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.
 
Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury
William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
From “King Henry the Fourth,” Part One

HOTSPUR.  My cousin Vernon! welcome, by my soul.
  VERNON.  ’Pray God my news be worth a welcome, lord.
The Earl of Westmoreland, seven thousand strong,
Is marching hitherwards; with him, Prince John.
  HOT.  No harm; what more?        5
  VER.                And further, I have learned,
The King himself in person is set forth,
Or hitherwards intended speedily,
With strong and mighty preparation.
  HOT.  He shall be welcome too. Where is his son,        10
The nimble-footed mad-cap Prince of Wales,
And his comrades that daffed the world aside,
And bid it pass?
  VER.            All furnished, all in arms;
All plumed like estridges, that wing the wind,        15
Baited like eagles having lately bathed;
Glittering in golden coats like images;
As full of spirit as the month of May,
And gorgeous as the sun at midsummer;
Wanton as youthful goats, wild as young bulls.        20
I saw young Harry, with his beaver on,
His cuisses on his thighs, gallantly armed,
Rise from the ground like feathered Mercury,
And vaulted with such ease into his seat,
As if an angel dropped down from the clouds,        25
To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus,
And witch the world with noble horsemanship.
*        *        *        *        *
  KING HENRY.  How bloodily the sun begins to peer
Above yon busky hill! the day looks pale
At his distemperature.        30
  PRINCE HENRY.        The southern wind
Doth play the trumpet to his purposes;
And, by his hollow whistling in the leaves,
Foretells a tempest and a blustering day.
  K. HEN.  Then with the losers let it sympathize;        35
For nothing can seem foul to those that win.
*        *        *        *        *
  HOT.  O Harry, thou hast robbed me of my youth.
I better brook the loss of brittle life
Than those proud titles thou hast won of me;
They wound my thoughts, worse than thy sword my flesh.—        40
But Thought ’s the slave of Life, and Life Time’s fool;
And Time that takes survey of all the world
Must have a stop. Oh! I could prophesy,
But that the earthy and cold hand of Death
Lies on my tongue.—No, Percy, thou art dust,        45
And food for—                        [Dies.
  P. HEN.  For worms, brave Percy. Fare thee well, great heart!—
Ill-weaved ambition, how much art thou shrunk!
When that this body did contain a spirit,
A kingdom for it was too small a bound;        50
But now, two paces of the vilest earth
Is room enough. This earth, that bears thee dead,
Bears not alive so stout a gentleman.
If thou wert sensible of courtesy,
I should not make so dear a show of zeal.—        55
But let my favors hide thy mangled face;
And, even in thy behalf, I ’ll thank myself
For doing these fair rites of tenderness.
Adieu, and take thy praise with thee to heaven!
Thy ignomy sleep with thee in the grave,        60
But not remembered in thy epitaph!—
 
He sees FALSTAFF on the ground.
What! old acquaintance! could not all this flesh
Keep in a little life? Poor Jack, farewell!
I could have better spared a better man.—
Oh! I should have a heavy miss of thee,        65
If I were much in love with vanity.
Death hath not struck so fat a deer to-day,
Though many dearer, in this bloody fray.
 
 
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