Act 2 - Scene 3
A field of battle between Towton and Saxton, in
Alarum. Excursions. Enter WARWICK
Forspent with toil, as runners with a race,
I lay me down a little while to breathe;
For strokes received,
and many blows repaid,
Have robb'd my strong-knit sinews of their strength,
And spite of spite needs
must I rest awhile.
Enter EDWARD, running
Smile, gentle heaven! or strike, ungentle death!
For this world frowns, and Edward's sun is clouded.
How now, my lord! what hap? what hope of good?
Our hap is loss, our hope but sad despair;
Our ranks are broke, and ruin follows us:
What counsel give
you? whither shall we fly?
Bootless is flight, they follow us with wings;
And weak we are and cannot shun pursuit.
Ah, Warwick, why hast thou withdrawn thyself?
Thy brother's blood the thirsty earth hath drunk,
with the steely point of Clifford's lance;
And in the very pangs of death he cried,
Like to a dismal clangour
heard from far,
'Warwick, revenge! brother, revenge my death!'
So, underneath the belly of their steeds,
stain'd their fetlocks in his smoking blood,
The noble gentleman gave up the ghost.
Then let the earth be drunken with our blood:
I'll kill my horse, because I will not fly.
Why stand we like
soft-hearted women here,
Wailing our losses, whiles the foe doth rage;
And look upon, as if the tragedy
play'd in jest by counterfeiting actors?
Here on my knee I vow to God above,
I'll never pause again, never
Till either death hath closed these eyes of mine
Or fortune given me measure of revenge.
O Warwick, I do bend my knee with thine;
And in this vow do chain my soul to thine!
And, ere my knee
rise from the earth's cold face,
I throw my hands, mine eyes, my heart to thee,
Thou setter up and plucker
down of kings,
Beseeching thee, if with they will it stands
That to my foes this body must be prey,
thy brazen gates of heaven may ope,
And give sweet passage to my sinful soul!
Now, lords, take leave
until we meet again,
Where'er it be, in heaven or in earth.
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