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Henry V: Act I, Prologue

Henry V
Act I, Prologue

  1. Enter Chorus.


1 - 34
  1. O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
  2. The brightest heaven of invention!
  3. A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,
  4. And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
  5. Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
  6. Assume the port of Mars, and at his heels
  7. (Leash’d in, like hounds) should famine, sword, and fire
  8. Crouch for employment. But pardon, gentles all,
  9. The flat unraised spirits that hath dar’d
  10. On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
  11. So great an object. Can this cockpit hold
  12. The vasty fields of France? Or may we cram
  13. Within this wooden O the very casques
  14. That did affright the air at Agincourt?
  15. O, pardon! Since a crooked figure may
  16. Attest in little place a million,
  17. And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
  18. On your imaginary forces work.
  19. Suppose within the girdle of these walls
  20. Are now confin’d two mighty monarchies,
  21. Whose high, upreared, and abutting fronts
  22. The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder.
  23. Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;
  24. Into a thousand parts divide one man,
  25. And make imaginary puissance;
  26. Think, when we talk of horses, that you see them
  27. Printing their proud hoofs i’ th’ receiving earth;
  28. For ’tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
  29. Carry them here and there, jumping o’er times,
  30. Turning th’ accomplishment of many years
  31. Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,
  32. Admit me Chorus to this history;
  33. Who, Prologue-like, your humble patience pray,
  34. Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.
  1. Exit.
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