Hen. This battell fares like to the mornings Warre, When dying clouds contend, with growing light, What time the Shepheard blowing of his nailes, Can neither call it perfect day, nor night. Now swayes it this way, like a Mighty Sea, Forc'd by the Tide, to combat with the Winde: Now swayes it that way, like the selfe-same Sea, Forc'd to retyre by furie of the Winde. Sometime, the Flood preuailes; and than the Winde: Now, one the better: then, another best; Both tugging to be Victors, brest to brest: Yet neither Conqueror, nor Conquered. So is the equall poise of this fell Warre. Heere on this Mole-hill will I sit me downe, To whom God will, there be the Victorie: For Margaret my Queene, and Clifford too Haue chid me from the Battell: Swearing both, They prosper best of all when I am thence. Would I were dead, if Gods good will were so; For what is in this world, but Greefe and Woe. Oh God! me thinkes it were a happy life, To be no better then a homely Swaine, To sit vpon a hill, as I do now, To carue out Dialls queintly, point by point, Thereby to see the Minutes how they runne: How many makes the Houre full compleate, How many Houres brings about the Day, How many Dayes will finish vp the Yeare, How many Yeares, a Mortall man may liue. When this is knowne, then to diuide the Times: So many Houres, must I tend my Flocke; So many Houres, must I take my Rest: So many Houres, must I Contemplate: So many Houres, must I Sport my selfe: So many Dayes, my Ewes haue bene with yong: So many weekes, ere the poore Fooles will Eane: So many yeares, ere I shall sheere the Fleece: So Minutes, Houres, Dayes, Monthes, and Yeares, Past ouer to the end they were created, Would bring white haires, vnto a Quiet graue. Ah! what a life were this? How sweet? how louely? Giues not the Hawthorne bush a sweeter shade To Shepheards, looking on their silly Sheepe, Then doth a rich Imbroider'd Canopie To Kings, that feare their Subiects treacherie? Oh yes, it doth; a thousand fold it doth. And to conclude, the Shepherds homely Curds, His cold thinne drinke out of his Leather Bottle, His wonted sleepe, vnder a fresh trees shade, All which secure, and sweetly he enioyes, Is farre beyond a Princes Delicates: His Viands sparkling in a Golden Cup, His bodie couched in a curious bed, When Care, Mistrust, and Treason waits on him.

Alarum. Enter a Sonne that hath kill'd his Father, at one doore: and a Father that hath kill'd his Sonne at another doore.

Son. Ill blowes the winde that profits no body, This man whom hand to hand I slew in fight, May be possessed with some store of Crownes, And I that (haply) take them from him now, May yet (ere night) yeeld both my Life and them To some man else, as this dead man doth me. Who's this? Oh God! It is my Fathers face, Whom in this Conflict, I (vnwares) haue kill'd: Oh heauy times! begetting such Euents. From London, by the King was I prest forth, My Father being the Earle of Warwickes man, Came on the part of Yorke, prest by his Master: And I, who at his hands receiu'd my life, Haue by my hands, of Life bereaued him. Pardon me God, I knew not what I did: And pardon Father, for I knew not thee. My Teares shall wipe away these bloody markes: And no more words, till they haue flow'd their fill

King. O pitteous spectacle! O bloody Times! Whiles Lyons Warre, and battaile for their Dennes, Poore harmlesse Lambes abide their enmity. Weepe wretched man: Ile ayde thee Teare for Teare, And let our hearts and eyes, like Ciuill Warre, Be blinde with teares, and break ore-charg'd with griefe Enter Father, bearing of his Sonne.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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