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King Henry V: Act 3 Scene 1
- [Enter Chorus]
- Thus with imagined wing our swift scene flies
- In motion of no less celerity
- Than that of thought. Suppose that you have seen
- The well-appointed king at Hampton pier
- Embark his royalty; and his brave fleet
- With silken streamers the young Phoebus fanning:
- Play with your fancies, and in them behold
- Upon the hempen tackle ship-boys climbing;
- Hear the shrill whistle which doth order give
- To sounds confused; behold the threaden sails,
- Borne with the invisible and creeping wind,
- Draw the huge bottoms through the furrow'd sea,
- Breasting the lofty surge: O, do but think
- You stand upon the ravage and behold
- A city on the inconstant billows dancing;
- For so appears this fleet majestical,
- Holding due course to Harfleur. Follow, follow:
- Grapple your minds to sternage of this navy,
- And leave your England, as dead midnight still,
- Guarded with grandsires, babies and old women,
- Either past or not arrived to pith and puissance;
- For who is he, whose chin is but enrich'd
- With one appearing hair, that will not follow
- These cull'd and choice-drawn cavaliers to France?
- Work, work your thoughts, and therein see a siege;
- Behold the ordnance on their carriages,
- With fatal mouths gaping on girded Harfleur.
- Suppose the ambassador from the French comes back;
- Tells Harry that the king doth offer him
- Katharine his daughter, and with her, to dowry,
- Some petty and unprofitable dukedoms.
- The offer likes not: and the nimble gunner
- With linstock now the devilish cannon touches,
- [Alarum, and chambers go off]
- And down goes all before them. Still be kind,
- And eke out our performance with your mind.
Scene I France. Before Harfleur.
- [Alarum. Enter KING HENRY, EXETER, BEDFORD,
- GLOUCESTER, and Soldiers, with scaling-ladders]
- KING HENRY V
- Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
- Or close the wall up with our English dead.
- In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
- As modest stillness and humility:
- But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
- Then imitate the action of the tiger;
- Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
- Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
- Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
- Let pry through the portage of the head
- Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
- As fearfully as doth a galled rock
- 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 English.
- 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 argument:
- Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
- That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
- Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
- And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
- 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 lustre 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!'
- [Exeunt. Alarum, and chambers go off]