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Page:Henry VI Part 3 (1923) Yale.djvu/39

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King Henry the Sixth, II. i

Tidings, as swiftly as the posts could run,
Were brought me of your loss and his depart.
I, then in London, keeper of the king,
Muster'd my soldiers, gather'd flocks of friends, 112
[And very well appointed, as I thought,]
March'd towards Saint Albans to intercept the queen,
Bearing the king in my behalf along;
For by my scouts I was advertised 116
That she was coming with a full intent
To dash our late decree in parliament,
Touching King Henry's oath and your succession.
Short tale to make, we at Saint Albans met, 120
Our battles join'd, and both sides fiercely fought:
But whether 'twas the coldness of the king,
Who look'd full gently on his warlike queen,
That robb'd my soldiers of their heated spleen; 124
Or whether 'twas report of her success;
Or more than common fear of Clifford's rigour,
Who thunders to his captives blood and death,
I cannot judge: but, to conclude with truth, 128
Their weapons like to lightning came and went;
Our soldiers', like the night-owl's lazy flight,
Or like a lazy thresher with a flail,
Fell gently down, as if they struck their friends. 132
I cheer'd them up with justice of our cause,
With promise of high pay, and great rewards:
But all in vain; they had no heart to fight,
And we in them no hope to win the day; 136
So that we fled: the king unto the queen;
Lord George your brother, Norfolk, and myself,
In haste, post-haste, are come to join with you;

110 depart: decease
113 appointed: equipped; cf. n.
116 advertised: informed
118 dash: frustrate
124 heated spleen: hot valor
138 Lord George: Clarence
139 haste, post-haste: the greatest possible speed