William Shakespeare: Henry VI (Pt 2), Act V, Scene II

Scene II

Saint Alban's

Alarums to the battle. Enter Warwick


Clifford of Cumberland, 'tis Warwick calls: And if thou dost not hide thee from the bear, Now, when the angry trumpet sounds alarum 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

How now, my noble lord? what, all afoot?


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 loved so well.

Enter Clifford


Of one or both of us the time is come.


Hold, Warwick, seek thee out some other chase, For I myself must hunt this deer to death.


Then, nobly, York; 'tis for a crown thou fight'st. As I intend, Clifford, to thrive to-day, It grieves my soul to leave thee unassail'd.



What seest thou in me, York? why dost thou pause?


With thy brave bearing should I be in love, But that thou art so fast mine enemy.


Nor should thy prowess want praise and esteem, But that 'tis shown ignobly and in treason.


So let it help me now against thy sword As I in justice and true right express it.


My soul and body on the action both!


A dreadful lay! Address thee instantly.

They fight, and Clifford falls


La fin couronne les oeuvres.



Thus war hath given thee peace, for thou art still. Peace with his soul, heaven, if it be thy will! [Exit] 

Enter Young Clifford

Young Clifford

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 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 dead father

O, let the vile world end, And the premised flames of the last day Knit earth and heaven together! Now let the general trumpet blow his blast, Particularities and petty sounds To cease! Wast thou ordain'd, dear father, 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, 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. 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. Come, thou new ruin of old Clifford's house: As did AEneas old Anchises bear, So bear I thee upon my manly shoulders; But then AEneas bare a living load, Nothing so heavy as these woes of mine.

Exit, bearing off his father

Enter Richard and Somerset to fight. Somerset is killed


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. Sword, hold thy temper; heart, be wrathful still: Priests pray for enemies, but princes kill. [Exit] 

Fight: excursions. Enter King Henry VI, Queen Margaret, and others

Queen Margaret

Away, my lord! you are slow; for shame, away!

King Henry VI

Can we outrun the heavens? good Margaret, stay.

Queen Margaret

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 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 loved And where this breach now in our fortunes made May readily be stopp'd.

Re-enter Young Clifford

Young Clifford

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. Away, for your relief! and we will live To see their day and them our fortune give: Away, my lord, away!