Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > England
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV.  1876–79.
 
Holmedon
Holmedon
William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
(From King Henry the Fourth, Part I)

MY liege, I did deny no prisoners.
But, I remember, when the fight was done,
When I was dry with rage and extreme toil,
Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword,
Came there a certain lord, neat, trimly dressed,        5
Fresh as a bridegroom; and his chin, new reaped,
Showed like a stubble-land at harvest-home.
He was perfuméd like a milliner;
And ’twixt his finger and his thumb he held
A pouncet-box, which ever and anon        10
He gave his nose and took ’t away again;
Who, therewith angry, when it next came there,
Took it in snuff. And still he smiled and talked;
And, as the soldiers bore dead bodies by,
He called them untaught knaves, unmannerly,        15
To bring a slovenly unhandsome corse
Betwixt the wind and his nobility.
With many holiday and lady terms
He questioned me; among the rest demanded
My prisoners, in your Majesty’s behalf.        20
I then, all smarting with my wounds being cold,
Out of my grief and my impatience
To be so pestered with a popinjay,
Answered neglectingly, I know not what,
He should or he should not; for he made me mad,        25
To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet,
And talk, so like a waiting-gentlewoman,
Of guns, and drums, and wounds—God save the mark!—
And telling me the sovereign’st thing on earth
Was parmaceti, for an inward bruise;        30
And that it was great pity, so it was,
This villanous saltpetre should be digged
Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Which many a good tall fellow had destroyed
So cowardly; and, but for these vile guns,        35
He would himself have been a soldier.
This bald, unjointed chat of his, my lord,
I answered indirectly, as I said;
And, I beseech you, let not his report
Come current for an accusation,        40
Betwixt my love and your high Majesty.
 
 
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