear a crown.
A crown for York! And, lords, bow low to him;
Hold you his hands whilst I do set it on.
She puts a paper crown on York's head
Ay, marry, sir, now looks he like a king!
Ay, this is he that took King Henry's chair;
And this is he was his adopted heir.
But how is it that great Plantagenet
Is crowned so soon, and broke his solemn oath?
As I bethink me, you should not be king
Till our King Henry had shook hands with Death.
And will you pale your head in Henry's glory,
And rob his temples of the diadem,
Now in his life, against your holy oath?
O, 'tis a fault too too unpardonable!
Off with the crown; and, with the crown, his head;
And, whilst we breathe, take time to do him dead.
That is my office, for my father's sake.
Nay, stay; let's hear the orisons he makes.
She-wolf of France, but worse than wolves of France,
Whose tongue more poisons than the adder's tooth!
How ill-beseeming is it in thy sex
To triumph, like an Amazonian trull,
Upon their woes whom Fortune captivates!
But that thy face is vizard-like, unchanging,
Made impudent with use of evil deeds,
I would assay, proud Queen, to make thee blush.
To tell thee whence thou camest, of whom derived,
Were shame enough to shame thee, wert thou not shameless.
Thy father bears the type of King of Naples,
Of both the Sicils and Jerusalem,
Yet not so wealthy as an English yeoman.
Hath that poor monarch taught thee to insult?
It needs not, nor it boots thee not, proud Queen;
Unless the adage must be verified,
That beggars mounted run their horse to death.
'Tis beauty that doth oft make women proud,
But, God He knows, thy share thereof is small.
'Tis virtue that doth make them most admired;
The contrary doth make thee wondered at.
'Tis government that makes them seem divine;
The want thereof makes thee abominable.
Thou art as opposite to every good
As the Antipodes are unto us,
Or as the south to the Septentrion.
O tiger's heart wrapped in a woman's hide!
How couldst thou drain the life-blood of the child,
To bid the father wipe his eyes withal,
And yet be seen to bear a woman's face?
Women are soft, mild, pitiful and flexible;
Thou stern, obdurate, flinty, rough, remorseless.
Biddest thou me rage? Why, now thou hast thy wish;
Wouldst have me weep? Why, now thou hast thy will;
For raging wind blows up incessant showers,
And when the rage allays, the rain begins.
These tears are my sweet Rutland's obsequies,
And every drop cries vengeance for his death
'Gainst thee, fell Clifford, and thee, false Frenchwoman.
Beshrew me, but his passions moves me so
That hardly can I check my eyes from tears.
That face of his the hungry cannibals
Would not have touched, would not have stained with blood;
But you are more inhuman, more inexorable,
O, ten times more, than tigers of Hyrcania.
See, ruthless Queen, a hapless father's tears;
This cloth thou dipped'st in blood of my sweet boy,
And I with tears do wash the blood away.
Keep thou the napkin, and go boast of this;
And if thou tellest the heavy story right,
Upon my soul, the hearers will shed tears;
Yea even my foes will shed fast-falling tears,
And say ‘ Alas, it was a piteous deed!’
There, take the crown, and with the crown my curse;
And in thy need such comfort come to thee
As now I reap at thy too cruel hand!
Hard-hearted Clifford, take me from the world;
My soul to heaven, my blood upon your heads!
Had he been slaughterman to all my kin,
I should not for my life but weep with him,
To see how inly sorrow gripes his soul.
What, weeping-ripe, my Lord Northumberland?
Think but upon the wrong he did us all,
And that will quickly dry thy melting tears.
Here's for my oath, here's for my father's death.
He stabs York
And here's to right our gentle-hearted King.
She stabs York
Open Thy gate of mercy, gracious God!
My soul flies through these wounds to seek out Thee.
Off with his head, and set it on York gates;
So York may overlook the town of York.