Act 1 - Scene 4
Another part of the field.
Alarum. Enter YORK
The army of the queen hath got the field:
My uncles both are slain in rescuing me;
And all my followers to
the eager foe
Turn back and fly, like ships before the wind
Or lambs pursued by hunger-starved wolves.
sons, God knows what hath bechanced them:
But this I know, they have demean'd themselves
born to renown by life or death.
Three times did Richard make a lane to me.
And thrice cried 'Courage,
father! fight it out!'
And full as oft came Edward to my side,
With purple falchion, painted to the hilt
of those that had encounter'd him:
And when the hardiest warriors did retire,
Richard cried 'Charge! and
give no foot of ground!'
And cried 'A crown, or else a glorious tomb!
A sceptre, or an earthly sepulchre!'
this, we charged again: but, out, alas!
We bodged again; as I have seen a swan
With bootless labour swim
against the tide
And spend her strength with over-matching waves.
A short alarum within
Ah, hark! the fatal followers do pursue;
And I am faint and cannot fly their fury:
And were I strong, I would
not shun their fury:
The sands are number'd that make up my life;
Here must I stay, and here my life must
Enter QUEEN MARGARET, CLIFFORD, NORTHUMBERLAND, PRINCE EDWARD, and Soldiers
Come, bloody Clifford, rough Northumberland,
I dare your quenchless fury to more rage:
I am your butt,
and I abide your shot.
Yield to our mercy, proud Plantagenet.
Ay, to such mercy as his ruthless arm,
With downright payment, show'd unto my father.
hath tumbled from his car,
And made an evening at the noontide prick.
My ashes, as the phoenix, may bring forth
A bird that will revenge upon you all:
And in that hope I throw
mine eyes to heaven,
Scorning whate'er you can afflict me with.
Why come you not? what! multitudes,
So cowards fight when they can fly no further;
So doves do peck the falcon's piercing talons;
thieves, all hopeless of their lives,
Breathe out invectives 'gainst the officers.
O Clifford, but bethink thee once again,
And in thy thought o'er-run my former time;
And, if though canst
for blushing, view this face,
And bite thy tongue, that slanders him with cowardice
Whose frown hath made
thee faint and fly ere this!
I will not bandy with thee word for word,
But buckle with thee blows, twice two for one.
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