Act 2 - Scene 6
Another part of the field.
A loud alarum. Enter CLIFFORD, wounded
Here burns my candle out; ay, here it dies,
Which, whiles it lasted, gave King Henry light.
I fear thy overthrow
More than my body's parting with my soul!
My love and fear glued many friends to
And, now I fall, thy tough commixture melts.
Impairing Henry, strengthening misproud York,
common people swarm like summer flies;
And whither fly the gnats but to the sun?
And who shines now
but Henry's enemies?
O Phoebus, hadst thou never given consent
That Phaethon should cheque thy fiery
Thy burning car never had scorch'd the earth!
And, Henry, hadst thou sway'd as kings should
Or as thy father and his father did,
Giving no ground unto the house of York,
They never then had
sprung like summer flies;
I and ten thousand in this luckless realm
Had left no mourning widows for our
And thou this day hadst kept thy chair in peace.
For what doth cherish weeds but gentle air?
what makes robbers bold but too much lenity?
Bootless are plaints, and cureless are my wounds;
way to fly, nor strength to hold out flight:
The foe is merciless, and will not pity;
For at their hands I have
deserved no pity.
The air hath got into my deadly wounds,
And much effuse of blood doth make me faint.
York and Richard, Warwick and the rest;
I stabb'd your fathers' bosoms, split my breast.
Alarum and retreat. Enter EDWARD, GEORGE, RICHARD, MONTAGUE, WARWICK, and Soldiers
Now breathe we, lords: good fortune bids us pause,
And smooth the frowns of war with peaceful looks.
troops pursue the bloody-minded queen,
That led calm Henry, though he were a king,
As doth a sail, fill'd
with a fretting gust,
Command an argosy to stem the waves.
But think you, lords, that Clifford fled with
No, 'tis impossible he should escape,
For, though before his face I speak the words
Your brother Richard
mark'd him for the grave:
And wheresoe'er he is, he's surely dead.
CLIFFORD groans, and dies
Whose soul is that which takes her heavy leave?
A deadly groan, like life and death's departing.
See who it is: and, now the battle's ended,
If friend or foe, let him be gently used.
Revoke that doom of mercy, for 'tis Clifford;
Who not contented that he lopp'd the branch
In hewing Rutland
when his leaves put forth,
But set his murdering knife unto the root
From whence that tender spray did
I mean our princely father, Duke of York.
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