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King Henry VI, Part 1: Act 4 Scene 2
Scene II Before Bourdeaux.
- [Enter TALBOT, with trump and drum]
- Go to the gates of Bourdeaux, trumpeter:
- Summon their general unto the wall.
- [Trumpet sounds. Enter General and others, aloft]
- English John Talbot, captains, calls you forth,
- Servant in arms to Harry King of England;
- And thus he would: Open your city gates;
- Be humble to us; call my sovereign yours,
- And do him homage as obedient subjects;
- And I'll withdraw me and my bloody power:
- But, if you frown upon this proffer'd peace,
- You tempt the fury of my three attendants,
- Lean famine, quartering steel, and climbing fire;
- Who in a moment even with the earth
- Shall lay your stately and air-braving towers,
- If you forsake the offer of their love.
- Thou ominous and fearful owl of death,
- Our nation's terror and their bloody scourge!
- The period of thy tyranny approacheth.
- On us thou canst not enter but by death;
- For, I protest, we are well fortified
- And strong enough to issue out and fight:
- If thou retire, the Dauphin, well appointed,
- Stands with the snares of war to tangle thee:
- On either hand thee there are squadrons pitch'd,
- To wall thee from the liberty of flight;
- And no way canst thou turn thee for redress,
- But death doth front thee with apparent spoil
- And pale destruction meets thee in the face.
- Ten thousand French have ta'en the sacrament
- To rive their dangerous artillery
- Upon no Christian soul but English Talbot.
- Lo, there thou stand'st, a breathing valiant man,
- Of an invincible unconquer'd spirit!
- This is the latest glory of thy praise
- That I, thy enemy, due thee withal;
- For ere the glass, that now begins to run,
- Finish the process of his sandy hour,
- These eyes, that see thee now well coloured,
- Shall see thee wither'd, bloody, pale and dead.
- [Drum afar off]
- Hark! hark! the Dauphin's drum, a warning bell,
- Sings heavy music to thy timorous soul;
- And mine shall ring thy dire departure out.
- [Exeunt General, &c]
- He fables not; I hear the enemy:
- Out, some light horsemen, and peruse their wings.
- O, negligent and heedless discipline!
- How are we park'd and bounded in a pale,
- A little herd of England's timorous deer,
- Mazed with a yelping kennel of French curs!
- If we be English deer, be then in blood;
- Not rascal-like, to fall down with a pinch,
- But rather, moody-mad and desperate stags,
- Turn on the bloody hounds with heads of steel
- And make the cowards stand aloof at bay:
- Sell every man his life as dear as mine,
- And they shall find dear deer of us, my friends.
- God and Saint George, Talbot and England's right,
- Prosper our colours in this dangerous fight!