Henry VI, Pt. 3
Act II, Scene 6
Yorkshire. Another part of the battlefield between Towton and Saxton.
- A loud alarum. Enter Clifford wounded with an arrow in his
Lord Clifford1 - 30
- Here burns my candle out; ay, here it dies,
- Which whiles it lasted, gave King Henry light.
- O Lancaster! I fear thy overthrow
- More than my body’s parting with my soul.
- My love and fear glu’d many friends to thee,
- And now I fall, thy tough commixtures melts,
- Impairing Henry, strength’ning misproud York.
- The common people swarm like summer flies,
- And whither fly the gnats but to the sun?
- And who shines now but Henry’s enemies?
- O Phoebus! Hadst thou never given consent
- That Phaëton should check thy fiery steeds,
- Thy burning car never had scorch’d the earth.
- And, Henry, hadst thou sway’d as kings should do,
- Or as thy father and his father did,
- Giving no ground unto the house of York,
- They never then had sprung like summer flies;
- I and ten thousand in this luckless realm
- Had left no mourning widows for our death,
- And thou this day hadst kept thy chair in peace.
- For what doth cherish weeds but gentle air?
- And what makes robbers bold but too much lenity?
- Bootless are plaints, and cureless are my wounds;
- No way to fly, nor strength to hold out flight.
- The foe is merciless, and will not pity;
- For at their hands I have deserv’d no pity.
- The air hath got into my deadly wounds,
- And much effuse of blood doth make me faint.
- Come, York and Richard, Warwick and the rest,
- I stabb’d your fathers’ bosoms, split my breast.
- He faints.
- Alarum and retreat. Enter Edward, Warwick, Richard, and
- Soldiers, Montague, and George of Clarence.
Edward31 - 37
- Now breathe we, lords, good fortune bids us pause
- And smooth the frowns of war with peaceful looks.
- Some troops pursue the bloody-minded queen,
- That led calm Henry, though he were a king,
- As doth a sail, fill’d with a fretting gust,
- Command an argosy to stem the waves.
- But think you, lords, that Clifford fled with them?
Earl of Warwick38 - 41
- No, ’tis impossible he should escape;
- For (though before his face I speak the words)
- Your brother Richard mark’d him for the grave,
- And wheresoe’er he is, he’s surely dead.
- Clifford groans and then dies.
Richard42 - 44
- Whose soul is that which takes her heavy leave?
- A deadly groan, like life and death’s departing.
- See who it is.
Edward45 - 46
- And, now the battle’s ended,
- If friend or foe, let him be gently used.
Richard47 - 52
- Revoke that doom of mercy, for ’tis Clifford,
- Who, not contented that he lopp’d the branch
- In hewing Rutland when his leaves put forth,
- But set his murd’ring knife unto the root
- From whence that tender spray did sweetly spring,
- I mean our princely father, Duke of York.
Earl of Warwick53 - 56
- From off the gates of York fetch down the head,
- Your father’s head, which Clifford placed there;
- In stead whereof let this supply the room:
- Measure for measure must be answered.
Edward57 - 60
- Bring forth that fatal screech owl to our house
- That nothing sung but death to us and ours.
- Now death shall stop his dismal threat’ning sound,
- And his ill-boding tongue no more shall speak.
Earl of Warwick61 - 64
- I think his understanding is bereft.
- Speak, Clifford, dost thou know who speaks to thee?
- Dark cloudy death o’ershades his beams of life,
- And he nor sees nor hears us what we say.
Richard65 - 68
- O would he did! And so, perhaps, he doth;
- ’Tis but his policy to counterfeit,
- Because he would avoid such bitter taunts
- Which in the time of death he gave our father.
- If so thou think’st, vex him with eager words.
- Clifford, ask mercy and obtain no grace.
- Clifford, repent in bootless penitence.
Earl of Warwick72
- Clifford, devise excuses for thy faults.
- While we devise fell tortures for thy faults.
- Thou didst love York, and I am son to York.
- Thou pitiedst Rutland, I will pity thee.
- Where’s Captain Margaret, to fence you now?
Earl of Warwick77
- They mock thee, Clifford, swear as thou wast wont.
Richard78 - 85
- What, not an oath? Nay, then the world goes hard
- When Clifford cannot spare his friends an oath.
- I know by that he’s dead, and by my soul,
- If this right hand would buy two hours’ life
- That I, in all despite, might rail at him,
- This hand should chop it off; and with the issuing blood
- Stifle the villain whose unstanched thirst
- York and young Rutland could not satisfy.
Earl of Warwick86 - 99
- Ay, but he’s dead. Off with the traitor’s head,
- And rear it in the place your father’s stands.
- And now to London with triumphant march,
- There to be crowned England’s royal king;
- From whence shall Warwick cut the sea to France,
- And ask the Lady Bona for thy queen.
- So shalt thou sinow both these lands together,
- And having France thy friend, thou shalt not dread
- The scatt’red foe that hopes to rise again;
- For though they cannot greatly sting to hurt,
- Yet look to have them buzz to offend thine ears.
- First will I see the coronation,
- And then to Brittany I’ll cross the sea
- To effect this marriage, so it please my lord.
Edward100 - 106
- Even as thou wilt, sweet Warwick, let it be;
- For in thy shoulder do I build my seat,
- And never will I undertake the thing
- Wherein thy counsel and consent is wanting.
- Richard, I will create thee Duke of Gloucester,
- And George, of Clarence. Warwick, as ourself,
- Shall do and undo as him pleaseth best.
Richard107 - 108
- Let me be Duke of Clarence, George of Gloucester,
- For Gloucester’s dukedom is too ominous.
Earl of Warwick109 - 111
- Tut, that’s a foolish observation.
- Richard, be Duke of Gloucester. Now to London
- To see these honors in possession.