Page images
PDF
EPUB

Renowned for their deeds as far from home, Breasting the lofty surge: 0, do but think
For Christian service and true chivalry, You stand upon the rivage and behold
As is the sepulcher in stubborn Jewry A city on the inconstant billows dancing;
Of the world's ransom, blessed Mary's Son, For so appears this fleet majestical,
This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear Holding due course to Harfleur. Follow,
land,

follow:
Dear for her reputation through the world, Grapple your minds to sternage of this navy,
Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it, And leave your England, as dead midnight
Like to a tenement or pelting farm:

still, England, bound in with the triumphant sea, Guarded with grandsires, babies, and old Whose rocky shore beats back the envious

women, siege

Either past or not arrived to pith and puisOf watery Neptune, is now bound in with

sance; shame,

For who is he, whose chin is but enrich'd With inky blots and rotten parchment With one appearing hair, that will not folbonds:

low That England, that was wont to conquer These culld and choice-drawn cavaliers to others,

France? Hath made a shameful conquest of itself. Work, work your thoughts, and therein see Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life, a siege; How happy then were my ensuing death! Behold the ordnance on their carriages,

With fatal mouths gaping on girded Har2. Unity Against the Foe

fleur. [The speech of Faulconbridge, Shake- Suppose the ambassador from the French speare's King John]

comes back;

Tells Harry that the king doth offer him Bast. This England never did, nor never Katharine his daughter, and with her, to shall,

dowry, Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror,

Some petty and unprofitable dukedoms. But when it first did help to wound itself. The offer likes not: and the nimble gunner Now these her princes are come home again, With linstock now the devilish cannon Come the three corners of the world in arms,

touches, And we shall shock them. Nought shall

[Alarum, and chambers go off make us rue,

And down goes all before them. Still be If England to itself do rest but true.

kind,

And eke out our performance with your 3. England at War

mind.

[Exit [From Shakespeare's Henry V, Act III) Enter Chorus

SCENE I. France. Before Harfleur Chor. Thus with imagined wing our swift Alarum. Enter King HENRY, EXETER, BEDscene flies

FORD, GLOUCESTER, and Soldiers, with scalIn motion of no less celerity

ing-ladders. Than that of thought. Suppose that you K. Hen. Once more unto the breach, dear have seen

friends, once more; The well-appointed king at Hampton pier Or close the wall up with our English dead. Embark his royalty; and his brave fleet In peace there's nothing so becomes a man With silken streamers the young Phæbus As modest stillness and humility; fanning:

But when the blast of war blows in our ears, Play with your fancies, and in them behold Then imitate the action of the tiger; Upon the hempen tackle ship-boys climbing; Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, Hear the shrill whistle which doth order give Disguise fair nature with hard-favor'd rage: To sounds confused; behold the threaden Then lend the eye a terrible aspect; sails,

Let it pry through the portage of the head Borne with the invisible and creeping wind, Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erDraw the huge bottoms through the fur- whelm it

As fearfully as doth a galled rock

row'd sea,

The country cocks do crow, the clocks do

toll, And the third hour of drowsy morning

name.

O'erhang and jutty his confounded base, Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean. Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril

wide, Hold hard the breath, and bend up every

spirit To his full height. On, on, you noblest Eng

lish, Whose blood is fet from fathers of war

proof! Fathers, that, like so many Alexanders, Have in these parts from morn till even

fought And sheathed their swords for lack of argu

ment: Dishonor not your mothers; now attest That those whom you callid fathers did beget

you. Be copy now to men of grosser blood, And teach them how to war. And you, good

yeomen, Whose limbs were made in England, show

us here The mettle of your pasture; let us swear That you are worth your breeding; which I

doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble luster in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry, "God for Harry, England, and Saint

George!"
[Ereunt. Alarum, and chambers go off.

Proud of their numbers and secure in soul,
The confident and over-lusty French
Do the low-rated English play at dice;
And chide the cripple tardy-gaited night
Who, like a foul and ugly witch, doth limp
So tediously away. The poor condemned

English,
Like sacrifices, by their watchful fires
Sit patiently, and inly ruminate
The morning's danger, and their gesture sad
Investing lank-lean cheeks and war-worn

coats Presenteth them unto the gazing moon So many horrid ghosts. O now, who will

behold The royal captain of this ruin'd band Walking from watch to watch, from tent to

tent, Let him

cry,

“Praise and glory on his head!" For forth he goes and visits all his host, Bids them good morrow with a modest smile, And calls them brothers, friends, and coun

trymen. Upon his royal face there is no note How dread an army hath enrounded him; Nor doth he dedicate one jot of color Unto the weary and all-watched night, But freshly looks and over-bears attaint With cheerful semblance and sweet majesty; That every wretch, pining and pale before, Beholding him, plucks comfort from his

looks: A largess universal like the sun His liberal eye doth give to every one, Thawing cold fear, that mean and gentle all, Behold, as may unworthiness define, A little touch of Harry in the night. And so our scene must to the battle fly; Where—0 for pity!—we shall much dis

grace With four or five most vile and ragged foils, Right ill-disposed in brawl ridiculous, The name of Agincourt. Yet sit and see, Minding true things by what their mockeries be.

[Erit

[From Act IV) Enter Chorus

Chor. Now entertain conjecture of a time When creeping murmur and the poring dark Fills the wide vessel of the universe. From camp to camp through the foul womb

of night The hum of either army stilly sounds, That the fixed sentinels almost receive The secret whispers of each other's watch: Fire answers fire, and through their paly

flames Each battle sees the other's umber'd face; Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful

neighs Piercing the night's dull ear, and from the

tents
The armorers, accomplishing the knights,
With busy hammers closing rivets up,
Give dreadful note of preparation:

SCENE III. The English Camp Enter GLOUCESTER, BEDFORD, EXETER, ER

PINGHAM, with all his host; SALISBURY and WESTMORELAND. Glou. Where is the king?

Bed. The king himself is rode to view

their battle. West. Of fighting men they have full

three-score thousand. Exe. There's five to one; besides, they all

are fresh. Sal. God's arm strike with us ! 'tis a fear

ful odds. God be wi' you, princes all; I'll to my

charge: If we no more meet till we meet in heaven, Then, joyfully, my noble Lord of Bedford, My dear Lord Gloucester, and my good Lord

Exeter, And my kind kinsman, warriors all, adieu ! Bed. Farewell, good Salisbury; and good

luck go with thee! Exe. Farewell, kind lord; fight valiantly

today: And yet I do thee wrong to mind thee of it, For thou art framed of the firm truth of valor.

[Exit Salisbury Bed. He is as full of valor as of kind

ness; Princely in both.

Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man's company,
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe

home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors,
And say, "Tomorrow is Saint Crispian";
Then will be strip his sleeve and show his

scars, And say, "These wounds I had on Crispin's

day.” Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot, But he'll remember with advantages What feats he did that day: then shall our

names, Familiar in his mouth as household words, Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Glou

cester, Be in their flowing cups freshly remem

ber'd. This story shall the good man teach his son: And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remembered; We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he today that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother: be he ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition; And gentlemen in England now abed Shall think themselves accursed they were

not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any

speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's

day.

Enter the KING

West.

O that we now had here But one ten thousand of those men in Eng

land That do no work today!

K. Hen. What's he that wishes so? My cousin Westmoreland ? No, my fair

cousin : If we are mark'd to die, we are enow To do our country loss; and if to live, The fewer men, the greater share of honor. God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man

more. By Jove, I am not covetous for gold, Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost; It yearns me not if men my garments wear; Such outward things dwell not in my desires : But if it be a sin to covet honor, I am the most offending soul alive. No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from

England: God's peace! I would not lose so great an

honor As one man more, methinks, would share

from me For the best hope I have. O, do not wish

one more! Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through

my host, That he which hath no stomach to this fight,

BALLAD OF AGINCOURT

MICHAEL DRAYTON

1

Fair stood the wind for France, When we our sails advance; Nor now to prove oựr chance

Longer will tarry; But putting to the main, At Caux, the mouth of Seine, With all his martial train

Landed King Harry.

[blocks in formation]

13

Gloucester, that duke so good,
Next of the royal blood,
For famous England stood

With his brave brother. Clarence, in steel so bright, Though but a maiden knight, Yet in that furious fight,

Scarce such another!

14 Warwick in blood did wade; Oxford, the foe invade, And cruel slaughter made,

Still as they ran up. Suffolk his axe did ply; Beaumont and Willoughby Bare them right doughtily; Ferrers, and Fanhope.

15
Upon Saint Crispin's Day
Fought was this noble fray;
Which Fame did not delay

To England to carry.
0, when shall English men
With such acts fill a pen?
Or England breed again

Such a King Harry?

ing privileges ? who ever saw, before this regiment, an English Ligier in the stately porch of the Grand Signor at Constantinople? who ever found English consuls and agents at Tripolis in Syria, at Aleppo, at Babylon, at Balsara, and which is more, who ever heard of Englishman at Goa before now? what English ships did heretofore ever anchor in the mighty river of Plate? pass and repass the unpassable (in former opinion) Strait of Magellan, range along the coast of Chili, Peru, and all the backside of Nova Hispania, further than any christian ever passed, traverse the mighty breadth of the South Sea, land upon the Luzones in despite of the enemy, enter into alliance, amity, and traffic with the princes of the Moluccas and the isle of Java, double the famous cape of Bona Speranza, arrive at the isle of St. Helena, and last of all return home most richly laden with the commodities of China, as the subjects of this now flourishing monarchy have done?

TO THE VIRGINIAN VOYAGE

MICHAEL DRAYTON

THE DEEDS OF ELIZABETHAN SEAMEN

RICHARD HAKLUYT

[From the Voyages, 1589] To harp no longer upon this string, and to speak a word of that just commendation which our nation do indeed deserve: it cannot be denied, but as in all former ages they have been men full of activity, stirrers abroad, and searchers of the remote parts of the world, so in this most famous and peerless government of her most excellent Majesty, her subjects, through the special assistance and blessing of God, in searching the most opposite corners and quarters of the world, and to speak plainly, in compassing the vast globe of the earth more than once, have excelled all the nations and people of the earth. For which of the kings of this land before her Majesty had their banners ever seen in the Caspian sea ? which of them hath ever dealt with the emperor of Persia as her Majesty hath done, and obtained for her merchants large and lov

1 You brave heroic minds, Worthy your country's name,

That honor still pursue;

Go and subdue! Whilst loitering hinds Lurk here at home with shame.

2 Britons, you stay too long; Quickly aboard bestow you !

And with a merry gale

Swell your stretched sail,
With vows as strong
As the winds that blow you!

3
Your course securely steer,
West-and-by-south forth keep!

Rocks, lee-shores, nor shoals,

When Eolus scowls, You need not fear, So absolute the deep.

4 And, cheerfully at sea, Success you still entice,

To get the pearl and gold;

« PreviousContinue »