Act II, Scene I
A March. Enter Edward, Richard, and their power.
I wonder how our Princely Father scap't:
Or whether he be scap't away, or no,
From Cliffords and Northumberlands pursuit?
Had he been ta'ne, we should haue heard the newes;
Had he beene slaine, we should haue heard the newes:
Or had he scap't, me thinkes we should haue heard
The happy tidings of his good escape.
How fares my Brother? why is he so sad?
I cannot ioy, vntill I be resolu'd
Where our right valiant Father is become.
I saw him in the Battaile range about,
And watcht him how he singled Clifford forth.
Me thought he bore him in the thickest troupe,
As doth a Lyon in a Heard of Neat,
Or as a Beare encompass'd round with Dogges:
Who hauing pincht a few, and made them cry,
The rest stand all aloofe, and barke at him.
So far'd our Father with his Enemies,
So fled his Enemies my Warlike Father:
Me thinkes 'tis prize enough to be his Sonne.
See how the Morning opes her golden Gates,
And takes her farwell of the glorious Sunne.
How well resembles it the prime of Youth,
Trimm'd like a Yonker, prauncing to his Loue?
Dazle mine eyes, or doe I see three Sunnes?
Three glorious Sunnes, each one a perfect Sunne,
Not seperated with the racking Clouds,
But seuer'd in a pale cleare-shining Skye.
See, see, they ioyne, embrace, and seeme to kisse,
As if they vow'd some League inuiolable.
Now are they but one Lampe, one Light, one Sunne:
In this, the Heauen figures some euent.
'Tis wondrous strange, / The like yet neuer heard of.
I thinke it cites vs (Brother) to the field,
That wee, the Sonnes of braue Plantagenet,
Each one alreadie blazing by our meedes,
Should notwithstanding ioyne our Lights together,
And ouer-shine the Earth, as this the World.
What ere it bodes, hence-forward will I beare
Vpon my Targuet three faire shining Sunnes.
Nay, beare three Daughters: / By your leaue, I speake it,
You loue the Breeder better then the Male.
Enter one blowing.
But what art thou, whose heauie Lookes fore-tell
Some dreadfull story hanging on thy Tongue?
Ah, one that was a wofull looker on,
When as the Noble Duke of Yorke was slaine,
Your Princely Father, and my louing Lord.
Oh speake no more, for I haue heard too much.
Say how he dy'de, for I will heare it all.
Enuironed he was with many foes,
And stood against them, as the hope of Troy
Against the Greekes, that would haue entred Troy.
But Hercules himselfe must yeeld to oddes:
And many stroakes, though with a little Axe,
Hewes downe and fells the hardest-tymber'd Oake.
By many hands your Father was subdu'd,
But onely slaught'red by the irefull Arme
Of vn-relenting Clifford, and the Queene:
Who crown'd the gracious Duke in high despight,
Laugh'd in his face: and when with griefe he wept,
The ruthlesse Queene gaue him, to dry his Cheekes,
A Napkin, steeped in the harmelesse blood
Of sweet young Rutland, by rough Clifford slaine:
And after many scornes, many foule taunts,
They tooke his Head, and on the Gates of Yorke
They set the same, and there it doth remaine,
The saddest spectacle that ere I view'd.
Sweet Duke of Yorke, our Prop to leane vpon,
Now thou art gone, wee haue no Staffe, no Stay.
Oh Clifford, boyst'rous Clifford, thou hast slaine
The flowre of Europe, for his Cheualrie,
And trecherously hast thou vanquisht him,
For hand to hand he would haue vanquisht thee.
Now my Soules Pallace is become a Prison:
Ah, would she breake from hence, that this my body
Might in the ground be closed vp in rest:
For neuer henceforth shall I ioy againe:
Neuer, oh neuer shall I see more ioy.
I cannot weepe: for all my bodies moysture
Scarse serues to quench my Furnace-burning hart:
Nor can my tongue vnloade my hearts great burthen,
For selfe-same winde that I should speake withall,
Is kindling coales that fires all my brest,
And burnes me vp with flames, that tears would quench.
To weepe, is to make lesse the depth of greefe:
Teares then for Babes; Blowes, and Reuenge for mee.
Richard, I beare thy name, Ile venge thy death,
Or dye renowned by attempting it.
His name that valiant Duke hath left with thee:
His Dukedome, and his Chaire with me is left.
Nay, if thou be that Princely Eagles Bird,
Shew thy descent by gazing 'gainst the Sunne:
For Chaire and Dukedome, Throne and Kingdome say,
Either that is thine, or else thou wer't not his.
March. Enter Warwicke, Marquesse Mountacute,
and their Army.
How now faire Lords? What faire? What newes abroad?
Great Lord of Warwicke, if we should tecompt
Our balefull newes, and at each words deliuerance
Stab Poniards in our flesh, till all were told,
The words would adde more anguish then the wounds.
O valiant Lord, the Duke of Yorke is slaine.
O Warwicke, Warwicke, that Plantagenet
Which held thee deerely, as his Soules Redemption,
Is by the sterne Lord Clifford done to death.
Ten dayes ago, I drown'd these newes in teares.
And now to adde more measure to your woes,
I come to tell you things sith then befalne.
After the bloody Fray at Wakefield fought,
Where your braue Father breath'd his latest gaspe,
Tydings, as swiftly as the Postes could runne,
Were brought me of your Losse, and his Depart.
I then in London, keeper of the King,
Muster'd my Soldiers, gathered flockes of Friends,
Marcht toward S. Albons, to intercept the Queene,
Bearing the King in my behalfe along:
For by my Scouts, I was aduertised
That she was comming with a full intent
To dash our late Decree in Parliament,
Touching King Henries Oath, and your Succession:
Short Tale to make, we at S. Albons met,
Our Battailes ioyn'd, and both sides fiercely fought:
But whether 'twas the coldnesse of the King,
Who look'd full gently on his warlike Queene,
That robb'd my Soldiers of their heated Spleene.
Or whether 'twas report of her successe,
Or more then common feare of Cliffords Rigour,
Who thunders to his Captiues, Blood and Death,
I cannot iudge: but to conclude with truth,
Their Weapons like to Lightning, came and went:
Our Souldiers like the Night-Owles lazie flight,
Or like a lazie Thresher with a Flaile,
Fell gently downe, as if they strucke their Friends.
I cheer'd them vp with iustice of our Cause,
With promise of high pay, and great Rewards:
But all in vaine, they had no heart to fight,
And we (in them) no hope to win the day,
So that we fled: the King vnto the Queene,
Lord George, your Brother, Norfolke, and my Selfe,
In haste, post haste, are come to ioyne with you:
For in the Marches heere we heard you were,
Making another Head, to fight againe.
Where is the Duke of Norfolke, gentle Warwick?
And when came George from Burgundy to England?
Some six miles off the Duke is with the Soldiers,
And for your Brother he was lately sent
From your kinde Aunt Dutchesse of Burgundie,
With ayde of Souldiers to this needfull Warre.
'Twas oddes belike, when valiant Warwick fled;
Oft haue I heard his praises in Pursuite,
But ne're till now, his Scandall of Retire.
Nor now my Scandall Richard, dost thou heare:
For thou shalt know this strong right hand of mine,
Can plucke the Diadem from faint Henries head,
And wring the awefull Scepter from his Fist,
Were he as famous, and as bold in Warre,
As he is fam'd for Mildnesse, Peace, and Prayer.
I know it well Lord Warwick, blame me not,
'Tis loue I beare thy glories make me speake:
But in this troublous time, what's to be done?
Shall we go throw away our Coates of Steele,
And wrap our bodies in blacke mourning Gownes,
Numb'ring our Aue-Maries with our Beads?
Or shall we on the Helmets of our Foes
Tell our Deuotion with reuengefull Armes?
If for the last, say I, and to it Lords.
Why therefore Warwick came to seek you out,
And therefore comes my Brother Mountague:
Attend me Lords, the proud insulting Queene,
With Clifford, and the haught Northumberland,
And of their Feather, many moe proud Birds,
Haue wrought the easie-melting King, like Wax.
He swore consent to your Succession,
His Oath enrolled in the Parliament.
And now to London all the crew are gone,
To frustrate both his Oath, and what beside
May make against the house of Lancaster.
Their power (I thinke) is thirty thousand strong:
Now, if the helpe of Norfolke, and my selfe,
With all the Friends that thou braue Earle of March,
Among'st the louing Welshmen can'st procure,
Will but amount to fiue and twenty thousand,
Why Via, to London will we march,
And once againe, bestride our foaming Steeds,
And once againe cry Charge vpon our Foes,
But neuer once againe turne backe and flye.
I, now me thinks I heare great Warwick speak;
Ne're may he liue to see a Sun-shine day,
That cries Retire, if Warwicke bid him stay.
Lord Warwicke, on thy shoulder will I leane,
And when thou failst (as God forbid the houre)
Must Edward fall, which perill heauen forefend.
No longer Earle of March, but Duke of Yorke:
The next degree, is Englands Royall Throne:
For King of England shalt thou be proclaim'd
In euery Burrough as we passe along,
And he that throwes not vp his cap for ioy,
Shall for the Fault make forfeit of his head.
King Edward, valiant Richard Mountague:
Stay we no longer, dreaming of Renowne,
But sound the Trumpets, and about our Taske.
Then Clifford, were thy heart as hard as Steele,
As thou hast shewne it flintie by thy deeds,
I come to pierce it, or to giue thee mine.
Then strike vp Drums, God and S. George for vs.
Enter a Messenger.
How now? what newes?
The Duke of Norfolke sends you word by me,
The Queene is comming with a puissant Hoast,
And craues your company, for speedy counsell.
Why then it sorts, braue Warriors, let's away.
Act II, Scene II
Flourish. Enter the King, the Queene, Clifford, Northum-
and Yong Prince, with Drumme and
Welcome my Lord, to this braue town of Yorke,
Yonders the head of that Arch-enemy,
That sought to be incompast with your Crowne.
Doth not the obiect cheere your heart, my Lord.
I, as the rockes cheare them that feare their wrack,
To see this sight, it irkes my very soule:
With-hold reuenge (deere God) 'tis not my fault,
Nor wittingly haue I infring'd my Vow.
My gracious Liege, this too much lenity
And harmfull pitty must be layd aside:
To whom do Lyons cast their gentle Lookes?
Not to the Beast, that would vsurpe their Den.
Whose hand is that the Forrest Beare doth licke?
Not his that spoyles her yong before her face.
Who scapes the lurking Serpents mortall sting?
Not he that sets his foot vpon her backe.
The smallest Worme will turne, being troden on,
And Doues will pecke in safegard of their Brood.
Ambitious Yorke, did leuell at thy Crowne,
Thou smiling, while he knit his angry browes.
He but a Duke, would haue his Sonne a King,
And raise his issue like a louing Sire.
Thou being a King, blest with a goodly sonne,
Did'st yeeld consent to disinherit him:
Which argued thee a most vnlouing Father.
Vnreasonable Creatures feed their young,
And though mans face be fearefull to their eyes,
Yet in protection of their tender ones,
Who hath not seene them euen with those wings,
Which sometime they haue vs'd with fearfull flight,
Make warre with him that climb'd vnto their nest,
Offering their owne liues in their yongs defence?
For shame, my Liege, make them your President:
Were it not pitty that this goodly Boy
Should loose his Birth-right by his Fathers fault,
And long heereafter say vnto his childe,
What my great Grandfather, and Grandsire got,
My carelesse Father fondly gaue away.
Ah, what a shame were this? Looke on the Boy,
And let his manly face, which promiseth
Successefull Fortune steele thy melting heart,
To hold thine owne, and leaue thine owne with him.
Full well hath Clifford plaid the Orator,
Inferring arguments of mighty force:
But Clifford tell me, did'st thou neuer heare,
That things ill got, had euer bad successe.
And happy alwayes was it for that Sonne,
Whose Father for his hoording went to hell:
Ile leaue my Sonne my Vertuous deeds behinde,
And would my Father had left me no more:
For all the rest is held at such a Rate,
As brings a thousand fold more care to keepe,
Then in possession any iot of pleasure.
Ah Cosin Yorke, would thy best Friends did know,
How it doth greeue me that thy head is heere.
My Lord cheere vp your spirits, our foes are nye,
And this soft courage makes your Followers faint:
You promist Knighthood to our forward sonne,
Vnsheath your sword, and dub him presently.
Edward, kneele downe.
Edward Plantagenet, arise a Knight,
And learne this Lesson; Draw thy Sword in right.
My gracious Father, by your Kingly leaue,
Ile draw it as Apparant to the Crowne,
And in that quarrell, vse it to the death.
Why that is spoken like a toward Prince.
Enter a Messenger.
Royall Commanders, be in readinesse,
For with a Band of thirty thousand men,
Comes Warwicke backing of the Duke of Yorke,
And in the Townes as they do march along,
Proclaimes him King, and many flye to him,
Darraigne your battell, for they are at hand.
I would your Highnesse would depart the field,
The Queene hath best successe when you are absent.
I good my Lord, and leaue vs to our Fortune.
Why, that's my fortune too, therefore Ile stay.
Be it with resolution then to fight.
My Royall Father, cheere these Noble Lords,
And hearten those that fight in your defence:
Vnsheath your Sword, good Father: Cry S. George.
March. Enter Edward, Warwicke, Richard, Clarence,
Norfolke, Mountague, and Soldiers.
Now periur'd Henry, wilt thou kneel for grace?
And set thy Diadem vpon my head?
Or bide the mortall Fortune of the field.
Go rate thy Minions, proud insulting Boy,
Becomes it thee to be thus bold in termes,
Before thy Soueraigne, and thy lawfull King?
I am his King, and he should bow his knee:
I was adopted Heire by his consent.
Since when, his Oath is broke: for as I heare,
You that are King, though he do weare the Crowne,
Haue caus'd him by new Act of Parliament,
To blot out me, and put his owne Sonne in.
And reason too,
Who should succeede the Father, but the Sonne.
Are you there Butcher? O, I cannot speake.
I Crooke-back, here I stand to answer thee,
Or any he, the proudest of thy sort.
'Twas you that kill'd yong Rutland, was it not?
I, and old Yorke, and yet not satisfied.
For Gods sake Lords giue signall to the fight.
What say'st thou Henry, / Wilt thou yeeld the Crowne?
Why how now long-tongu'd Warwicke, dare you speak?
When you and I, met at S. Albons last,
Your legges did better seruice then your hands.
Then 'twas my turne to fly, and now 'tis thine:
You said so much before, and yet you fled.
'Twas not your valor Clifford droue me thence.
No, nor your manhood that durst make you stay.
Northumberland, I hold thee reuerently,
Breake off the parley, for scarse I can refraine
The execution of my big-swolne heart
Vpon that Clifford, that cruell Child-killer.
I slew thy Father, cal'st thou him a Child?
I like a Dastard, and a treacherous Coward,
As thou didd'st kill our tender Brother Rutland,
But ere Sunset, Ile make thee curse the deed.
Haue done with words (my Lords) and heare me speake.
Defie them then, or els hold close thy lips.
I prythee giue no limits to my Tongue,
I am a King, and priuiledg'd to speake.
My Liege, the wound that bred this meeting here,
Cannot be cur'd by Words, therefore be still.
Then Executioner vnsheath thy sword:
By him that made vs all, I am resolu'd,
That Cliffords Manhood, lyes vpon his tongue.
Say Henry, shall I haue my right, or no:
A thousand men haue broke their Fasts to day,
That ne're shall dine, vnlesse thou yeeld the Crowne.
If thou deny, their Blood vpon thy head,
For Yorke in iustice put's his Armour on.
If that be right, which Warwick saies is right,
There is no wrong, but euery thing is right.
Who euer got thee, there thy Mother stands,
For well I wot, thou hast thy Mothers tongue.
But thou art neyther like thy Sire nor Damme,
But like a foule mishapen Stygmaticke,
Mark'd by the Destinies to be auoided,
As venome Toades, or Lizards dreadfull stings.
Iron of Naples, hid with English gilt,
Whose Father beares the Title of a King,
(As if a Channell should be call'd the Sea)
Sham'st thou not, knowing whence thou art extraught,
To let thy tongue detect thy base-borne heart.
A wispe of straw were worth a thousand Crowns,
To make this shamelesse Callet know her selfe:
Helen of Greece was fayrer farre then thou,
Although thy Husband may be Menelaus;
And ne're was Agamemnons Brother wrong'd
By that false Woman, as this King by thee.
His Father reuel'd in the heart of France,
And tam'd the King, and made the Dolphin stoope:
And had he match'd according to his State,
He might haue kept that glory to this day.
But when he tooke a begger to his bed,
And grac'd thy poore Sire with his Bridall day,
Euen then that Sun-shine brew'd a showre for him,
That washt his Fathers fortunes forth of France,
And heap'd sedition on his Crowne at home:
For what hath broach'd this tumult but thy Pride?
Had'st thou bene meeke, our Title still had slept,
And we in pitty of the Gentle King,
Had slipt our Claime, vntill another Age.
But when we saw, our Sunshine made thy Spring,
And that thy Summer bred vs no increase,
We set the Axe to thy vsurping Roote:
And though the edge hath something hit our selues,
Yet know thou, since we haue begun to strike,
Wee'l neuer leaue, till we haue hewne thee downe,
Or bath'd thy growing, with our heated bloods.
And in this resolution, I defie thee,
Not willing any longer Conference,
Since thou denied'st the gentle King to speake.
Sound Trumpets, let our bloody Colours waue,
And either Victorie, or else a Graue.
No wrangling Woman, wee'l no longer stay,
These words will cost ten thousand liues this day.
Act II, Scene III
Alarum. Excursions. Enter Warwicke.
Fore-spent with Toile, as Runners with a Race,
I lay me downe a little while to breath:
For strokes receiu'd, and many blowes repaid,
Haue robb'd my strong knit sinewes of their strength,
And spight of spight, needs must I rest a-while.
Enter Edward running.
Smile gentle heauen, or strike vngentle death,
For this world frownes, and Edwards Sunne is clowded.
How now my Lord, what happe? what hope of good?
Our hap is losse, our hope but sad dispaire,
Our rankes are broke, and ruine followes vs.
What counsaile giue you? whether shall we flye?
Bootlesse is flight, they follow vs with Wings,
And weake we are, and cannot shun pursuite.
Ah Warwicke, why hast yu withdrawn thy selfe?
Thy Brothers blood the thirsty earth hath drunk,
Broach'd with the Steely point of Cliffords Launce:
And in the very pangs of death, he cryde,
Like to a dismall Clangor heard from farre,
Warwicke, reuenge; Brother, reuenge my death.
So vnderneath the belly of their Steeds,
That stain'd their Fetlockes in his smoaking blood,
The Noble Gentleman gaue vp the ghost.
Then let the earth be drunken with our blood:
Ile kill my Horse, because I will not flye:
Why stand we like soft-hearted women heere,
Wayling our losses, whiles the Foe doth Rage,
And looke vpon, as if the Tragedie
Were plaid in iest, by counterfetting Actors.
Heere on my knee, I vow to God aboue,
Ile neuer pawse againe, neuer stand still,
Till either death hath clos'd these eyes of mine,
Or Fortune giuen me measure of Reuenge.
Oh Warwicke, I do bend my knee with thine,
And in this vow do chaine my soule to thine:
And ere my knee rise from the Earths cold face,
I throw my hands, mine eyes, my heart to thee,
Thou setter vp, and plucker downe of Kings:
Beseeching thee (if with thy will it stands)
That to my Foes this body must be prey,
Yet that thy brazen gates of heauen may ope,
And giue sweet passage to my sinfull soule.
Now Lords, take leaue vntill we meete againe,
Where ere it be, in heauen, or in earth.
Brother, / Giue me thy hand, and gentle Warwicke,
Let me imbrace thee in my weary armes:
I that did neuer weepe, now melt with wo,
That Winter should cut off our Spring-time so.
Away, away: Once more sweet Lords farwell.
Yet let vs altogether to our Troopes,
And giue them leaue to flye, that will not stay:
And call them Pillars that will stand to vs:
And if we thriue, promise them such rewards
As Victors weare at the Olympian Games.
This may plant courage in their quailing breasts,
For yet is hope of Life and Victory:
Foreslow no longer, make we hence amaine.
Act II, Scene IV
Excursions. Enter Richard and Clifford.
Now Clifford, I haue singled thee alone,
Suppose this arme is for the Duke of Yorke,
And this for Rutland, both bound to reuenge,
Wer't thou inuiron'd with a Brazen wall.
Now Richard, I am with thee heere alone,
This is the hand that stabb'd thy Father Yorke,
And this the hand, that slew thy Brother Rutland,
And here's the heart, that triumphs in their death,
And cheeres these hands, that slew thy Sire and Brother,
To execute the like vpon thy selfe,
And so haue at thee.
They Fight, Warwicke comes, Clifford flies.
Nay Warwicke, single out some other Chace,
For I my selfe will hunt this Wolfe to death.
Act II, Scene V
Alarum. Enter King Henry alone.
This battell fares like to the mornings Warre,
When dying clouds contend, with growing light,
What time the Shepheard blowing of his nailes,
Can neither call it perfect day, nor night.
Now swayes it this way, like a Mighty Sea,
Forc'd by the Tide, to combat with the Winde:
Now swayes it that way, like the selfe-same Sea,
Forc'd to retyre by furie of the Winde.
Sometime, the Flood preuailes; and than the Winde:
Now, one the better: then, another best;
Both tugging to be Victors, brest to brest:
Yet neither Conqueror, nor Conquered.
So is the equall poise of this fell Warre.
Heere on this Mole-hill will I sit me downe,
To whom God will, there be the Victorie:
For Margaret my Queene, and Clifford too
Haue chid me from the Battell: Swearing both,
They prosper best of all when I am thence.
Would I were dead, if Gods good will were so;
For what is in this world, but Greefe and Woe.
Oh God! me thinkes it were a happy life,
To be no better then a homely Swaine,
To sit vpon a hill, as I do now,
To carue out Dialls queintly, point by point,
Thereby to see the Minutes how they runne:
How many makes the Houre full compleate,
How many Houres brings about the Day,
How many Dayes will finish vp the Yeare,
How many Yeares, a Mortall man may liue.
When this is knowne, then to diuide the Times:
So many Houres, must I tend my Flocke;
So many Houres, must I take my Rest:
So many Houres, must I Contemplate:
So many Houres, must I Sport my selfe:
So many Dayes, my Ewes haue bene with yong:
So many weekes, ere the poore Fooles will Eane:
So many yeares, ere I shall sheere the Fleece:
So Minutes, Houres, Dayes, Monthes, and Yeares,
Past ouer to the end they were created,
Would bring white haires, vnto a Quiet graue.
Ah! what a life were this? How sweet? how louely?
Giues not the Hawthorne bush a sweeter shade
To Shepheards, looking on their silly Sheepe,
Then doth a rich Imbroider'd Canopie
To Kings, that feare their Subiects treacherie?
Oh yes, it doth; a thousand fold it doth.
And to conclude, the Shepherds homely Curds,
His cold thinne drinke out of his Leather Bottle,
His wonted sleepe, vnder a fresh trees shade,
All which secure, and sweetly he enioyes,
Is farre beyond a Princes Delicates:
His Viands sparkling in a Golden Cup,
His bodie couched in a curious bed,
When Care, Mistrust, and Treason waits on him.
Alarum. Enter a Sonne that hath kill'd his Father, at one doore:
and a Father that hath kill'd his Sonne at another doore.
Ill blowes the winde that profits no body,
This man whom hand to hand I slew in fight,
May be possessed with some store of Crownes,
And I that (haply) take them from him now,
May yet (ere night) yeeld both my Life and them
To some man else, as this dead man doth me.
Who's this? Oh God! It is my Fathers face,
Whom in this Conflict, I (vnwares) haue kill'd:
Oh heauy times! begetting such Euents.
From London, by the King was I prest forth,
My Father being the Earle of Warwickes man,
Came on the part of Yorke, prest by his Master:
And I, who at his hands receiu'd my life,
Haue by my hands, of Life bereaued him.
Pardon me God, I knew not what I did:
And pardon Father, for I knew not thee.
My Teares shall wipe away these bloody markes:
And no more words, till they haue flow'd their fill.
O pitteous spectacle! O bloody Times!
Whiles Lyons Warre, and battaile for their Dennes,
Poore harmlesse Lambes abide their enmity.
Weepe wretched man: Ile ayde thee Teare for Teare,
And let our hearts and eyes, like Ciuill Warre,
Be blinde with teares, and break ore-charg'd with griefe
Enter Father, bearing of his Sonne.
Thou that so stoutly hath resisted me,
Giue me thy Gold, if thou hast any Gold:
For I haue bought it with an hundred blowes.
But let me see: Is this our Foe-mans face?
Ah, no, no, no, it is mine onely Sonne.
Ah Boy, if any life be left in thee,
Throw vp thine eye: see, see, what showres arise,
Blowne with the windie Tempest of my heart,
Vpon thy wounds, that killes mine Eye, and Heart.
O pitty God, this miserable Age!
What Stragems? how fell? how Butcherly?
Erreoneous, mutinous, and vnnaturall,
This deadly quarrell daily doth beget?
O Boy! thy Father gaue thee life too soone,
And hath bereft thee of thy life too late.
Wo aboue wo: greefe, more thẽ common greefe
O that my death would stay these ruthfull deeds:
O pitty, pitty, gentle heauen pitty:
The Red Rose and the White are on his face,
The fatall Colours of our striuing Houses:
The one, his purple Blood right well resembles,
The other his pale Cheekes (me thinkes) presenteth:
Wither one Rose, and let the other flourish:
If you contend, a thousand liues must wither.
How will my Mother, for a Fathers death
Take on with me, and ne're be satisfi'd?
How will my Wife, for slaughter of my Sonne,
Shed seas of Teares, and ne're be satisfi'd?
How will the Country, for these woful chances,
Mis-thinke the King, and not be satisfied?
Was euer sonne, so rew'd a Fathers death?
Was euer Father so bemoan'd his Sonne?
Was euer King so greeu'd for Subiects woe?
Much is your sorrow; Mine, ten times so much.
Ile beare thee hence, where I may weepe my fill.
These armes of mine shall be thy winding sheet:
My heart (sweet Boy) shall be thy Sepulcher,
For from my heart, thine Image ne're shall go.
My sighing brest, shall be thy Funerall bell;
And so obsequious will thy Father be,
Men for the losse of thee, hauing no more,
As Priam was for all his Valiant Sonnes,
Ile beare thee hence, and let them fight that will,
For I haue murthered where I should not kill.
Sad-hearted-men, much ouergone with Care;
Heere sits a King, more wofull then you are.
Alarums. Excursions. Enter the Queen, the Prince, and
Fly Father, flye: for all your Friends are fled.
And Warwicke rages like a chafed Bull:
Away, for death doth hold vs in pursuite.
Mount you my Lord, towards Barwicke post amaine:
Edward and Richard like a brace of Grey-hounds,
Hauing the fearfull flying Hare in sight,
With fiery eyes, sparkling for very wrath,
And bloody steele graspt in their yrefull hands
Are at our backes, and therefore hence amaine.
Away: for vengeance comes along with them.
Nay, stay not to expostulate, make speed,
Or else come after, Ile away before.
Nay take me with thee, good sweet Exeter:
Not that I feare to stay, but loue to go
Whether the Queene intends. Forward, away.
Act II, Scene VI
A lowd alarum. Enter Clifford Wounded.
Heere burnes my Candle out; I, heere it dies,
Which whiles it lasted, gaue King Henry light.
O Lancaster! I feare thy ouerthrow,
More then my Bodies parting with my Soule:
My Loue and Feare, glew'd many Friends to thee,
And now I fall. Thy tough Commixtures melts,
Impairing Henry, strength'ning misproud Yorke;
And whether flye the Gnats, but to the Sunne?
And who shines now, but Henries Enemies?
O Phoebus! had'st thou neuer giuen consent,
That Phaeton should checke thy fiery Steeds,
Thy burning Carre neuer had scorch'd the earth.
And Henry, had'st thou sway'd as Kings should do,
Or as thy Father, and his Father did,
Giuing no ground vnto the house of Yorke,
They neuer then had sprung like Sommer Flyes:
I, and ten thousand in this lucklesse Realme,
Hed left no mourning Widdowes for our death,
And thou this day, had'st kept thy Chaire in peace.
For what doth cherrish Weeds, but gentle ayre?
And what makes Robbers bold, but too much lenity?
Bootlesse are Plaints, and Curelesse are my Wounds:
No way to flye, nor strength to hold out flight:
The Foe is mercilesse, and will not pitty:
For at their hands I haue deseru'd no pitty.
The ayre hath got into my deadly Wounds,
And much effuse of blood, doth make me faint:
Come Yorke, and Richard, Warwicke, and the rest,
I stab'd your Fathers bosomes; Split my brest.
Alarum & Retreat. Enter Edward, Warwicke, Richard,
and Soldiers, Montague, & Clarence.
Now breath we Lords, good fortune bids vs pause,
And smooth the frownes of War, with peacefull lookes:
Some Troopes pursue the bloody-minded Queene,
That led calme Henry, though he were a King,
As doth a Saile, fill'd with a fretting Gust
Command an Argosie to stemme the Waues.
But thinke you (Lords) that Clifford fled with them?
No, 'tis impossible he should escape:
(For though before his face I speake the words)
Your Brother Richard markt him for the Graue.
And wheresoere he is, hee's surely dead.
Whose soule is that which takes hir heauy leaue?
A deadly grone, like life and deaths departing.
See who it is. / And now the Battailes ended,
If Friend or Foe, let him be gently vsed.
Reuoke that doome of mercy, for 'tis Clifford,
Who not contented that he lopp'd the Branch
In hewing Rutland, when his leaues put forth,
But set his murth'ring knife vnto the Roote,
From whence that tender spray did sweetly spring,
I meane our Princely Father, Duke of Yorke.
From off the gates of Yorke, fetch down ye head,
Your Fathers head, which Clifford placed there:
In stead whereof, let this supply the roome,
Measure for measure, must be answered.
Bring forth that fatall Schreechowle to our house,
That nothing sung but death, to vs and ours:
Now death shall stop his dismall threatning sound,
And his ill-boading tongue, no more shall speake.
I thinke is vnderstanding is bereft:
Speake Clifford, dost thou know who speakes to thee?
Darke cloudy death ore-shades his beames of life,
And he nor sees, nor heares vs, what we say.
O would he did, and so (perhaps) he doth,
'Tis but his policy to counterfet,
Because he would auoid such bitter taunts
Which in the time of death he gaue our Father.
If so thou think'st, / Vex him with eager Words.
Clifford, aske mercy, and obtaine no grace.
Clifford, repent in bootlesse penitence.
Clifford, deuise excuses for thy faults.
While we deuise fell Tortures for thy faults.
Thou didd'st loue Yorke, and I am son to Yorke.
Thou pittied'st Rutland, I will pitty thee.
Where's Captaine Margaret, to fence you now?
They mocke thee Clifford, / Sweare as thou was't wont.
What, not an Oath? Nay then the world go's hard
When Clifford cannot spare his Friends an oath:
I know by that he's dead, and by my Soule,
If this right hand would buy two houres life,
That I (in all despight) might rayle at him,
This hand should chop it off: & with the issuing Blood
Stifle the Villaine, whose vnstanched thirst
Yorke, and yong Rutland could not satisfie
I, but he's dead. Of with the Traitors head,
And reare it in the place your Fathers stands.
And now to London with Triumphant march,
There to be crowned Englands Royall King:
From whence, shall Warwicke cut the Sea to France,
And aske the Ladie Bona for thy Queene:
So shalt thou sinow both these Lands together,
And hauing France thy Friend, thou shalt not dread
The scattred Foe, that hopes to rise againe:
For though they cannot greatly sting to hurt,
Yet looke to haue them buz to offend thine eares:
First, will I see the Coronation,
And then to Britanny Ile crosse the Sea,
To effect this marriage, so it please my Lord.
Euen as thou wilt sweet Warwicke, let it bee:
For in thy shoulder do I builde my Seate;
And neuer will I vndertake the thing
Wherein thy counsaile and consent is wanting:
Richard, I will create thee Duke of Gloucester,
And George of Clarence; Warwicke as our Selfe,
Shall do, and vndo as him pleaseth best.
Let me be Duke of Clarence, George of Gloster,
For Glosters Dukedome is too ominous.
Tut, that's a foolish obseruation:
Richard, be Duke of Gloster: Now to London,
To see these Honors in possession.
A march. Enter Edward, Richard, and their power
I wonder how our princely father 'scaped,
Or whether he be 'scaped away or no
From Clifford's and Northumberland's pursuit.
Had he been ta'en, we should have heard the news;
Had he been slain, we should have heard the news;
Or had he 'scaped, methinks we should have heard
The happy tidings of his good escape.
How fares my brother? Why is he so sad?
I cannot joy, until I be resolved
Where our right valiant father is become.
I saw him in the battle range about,
And watched him how he singled Clifford forth.
Methought he bore him in the thickest troop
As doth a lion in a herd of neat;
Or as a bear encompassed round with dogs,
Who having pinched a few and made them cry,
The rest stand all aloof and bark at him.
So fared our father with his enemies;
So fled his enemies my warlike father.
Methinks 'tis prize enough to be his son.
See how the morning opes her golden gates,
And takes her farewell of the glorious sun!
How well resembles it the prime of youth,
Trimmed like a younker prancing to his love!
Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns?
Three glorious suns, each one a perfect sun;
Not separated with the racking clouds,
But severed in a pale clear-shining sky.
See, see! They join, embrace, and seem to kiss,
As if they vowed some league inviolable;
Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun.
In this the heaven figures some event.
'Tis wondrous strange, the like yet never heard of.
I think it cites us, brother, to the field,
That we, the sons of brave Plantagenet,
Each one already blazing by our meeds,
Should notwithstanding join our lights together
And overshine the earth as this the world.
Whate'er it bodes, henceforward will I bear
Upon my target three fair-shining suns.
Nay, bear three daughters; by your leave I speak it,
You love the breeder better than the male.
Enter a Messenger, blowing a horn
But what art thou, whose heavy looks foretell
Some dreadful story hanging on thy tongue?
Ah, one that was a woeful looker-on
When as the noble Duke of York was slain,
Your princely father and my loving lord.
O, speak no more, for I have heard too much.
Say how he died, for I will hear it all.
Environed he was with many foes,
And stood against them, as the hope of Troy
Against the Greeks that would have entered Troy.
But Hercules himself must yield to odds;
And many strokes, though with a little axe,
Hew down and fells the hardest-timbered oak.
By many hands your father was subdued;
But only slaughtered by the ireful arm
Of unrelenting Clifford and the Queen,
Who crowned the gracious Duke in high despite,
Laughed in his face; and when with grief he wept,
The ruthless Queen gave him to dry his cheeks
A napkin steeped in the harmless blood
Of sweet young Rutland, by rough Clifford slain;
And after many scorns, many foul taunts,
They took his head, and on the gates of York
They set the same; and there it doth remain,
The saddest spectacle that e'er I viewed.
Sweet Duke of York, our prop to lean upon,
Now thou art gone, we have no staff, no stay.
O Clifford, boisterous Clifford! Thou hast slain
The flower of Europe for his chivalry;
And treacherously hast thou vanquished him,
For hand to hand he would have vanquished thee.
Now my soul's palace is become a prison;
Ah, would she break from hence, that this my body
Might in the ground be closed up in rest!
For never henceforth shall I joy again;
Never, O never, shall I see more joy!
I cannot weep, for all my body's moisture
Scarce serves to quench my furnace-burning heart;
Nor can my tongue unload my heart's great burden;
For selfsame wind that I should speak withal
Is kindling coals that fires all my breast,
And burns me up with flames that tears would quench.
To weep is to make less the depth of grief;
Tears then for babes, blows and revenge for me!
Richard, I bear thy name; I'll venge thy death,
Or die renowned by attempting it.
His name that valiant Duke hath left with thee;
His dukedom and his chair with me is left.
Nay, if thou be that princely eagle's bird,
Show thy descent by gazing 'gainst the sun:
For ‘ chair and dukedom,’ ‘ throne and kingdom ’ say;
Either that is thine, or else thou wert not his.
March. Enter Warwick, the Marquess of Montague,
and their army
How now, fair lords! What fare? What news abroad?
Great Lord of Warwick, if we should recompt
Our baleful news, and at each word's deliverance
Stab poniards in our flesh till all were told,
The words would add more anguish than the wounds.
O valiant lord, the Duke of York is slain!
O Warwick, Warwick! That Plantagenet,
Which held thee dearly as his soul's redemption,
Is by the stern Lord Clifford done to death.
Ten days ago I drowned these news in tears;
And now, to add more measure to your woes,
I come to tell you things sith then befallen.
After the bloody fray at Wakefield fought,
Where your brave father breathed his latest gasp,
Tidings, as swiftly as the posts could run,
Were brought me of your loss and his depart.
I, then in London, keeper of the King,
Mustered my soldiers, gathered flocks of friends,
Marched toward Saint Albans to intercept the Queen,
Bearing the King in my behalf along;
For by my scouts I was advertised
That she was coming with a full intent
To dash our late decree in parliament
Touching King Henry's oath and your succession.
Short tale to make, we at Saint Albans met,
Our battles joined, and both sides fiercely fought;
But whether 'twas the coldness of the King,
Who looked full gently on his warlike Queen,
That robbed my soldiers of their heated spleen;
Or whether 'twas report of her success,
Or more than common fear of Clifford's rigour,
Who thunders to his captives blood and death,
I cannot judge; but, to conclude with truth,
Their weapons like to lightning came and went;
Our soldiers', like the night-owl's lazy flight,
Or like a lazy thresher with a flail,
Fell gently down, as if they struck their friends.
I cheered them up with justice of our cause,
With promise of high pay and great rewards;
But all in vain; they had no heart to fight,
And we in them no hope to win the day;
So that we fled; the King unto the Queen;
Lord George your brother, Norfolk, and myself
In haste, post-haste, are come to join with you;
For in the Marches here we heard you were,
Making another head to fight again.
Where is the Duke of Norfolk, gentle Warwick?
And when came George from Burgundy to England?
Some six miles off the Duke is with the soldiers;
And for your brother, he was lately sent
From your kind aunt, Duchess of Burgundy,
With aid of soldiers to this needful war.
'Twas odds, belike, when valiant Warwick fled;
Oft have I heard his praises in pursuit,
But ne'er till now his scandal of retire.
Nor now my scandal, Richard, dost thou hear;
For thou shalt know this strong right hand of mine
Can pluck the diadem from faint Henry's head,
And wring the awful sceptre from his fist,
Were he as famous and as bold in war
As he is famed for mildness, peace, and prayer.
I know it well, Lord Warwick; blame me not:
'Tis love I bear thy glories makes me speak.
But in this troublous time what's to be done?
Shall we go throw away our coats of steel,
And wrap our bodies in black mourning gowns,
Numbering our Ave-Maries with our beads?
Or shall we on the helmets of our foes
Tell our devotion with revengeful arms?
If for the last, say ay, and to it, lords.
Why, therefore Warwick came to seek you out,
And therefore comes my brother Montague.
Attend me, lords. The proud insulting Queen,
With Clifford and the haught Northumberland,
And of their feather many moe proud birds,
Have wrought the easy-melting King like wax.
He swore consent to your succession,
His oath enrolled in the parliament;
And now to London all the crew are gone,
To frustrate both his oath and what beside
May make against the house of Lancaster.
Their power, I think, is thirty thousand strong.
Now, if the help of Norfolk and myself,
With all the friends that thou, brave Earl of March,
Amongst the loving Welshmen canst procure,
Will but amount to five-and-twenty thousand,
Why, via! To London will we march amain,
And once again bestride our foaming steeds,
And once again cry ‘ Charge!’ upon our foes;
But never once again turn back and fly.
Ay, now methinks I hear great Warwick speak.
Ne'er may he live to see a sunshine day
That cries ‘ Retire!’ if Warwick bid him stay.
Lord Warwick, on thy shoulder will I lean;
And when thou failest – as God forbid the hour! –
Must Edward fall, which peril heaven forfend!
No longer Earl of March, but Duke of York;
The next degree is England's royal throne;
For King of England shalt thou be proclaimed
In every borough as we pass along;
And he that throws not up his cap for joy
Shall for the fault make forfeit of his head.
King Edward, valiant Richard, Montague,
Stay we no longer, dreaming of renown,
But sound the trumpets, and about our task.
Then Clifford, were thy heart as hard as steel,
As thou hast shown it flinty by thy deeds,
I come to pierce it, or to give thee mine.
Then strike up drums; God and Saint George for us!
Enter a Messenger
How now! What news?
The Duke of Norfolk sends you word by me
The Queen is coming with a puissant host,
And craves your company for speedy counsel.
Why then it sorts, brave warriors; let's away.
Flourish. Enter the King, Queen, Clifford, Northumberland,
and the young Prince, with drum and
Welcome, my lord, to this brave town of York.
Yonder's the head of that arch-enemy
That sought to be encompassed with your crown.
Doth not the object cheer your heart, my lord?
Ay, as the rocks cheer them that fear their wrack:
To see this sight, it irks my very soul.
Withhold revenge, dear God! 'Tis not my fault,
Nor wittingly have I infringed my vow.
My gracious liege, this too much lenity
And harmful pity must be laid aside.
To whom do lions cast their gentle looks?
Not to the beast that would usurp their den.
Whose hand is that the forest bear doth lick?
Not his that spoils her young before her face.
Who 'scapes the lurking serpent's mortal sting?
Not he that sets his foot upon her back.
The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on,
And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood.
Ambitious York did level at thy crown,
Thou smiling while he knit his angry brows;
He, but a duke, would have his son a king,
And raise his issue like a loving sire;
Thou, being a king, blest with a goodly son,
Didst yield consent to disinherit him,
Which argued thee a most unloving father.
Unreasonable creatures feed their young;
And though man's face be fearful to their eyes,
Yet, in protection of their tender ones,
Who hath not seen them, even with those wings
Which sometime they have used with fearful flight,
Make war with him that climbed unto their nest,
Offering their own lives in their young's defence?
For shame, my liege, make them your precedent!
Were it not pity that this goodly boy
Should lose his birthright by his father's fault,
And long hereafter say unto his child
‘What my great-grandfather and his grandsire got
My careless father fondly gave away'?
Ah, what a shame were this! Look on the boy;
And let his manly face, which promiseth
Successful fortune, steel thy melting heart
To hold thine own and leave thine own with him.
Full well hath Clifford played the orator,
Inferring arguments of mighty force.
But, Clifford, tell me, didst thou never hear
That things ill got had ever bad success?
And happy always was it for that son
Whose father for his hoarding went to hell?
I'll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind;
And would my father had left me no more!
For all the rest is held at such a rate
As brings a thousandfold more care to keep
Than in possession any jot of pleasure.
Ah, cousin York! Would thy best friends did know
How it doth grieve me that thy head is here!
My lord, cheer up your spirits; our foes are nigh,
And this soft courage makes your followers faint.
You promised knighthood to our forward son;
Unsheathe your sword and dub him presently.
Edward, kneel down.
Edward Plantagenet, arise a knight;
And learn this lesson: draw thy sword in right.
My gracious father, by your kingly leave,
I'll draw it as apparent to the crown,
And in that quarrel use it to the death.
Why, that is spoken like a toward prince.
Enter a Messenger
Royal commanders, be in readiness;
For with a band of thirty thousand men
Comes Warwick, backing of the Duke of York;
And in the towns, as they do march along,
Proclaims him king, and many fly to him.
Darraign your battle, for they are at hand.
I would your highness would depart the field;
The Queen hath best success when you are absent.
Ay, good my lord, and leave us to our fortune.
Why, that's my fortune too; therefore I'll stay.
Be it with resolution then to fight.
My royal father, cheer these noble lords,
And hearten those that fight in your defence;
Unsheathe your sword, good father; cry ‘ Saint George!’
March. Enter Edward, Warwick, Richard, George,
Norfolk, Montague, and soldiers
Now, perjured Henry, wilt thou kneel for grace,
And set thy diadem upon my head;
Or bide the mortal fortune of the field?
Go, rate thy minions, proud insulting boy!
Becomes it thee to be thus bold in terms
Before thy sovereign and thy lawful king?
I am his king, and he should bow his knee.
I was adopted heir by his consent;
Since when, his oath is broke; for, as I hear,
You, that are king, though he do wear the crown,
Have caused him by new act of parliament
To blot out me, and put his own son in.
And reason too;
Who should succeed the father but the son?
Are you there, butcher? O, I cannot speak!
Ay, crook-back, here I stand to answer thee,
Or any he the proudest of thy sort.
'Twas you that killed young Rutland, was it not?
Ay, and old York, and yet not satisfied.
For God's sake, lords, give signal to the fight.
What sayst thou, Henry? Wilt thou yield the crown?
Why, how now, long-tongued Warwick! Dare you speak?
When you and I met at Saint Albans last,
Your legs did better service than your hands.
Then 'twas my turn to fly, and now 'tis thine.
You said so much before, and yet you fled.
'Twas not your valour, Clifford, drove me thence.
No, nor your manhood that durst make you stay.
Northumberland, I hold thee reverently.
Break off the parley; for scarce I can refrain
The execution of my big-swollen heart
Upon that Clifford, that cruel child-killer.
I slew thy father; callest thou him a child?
Ay, like a dastard and a treacherous coward,
As thou didst kill our tender brother Rutland;
But ere sun set I'll make thee curse the deed.
Have done with words, my lords, and hear me speak.
Defy them then, or else hold close thy lips.
I prithee give no limits to my tongue;
I am a king and privileged to speak.
My liege, the wound that bred this meeting here
Cannot be cured by words; therefore be still.
Then, executioner, unsheathe thy sword.
By Him that made us all, I am resolved
That Clifford's manhood lies upon his tongue.
Say, Henry, shall I have my right or no?
A thousand men have broke their fasts today,
That ne'er shall dine unless thou yield the crown.
If thou deny, their blood upon thy head;
For York in justice puts his armour on.
If that be right which Warwick says is right,
There is no wrong, but everything is right.
Whoever got thee, there thy mother stands;
For, well I wot, thou hast thy mother's tongue.
But thou art neither like thy sire nor dam;
But like a foul misshapen stigmatic,
Marked by the destinies to be avoided,
As venom toads or lizards' dreadful stings.
Iron of Naples hid with English gilt,
Whose father bears the title of a king –
As if a channel should be called the sea –
Shamest thou not, knowing whence thou art extraught,
To let thy tongue detect thy base-born heart?
A wisp of straw were worth a thousand crowns
To make this shameless callet know herself.
Helen of Greece was fairer far than thou,
Although thy husband may be Menelaus;
And ne'er was Agamemnon's brother wronged
By that false woman, as this king by thee.
His father revelled in the heart of France,
And tamed the King, and made the Dauphin stoop;
And had he matched according to his state,
He might have kept that glory to this day.
But when he took a beggar to his bed
And graced thy poor sire with his bridal day,
Even then that sunshine brewed a shower for him
That washed his father's fortunes forth of France,
And heaped sedition on his crown at home.
For what hath broached this tumult but thy pride?
Hadst thou been meek, our title still had slept;
And we, in pity for the gentle King,
Had slipped our claim until another age.
But when we saw our sunshine made thy spring,
And that thy summer bred us no increase,
We set the axe to thy usurping root;
And though the edge hath something hit ourselves,
Yet know thou, since we have begun to strike,
We'll never leave till we have hewn thee down,
Or bathed thy growing with our heated bloods.
And in this resolution I defy thee;
Not willing any longer conference,
Since thou deniest the gentle King to speak.
Sound trumpets! Let our bloody colours wave!
And either victory, or else a grave.
No, wrangling woman, we'll no longer stay:
These words will cost ten thousand lives this day.
Alarum. Excursions. Enter Warwick
Forspent with toil, as runners with a race,
I lay me down a little while to breathe;
For strokes received, and many blows repaid,
Have robbed my strong-knit sinews of their strength,
And, spite of spite, needs must I rest a while.
Enter Edward, running
Smile, gentle heaven, or strike, ungentle death!
For this world frowns, and Edward's sun is clouded.
How now, my lord! What hap? What hope of good?
Our hap is loss, our hope but sad despair;
Our ranks are broke, and ruin follows us.
What counsel give you? Whither shall we fly?
Bootless is flight; they follow us with wings,
And weak we are and cannot shun pursuit.
Ah, Warwick, why hast thou withdrawn thyself?
Thy brother's blood the thirsty earth hath drunk,
Broached with the steely point of Clifford's lance;
And in the very pangs of death he cried,
Like to a dismal clangour heard from far,
‘ Warwick, revenge! Brother, revenge my death!’
So, underneath the belly of their steeds,
That stained their fetlocks in his smoking blood,
The noble gentleman gave up the ghost.
Then let the earth be drunken with our blood;
I'll kill my horse, because I will not fly.
Why stand we like soft-hearted women here,
Wailing our losses, whiles the foe doth rage;
And look upon, as if the tragedy
Were played in jest by counterfeiting actors?
Here on my knee I vow to God above
I'll never pause again, never stand still,
Till either death hath closed these eyes of mine
Or fortune given me measure of revenge.
O Warwick, I do bend my knee with thine;
And in this vow do chain my soul to thine!
And, ere my knee rise from the earth's cold face,
I throw my hands, mine eyes, my heart to Thee,
Thou setter-up and plucker-down of kings,
Beseeching Thee, if with Thy will it stands
That to my foes this body must be prey,
Yet that Thy brazen gates of heaven may ope
And give sweet passage to my sinful soul!
Now, lords, take leave until we meet again,
Where'er it be, in heaven or in earth.
Brother, give me thy hand; and, gentle Warwick,
Let me embrace thee in my weary arms.
I, that did never weep, now melt with woe
That winter should cut off our springtime so.
Away, away! Once more, sweet lords, farewell.
Yet let us all together to our troops,
And give them leave to fly that will not stay;
And call them pillars that will stand to us;
And, if we thrive, promise them such rewards
As victors wear at the Olympian games.
This may plant courage in their quailing breasts;
For yet is hope of life and victory.
Forslow no longer; make we hence amain.
Excursions. Enter Richard and Clifford
Now, Clifford, I have singled thee alone.
Suppose this arm is for the Duke of York,
And this for Rutland, both bound to revenge,
Wert thou environed with a brazen wall.
Now, Richard, I am with thee here alone.
This is the hand that stabbed thy father York,
And this the hand that slew thy brother Rutland,
And here's the heart that triumphs in their death
And cheers these hands that slew thy sire and brother
To execute the like upon thyself;
And so, have at thee!
They fight. Warwick comes. Clifford flies
Nay, Warwick, single out some other chase;
For I myself will hunt this wolf to death.
Alarum. Enter King Henry alone
This battle fares like to the morning's war,
When dying clouds contend with growing light,
What time the shepherd, blowing of his nails,
Can neither call it perfect day nor night.
Now sways it this way, like a mighty sea
Forced by the tide to combat with the wind;
Now sways it that way, like the selfsame sea
Forced to retire by fury of the wind.
Sometime the flood prevails, and then the wind;
Now one the better, then another best;
Both tugging to be victors, breast to breast,
Yet neither conqueror nor conquered;
So is the equal poise of this fell war.
Here on this molehill will I sit me down.
To whom God will, there be the victory!
For Margaret my Queen, and Clifford too,
Have chid me from the battle, swearing both
They prosper best of all when I am thence.
Would I were dead, if God's good will were so!
For what is in this world but grief and woe?
O God! Methinks it were a happy life
To be no better than a homely swain;
To sit upon a hill, as I do now;
To carve out dials quaintly, point by point,
Thereby to see the minutes how they run:
How many make the hour full complete,
How many hours bring about the day,
How many days will finish up the year,
How many years a mortal man may live.
When this is known, then to divide the times:
So many hours must I tend my flock,
So many hours must I take my rest,
So many hours must I contemplate,
So many hours must I sport myself,
So many days my ewes have been with young,
So many weeks ere the poor fools will ean,
So many years ere I shall shear the fleece.
So minutes, hours, days, months, and years,
Passed over to the end they were created,
Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave.
Ah, what a life were this! How sweet! How lovely!
Gives not the hawthorn bush a sweeter shade
To shepherds looking on their silly sheep
Than doth a rich embroidered canopy
To kings that fear their subjects' treachery?
O yes, it doth; a thousandfold it doth.
And to conclude, the shepherd's homely curds,
His cold thin drink out of his leather bottle,
His wonted sleep under a fresh tree's shade,
All which secure and sweetly he enjoys,
Is far beyond a prince's delicates,
His viands sparkling in a golden cup,
His body couched in a curious bed,
When care, mistrust, and treason waits on him.
Alarum. Enter at one door a Son that hath killed his
father, with the dead body in his arms
Ill blows the wind that profits nobody.
This man whom hand to hand I slew in fight
May be possessed with some store of crowns;
And I, that haply take them from him now,
May yet ere night yield both my life and them
To some man else, as this dead man doth me. –
Who's this? O God! It is my father's face,
Whom in this conflict I, unwares, have killed.
O, heavy times, begetting such events!
From London by the King was I pressed forth;
My father, being the Earl of Warwick's man,
Came on the part of York, pressed by his master;
And I, who at his hands received my life,
Have by my hands of life bereaved him.
Pardon me, God, I knew not what I did!
And pardon, father, for I knew not thee!
My tears shall wipe away these bloody marks;
And no more words till they have flowed their fill.
O, piteous spectacle! O, bloody times!
Whiles lions war and battle for their dens,
Poor harmless lambs abide their enmity.
Weep, wretched man; I'll aid thee tear for tear;
And let our hearts and eyes, like civil war,
Be blind with tears, and break o'ercharged with grief.
Enter at another door a Father that hath killed his
son, with the dead body in his arms
Thou that so stoutly hath resisted me,
Give me thy gold, if thou hast any gold;
For I have bought it with an hundred blows.
But let me see: is this our foeman's face?
Ah, no, no, no, it is mine only son!
Ah, boy, if any life be left in thee,
Throw up thine eye! See, see what showers arise,
Blown with the windy tempest of my heart,
Upon thy wounds, that kills mine eye and heart!
O, pity, God, this miserable age!
What stratagems, how fell, how butcherly,
Erroneous, mutinous, and unnatural,
This deadly quarrel daily doth beget!
O boy, thy father gave thee life too soon,
And hath bereft thee of thy life too late!
Woe above woe! Grief more than common grief!
O that my death would stay these ruthful deeds!
O, pity, pity, gentle heaven, pity!
The red rose and the white are on his face,
The fatal colours of our striving houses;
The one his purple blood right well resembles;
The other his pale cheeks, methinks, presenteth.
Wither one rose, and let the other flourish;
If you contend, a thousand lives must wither.
How will my mother for a father's death
Take on with me and ne'er be satisfied!
How will my wife for slaughter of my son
Shed seas of tears and ne'er be satisfied!
How will the country for these woeful chances
Misthink the King and not be satisfied!
Was ever son so rued a father's death?
Was ever father so bemoaned his son?
Was ever king so grieved for subjects' woe?
Much is your sorrow; mine ten times so much.
I'll bear thee hence, where I may weep my fill.
Exit with the body of his father
These arms of mine shall be thy winding-sheet;
My heart, sweet boy, shall be thy sepulchre,
For from my heart thine image ne'er shall go;
My sighing breast shall be thy funeral bell;
And so obsequious will thy father be,
Even for the loss of thee, having no more,
As Priam was for all his valiant sons.
I'll bear thee hence; and let them fight that will,
For I have murdered where I should not kill.
Exit with the body of his son
Sad-hearted men, much overgone with care,
Here sits a king more woeful than you are.
Alarums. Excursions. Enter the Queen, Prince, and
Fly, father, fly! For all your friends are fled,
And Warwick rages like a chafed bull.
Away! For death doth hold us in pursuit.
Mount you, my lord; towards Berwick post amain.
Edward and Richard, like a brace of greyhounds
Having the fearful flying hare in sight,
With fiery eyes sparkling for very wrath,
And bloody steel grasped in their ireful hands,
Are at our backs; and therefore hence amain.
Away! For vengeance comes along with them;
Nay, stay not to expostulate, make speed;
Or else come after; I'll away before.
Nay, take me with thee, good sweet Exeter;
Not that I fear to stay, but love to go
Whither the Queen intends. Forward! Away!
A loud alarum. Enter Clifford, wounded
Here burns my candle out; ay, here it dies,
Which, whiles it lasted, gave King Henry light.
O Lancaster, I fear thy overthrow
More than my body's parting with my soul!
My love and fear glued many friends to thee;
And, now I fall, thy tough commixture melts,
Impairing Henry, strengthening misproud York.
The common people swarm like summer flies;
And whither fly the gnats but to the sun?
And who shines now but Henry's enemies?
O Phoebus, hadst thou never given consent
That Phaethon should check thy fiery steeds,
Thy burning car never had scorched the earth!
And, Henry, hadst thou swayed as kings should do,
Or as thy father and his father did,
Giving no ground unto the house of York,
They never then had sprung like summer flies;
I and ten thousand in this luckless realm
Had left no mourning widows for our death;
And thou this day hadst kept thy chair in peace.
For what doth cherish weeds but gentle air?
And what makes robbers bold but too much lenity?
Bootless are plaints, and cureless are my wounds;
No way to fly, nor strength to hold out flight;
The foe is merciless and will not pity,
For at their hands I have deserved no pity.
The air hath got into my deadly wounds,
And much effuse of blood doth make me faint.
Come, York and Richard, Warwick and the rest;
I stabbed your fathers' bosoms; split my breast.
Alarum and retreat. Enter Edward, Richard, George,
Warwick, Montague, and soldiers
Now breathe we, lords; good fortune bids us pause,
And smooth the frowns of war with peaceful looks.
Some troops pursue the bloody-minded Queen,
That led calm Henry, though he were a king,
As doth a sail, filled with a fretting gust,
Command an argosy to stem the waves.
But think you, lords, that Clifford fled with them?
No, 'tis impossible he should escape;
For, though before his face I speak the words,
Your brother Richard marked him for the grave;
And wheresoe'er he is, he's surely dead.
Clifford groans and then dies
Whose soul is that which takes her heavy leave?
A deadly groan, like life and death's departing.
See who it is; and, now the battle's ended,
If friend or foe, let him be gently used.
Revoke that doom of mercy, for 'tis Clifford;
Who not contented that he lopped the branch
In hewing Rutland when his leaves put forth,
But set his murdering knife unto the root
From whence that tender spray did sweetly spring:
I mean our princely father, Duke of York.
From off the gates of York fetch down the head,
Your father's head, which Clifford placed there;
Instead whereof let this supply the room:
Measure for measure must be answered.
Bring forth that fatal screech-owl to our house,
That nothing sung but death to us and ours;
Now death shall stop his dismal threatening sound
And his ill-boding tongue no more shall speak.
I think his understanding is bereft.
Speak, Clifford, dost thou know who speaks to thee?
Dark cloudy death o'ershades his beams of life,
And he nor sees nor hears us what we say.
O, would he did! And so perhaps he doth;
'Tis but his policy to counterfeit,
Because he would avoid such bitter taunts
Which in the time of death he gave our father.
If so thou thinkest, vex him with eager words.
Clifford, ask mercy and obtain no grace.
Clifford, repent in bootless penitence.
Clifford, devise excuses for thy faults.
While we devise fell tortures for thy faults.
Thou didst love York, and I am son to York.
Thou pitied'st Rutland; I will pity thee.
Where's Captain Margaret to fence you now?
They mock thee, Clifford; swear as thou wast wont.
What! Not an oath? Nay, then the world goes hard
When Clifford cannot spare his friends an oath.
I know by that he's dead; and, by my soul,
If this right hand would buy two hour's life,
That I in all despite might rail at him,
This hand should chop it off, and with the issuing blood
Stifle the villain whose unstanched thirst
York and young Rutland could not satisfy.
Ay, but he's dead. Off with the traitor's head,
And rear it in the place your father's stands.
And now to London with triumphant march,
There to be crowned England's royal king;
From whence shall Warwick cut the sea to France,
And ask the Lady Bona for thy queen.
So shalt thou sinew both these lands together;
And, having France thy friend, thou shalt not dread
The scattered foe that hopes to rise again;
For though they cannot greatly sting to hurt,
Yet look to have them buzz to offend thine ears.
First will I see the coronation,
And then to Brittany I'll cross the sea
To effect this marriage, so it please my lord.
Even as thou wilt, sweet Warwick, let it be;
For in thy shoulder do I build my seat,
And never will I undertake the thing
Wherein thy counsel and consent is wanting.
Richard, I will create thee Duke of Gloucester,
And George, of Clarence; Warwick, as ourself,
Shall do and undo as him pleaseth best.
Let me be Duke of Clarence, George of Gloucester;
For Gloucester's dukedom is too ominous.
Tut, that's a foolish observation;
Richard, be Duke of Gloucester. Now to London,
To see these honours in possession.