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Henry V

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 Enter Chorus 
Chorus Thus with imagined wing our swift scene flies 
 In motion of no less celerity 
 Than that of thought. Suppose that you have seen 
 The well-appointed king at Hampton pier 5
 Embark his royalty; and his brave fleet 
 With silken streamers the young Phoebus fanning: 
 Play with your fancies, and in them behold 
 Upon the hempen tackle ship-boys climbing; 
 Hear the shrill whistle which doth order give 10
 To sounds confused; behold the threaden sails, 
 Borne with the invisible and creeping wind, 
 Draw the huge bottoms through the furrow'd sea, 
 Breasting the lofty surge: O, do but think 
 You stand upon the ravage and behold 15
 A city on the inconstant billows dancing; 
 For so appears this fleet majestical, 
 Holding due course to Harfleur. Follow, follow: 
 Grapple your minds to sternage of this navy, 
 And leave your England, as dead midnight still, 20
 Guarded with grandsires, babies and old women, 
 Either past or not arrived to pith and puissance; 
 For who is he, whose chin is but enrich'd 
 With one appearing hair, that will not follow 
 These cull'd and choice-drawn cavaliers to France? 25
 Work, work your thoughts, and therein see a siege; 
 Behold the ordnance on their carriages, 
 With fatal mouths gaping on girded Harfleur. 
 Suppose the ambassador from the French comes back; 
 Tells Harry that the king doth offer him 30
 Katharine his daughter, and with her, to dowry, 
 Some petty and unprofitable dukedoms. 
 The offer likes not: and the nimble gunner 
 With linstock now the devilish cannon touches, 
 Alarum, and chambers go off. 
 And down goes all before them. Still be kind, 35
 And eke out our performance with your mind. 
ACT III SCENE I France. Before Harfleur. 
 Alarum. Enter KING HENRY, EXETER, BEDFORD, GLOUCESTER, and Soldiers, with scaling-ladders. 
KING HENRY V Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; 
 Or close the wall up with our English dead. 
 In peace there's nothing so becomes a man 40
 As modest stillness and humility: 
 But when the blast of war blows in our ears, 
 Then imitate the action of the tiger; 
 Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, 
 Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage; 45
 Then lend the eye a terrible aspect; 
 Let pry through the portage of the head 
 Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it 
 As fearfully as doth a galled rock 
 O'erhang and jutty his confounded base, 50
 Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean. 
 Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide, 
 Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit 
 To his full height. On, on, you noblest English. 
 Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof! 55
 Fathers that, like so many Alexanders, 
 Have in these parts from morn till even fought 
 And sheathed their swords for lack of argument: 
 Dishonour not your mothers; now attest 
 That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you. 60
 Be copy now to men of grosser blood, 
 And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman, 
 Whose limbs were made in England, show us here 
 The mettle of your pasture; let us swear 
 That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not; 65
 For there is none of you so mean and base, 
 That hath not noble lustre in your eyes. 
 I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips, 
 Straining upon the start. The game's afoot: 
 Follow your spirit, and upon this charge 70
 Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!' 
 Exeunt. Alarum, and chambers go off. 

Henry V, Act 3, Scene 2


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