Act V, Scene 4 Plains near Tewksbury.

March. Enter QUEEN MARGARET, PRINCE EDWARD,
SOMERSET, OXFORD, and soldiers

 

QUEEN MARGARET Great lords, wise men ne'er sit and wail their loss,
But cheerly seek how to redress their harms.
What though the mast be now blown overboard,
The cable broke, the holding-anchor lost,
And half our sailors swallow'd in the flood?
Yet lives our pilot still. Is't meet that he
Should leave the helm and like a fearful lad
With tearful eyes add water to the sea
And give more strength to that which hath too much,
Whiles, in his moan, the ship splits on the rock,
Which industry and courage might have saved?
Ah, what a shame! ah, what a fault were this!
Say Warwick was our anchor; what of that?
And Montague our topmost; what of him?
Our slaughter'd friends the tackles; what of these?
Why, is not Oxford here another anchor?
And Somerset another goodly mast?
The friends of France our shrouds and tacklings?
And, though unskilful, why not Ned and I
For once allow'd the skilful pilot's charge?
We will not from the helm to sit and weep,
But keep our course, though the rough wind say no,
From shelves and rocks that threaten us with wreck.
As good to chide the waves as speak them fair.
And what is Edward but ruthless sea?
What Clarence but a quicksand of deceit?
And Richard but a ragged fatal rock?
All these the enemies to our poor bark.
Say you can swim; alas, 'tis but a while!
Tread on the sand; why, there you quickly sink:
Bestride the rock; the tide will wash you off,
Or else you famish; that's a threefold death.
This speak I, lords, to let you understand,
If case some one of you would fly from us,
That there's no hoped-for mercy with the brothers
More than with ruthless waves, with sands and rocks.
Why, courage then! what cannot be avoided
'Twere childish weakness to lament or fear.
PRINCE EDWARD Methinks a woman of this valiant spirit
Should, if a coward heard her speak these words,
Infuse his breast with magnanimity
And make him, naked, foil a man at arms.
I speak not this as doubting any here
For did I but suspect a fearful man
He should have leave to go away betimes,
Lest in our need he might infect another
And make him of like spirit to himself.
If any such be here--as God forbid!--
Let him depart before we need his help.
OXFORD Women and children of so high a courage,
And warriors faint! why, 'twere perpetual shame.
O brave young prince! thy famous grandfather
Doth live again in thee: long mayst thou live
To bear his image and renew his glories!
SOMERSET And he that will not fight for such a hope.
Go home to bed, and like the owl by day,
If he arise, be mock'd and wonder'd at.
QUEEN MARGARET Thanks, gentle Somerset; sweet Oxford, thanks.
PRINCE EDWARD And take his thanks that yet hath nothing else.
  [Enter a Messenger]
Messenger Prepare you, lords, for Edward is at hand.
Ready to fight; therefore be resolute.
OXFORD I thought no less: it is his policy
To haste thus fast, to find us unprovided.
SOMERSET But he's deceived; we are in readiness.
QUEEN MARGARET This cheers my heart, to see your forwardness.
OXFORD Here pitch our battle; hence we will not budge.
  [Flourish and march. Enter KING EDWARD IV, GLOUCESTER,
CLARENCE, and soldiers]
KING EDWARD IV Brave followers, yonder stands the thorny wood,
Which, by the heavens' assistance and your strength,
Must by the roots be hewn up yet ere night.
I need not add more fuel to your fire,
For well I wot ye blaze to burn them out
Give signal to the fight, and to it, lords!
QUEEN MARGARET Lords, knights, and gentlemen, what I should say
My tears gainsay; for every word I speak,
Ye see, I drink the water of mine eyes.
Therefore, no more but this: Henry, your sovereign,
Is prisoner to the foe; his state usurp'd,
His realm a slaughter-house, his subjects slain,
His statutes cancell'd and his treasure spent;
And yonder is the wolf that makes this spoil.
You fight in justice: then, in God's name, lords,
Be valiant and give signal to the fight.
  [Alarum. Retreat. Excursions. Exeunt]

 

To see other scenes from the show:

Full Text Act III, Scene 3 France. KING LEWIS XI's palace.
Act I, Scene 1 London. The Parliament-house. Act IV, Scene 1 London. The palace.
Act I, Scene 2 Sandal Castle. Act IV, Scene 2 A plain in Warwickshire./Act IV, Scene 3 Edward's camp, near Warwick.
Act I, Scene 3 Field of battle betwixt Sandal Castle and Wakefield. Act IV, Scene 4 London. The palace./Act IV, Scene 5 A park near Middleham Castle In Yorkshire.
Act I, Scene 4 Another part of the field. Act IV, Scene 6 London. The Tower.
Act II, Scene 1 A plain near Mortimer's Cross in Herefordshire. Act IV, Scene 7 Before York./Act IV, Scene 8 London. The palace.
Act II, Scene 2 Before York. Act V, Scene 1 Coventry.
Act II, Scene 3 A field of battle between Towton and Saxton, in Yorkshire. Act V, Scene 2 A field of battle near Barnet. /Act V, Scene 3 Another part of the field.
Act II, Scene 4 Another part of the field./Act II, Scene 5 Another part of the field. Act V, Scene 4 Plains near Tewksbury.
Act II, Scene 6 Another part of the field. Act V, Scene 5 Another part of the field.
Act III, Scene 1 A forest in the north of England. Act V, Scene 6 London. The Tower.
Act III, Scene 2 London. The palace. Act V, Scene 7 London. The palace.

 

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All's Well the Ends Well Antony & Cleopatra As You Like It Cardenio Comedy of Errors Coriolanus
Cymbeline Edward III Hamlet Henry IV, Part 1 Henry IV, Part 2 Henry V
Henry VI, Part 1 Henry VI, Part 2 Henry VI, Part 3 Henry VIII Julius Caesar King John
King Lear Love's Labours Lost Love's Labours Wonne Macbeth Measure for Measure Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor A Mid Summer Night's Dream  Much Ado About Nothing Othello Pericles Richard II
Richard III Romeo & Juliet Sir Thomas More Taming of the Shrew The Tempest Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus Troilus & Cressida Twelfth Night Two Gentlemen of Verona The Two Noble Kinsman The Winter's Tale

 

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