Reference > William Shakespeare > The Oxford Shakespeare > 2 King Henry VI.
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William Shakespeare (1564–1616).  The Oxford Shakespeare.  1914.
 
The Second Part of King Henry the Sixth
 
Act V. Scene II.
 
Saint Alban’s.
 
Alarums: Excursions.  Enter WARWICK.
  War.  Clifford of Cumberland, ’tis Warwick calls:
And if thou dost not hide thee from the bear,
Now, when the angry trumpet sounds alarm,        5
And dead men’s cries do fill the empty air,
Clifford, I say, come forth, and fight with me!
Proud northern lord, Clifford of Cumberland,
Warwick is hoarse with calling thee to arms.
 
Enter YORK.
        10
How now, my noble lord! what! all afoot?
  York.  The deadly-handed Clifford slew my steed;
But match to match I have encounter’d him,
And made a prey for carrion kites and crows
Even of the bonny beast he lov’d so well.        15
 
Enter Old CLIFFORD.
  War.  Of one or both of us the time is come.
  York.  Hold, Warwick! seek thee out some other chase,
For I myself must hunt this deer to death.
  War.  Then, nobly, York; ’tis for a crown thou fight’st.        20
As I intend, Clifford, to thrive to-day,
It grieves my soul to leave thee unassail’d.  [Exit.
  Clif.  What seest thou in me, York? why dost thou pause?
  York.  With thy brave bearing should I be in love,
But that thou art so fast mine enemy.        25
  Clif.  Nor should thy prowess want praise and esteem,
But that ’tis shown ignobly and in treason.
  York.  So let it help me now against thy sword
As I in justice and true right express it.
  Clif.  My soul and body on the action both!        30
  York.  A dreadful lay! address thee instantly.
  Clif.  La fin couronne les œuvres.  [They fight, and CLIFFORD falls and dies.
  York.  Thus war hath given thee peace, for thou art still.
Peace with his soul, heaven, if it be thy will!  [Exit.
 
Enter Young CLIFFORD.
        35
  Y. Clif.  Shame and confusion! all is on the rout:
Fear frames disorder, and disorder wounds
Where it should guard. O war! thou son of hell,
Whom angry heavens do make their minister,
Throw in the frozen bosoms of our part        40
Hot coals of vengeance! Let no soldier fly:
He that is truly dedicate to war
Hath no self-love; nor he that loves himself
Hath not essentially, but by circumstance,
The name of valour.  [Seeing his father’s body.
        O! let the vile world end,
        45
And the premised flames of the last day
Knit heaven and earth together;
Now let the general trumpet blow his blast,
Particularities and petty sounds
To cease!—Wast thou ordain’d, dear father,        50
To lose thy youth in peace, and to achieve
The silver livery of advised age,
And, in thy reverence and thy chair-days thus
To die in ruffian battle? Even at this sight
My heart is turn’d to stone: and while ’tis mine        55
It shall be stony. York not our old men spares;
No more will I their babes: tears virginal
Shall be to me even as the dew to fire;
And beauty, that the tyrant oft reclaims,
Shall to my flaming wrath be oil and flax.        60
Henceforth I will not have to do with pity:
Meet I an infant of the house of York,
Into as many gobbets will I cut it
As wild Medea young Absyrtus did:
In cruelty will I seek out my fame.        65
Come, thou new ruin of old Clifford’s house:  [Taking up the body.
As did Æneas old Anchises bear,
So bear I thee upon my manly shoulders;
But then Æneas bare a living load,
Nothing so heavy as these woes of mine.  [Exit.        70
 
Enter RICHARD and SOMERSET, fighting; SOMERSET is killed.
  Rich.  So, lie thou there;
For underneath an alehouse’ paltry sign,
The Castle in Saint Alban’s, Somerset
Hath made the wizard famous in his death.        75
Sword, hold thy temper; heart, be wrathful still:
Priests pray for enemies, but princes kill.  [Exit.
 
Alarums: Excursions.  Enter KING HENRY, QUEEN MARGARET, and Others, retreating.
  Q. Mar.  Away, my lord! you are slow: for shame, away!
  K. Hen.  Can we outrun the heavens? good Margaret, stay.        80
  Q. Mar.  What are you made of? you’ll nor fight nor fly:
Now is it manhood, wisdom, and defence,
To give the enemy way, and to secure us
By what we can, which can no more but fly.  [Alarum afar off.
If you be ta’en, we then should see the bottom        85
Of all our fortunes: but if we haply scape,
As well we may, if not through your neglect,
We shall to London get, where you are lov’d,
And where this breach now in our fortunes made
May readily be stopp’d.        90
 
Re-enter Young CLIFFORD.
  Y. Clif.  But that my heart’s on future mischief set,
I would speak blasphemy ere bid you fly;
But fly you must: uncurable discomfit
Reigns in the hearts of all our present parts.        95
Away, for your relief! and we will live
To see their day and them our fortune give.
Away, my lord, away!  [Exeunt.
 
 
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