Act 5 - Scene 4
Plains near Tewksbury.
March. Enter QUEEN MARGARET, PRINCE EDWARD, SOMERSET, OXFORD, and soldiers
Great lords, wise men ne'er sit and wail their loss,
But cheerly seek how to redress their harms.
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
With tearful eyes add water to the sea
And give more strength to that which hath too much,
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
Our slaughter'd friends the tackles; what of these?
Why, is not Oxford here another anchor?
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,
keep our course, though the rough wind say no,
From shelves and rocks that threaten us with wreck.
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.
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,
case some one of you would fly from us,
That there's no hoped-for mercy with the brothers
with ruthless waves, with sands and rocks.
Why, courage then! what cannot be avoided
weakness to lament or fear.
Methinks a woman of this valiant spirit
Should, if a coward heard her speak these words,
Infuse his breast
And make him, naked, foil a man at arms.
I speak not this as doubting any here
I but suspect a fearful man
He should have leave to go away betimes,
Lest in our need he might infect
And make him of like spirit to himself.
If any such be hereas God forbid!
Let him depart before we
need his help.
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
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.
Thanks, gentle Somerset; sweet Oxford, thanks.
And take his thanks that yet hath nothing else.
Enter a Messenger
Prepare you, lords, for Edward is at hand.
Ready to fight; therefore be resolute.
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