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With the main 4 Henry sped,

Amongst his henchmen.15 Exeter16 had the

rear, A braver man not there ; Heavens! how hot they were

On the false Frenchmen!

They now to fight are gone :
Armour on armour shone,
Drum now to drum did groan;

To hear was wonder ;
That with the cries they make
The very earth did shake;
Trumpet to trumpet spake;

Thunder to thunder.

Well it thine age became,
O noble Erpingham,17
Which did the signal aim

To our hid forces ;18
When from a meadow by,
Like a storm, suddenly,
The English archery

Struck the French horses.

14 main body of the army.
15 henchmen, lit. servants who wait

at the haunch of their master.
16 Exeter, uncle to the king.
17 Sir Thomas Erpingham, a knight,

who fought in the battle. He was an old man, and gave the signal for the fight by throwing

his truncheon in the air, calling out, in Norman French, “Now strike," after which he dismounted, as the king and others

had done, and fought on foot. 18 The English were partly hidden'

behind a village, and in the standing corn. 22 while, during this time : while is

With Spanish yew so strong, 19
Arrows a cloth-yard long,
That, like to serpents, stung,

Piercing the weather ;20
None from his fellow starts,
But, playing manly parts,
And like true English hearts,

Stuck close together.

When down their bows they threw,
And forth their bilbows21 drew,
And on the French they flew;

Not one was tardy ;
Arms were from shoulders sent;
Scalps to the teeth were rent,
Down the French peasants went;

Our men were hardy.

This while22 our noble King,
His broad sword brandishing,
Down the French host did ding, 23

As to o'erwhelm it;
And many a deep-wound lent
His arms with blood besprent ;24

here a noun. 23 ding, to throw or dash violently.

19 This line shows the wood of which

the bows of that age were made. 20 weather, the air. 21 bilbows, swords, so called from

Bilboa, in Spain, famous for sword blades.

24 besprent, besprinkled.

And many a cruel dent

Bruisèd his helmet.

Gloucester, 25 that duke so good,
Next of the royal blood,
For famous England stood,

With his brave brother, Clarence,26 in steel so bright, Though but a maiden knight,97 Yet in that furious fight

Scarce such another.

Warwick28 in blood did wade,
Oxford 29 the foe invade,
And cruel slaughter made,

Still as they ran up; Suffolk30 his axe did ply, Beaumont31 and Willoughby Bare them right doughtily_32

Ferrars and Fanhope.

Upon St. Crispin’s days
Fought was this noble fray,
Which fame did not delay

To England to carry.

25 Gloucester, brother to the king.
26 Clarence, brother to the king.
27 Agincourt was his first battle.
28 The Earl of Warwick.

31 This and the remaining namos

are those of knights., 32 doughtily, bravely. . 33 Crispin's day, a French Saint's

day, see page 39.

29 The Earl of Oxford. He was killed.

80 The Earl of Suffolk.

O when shall Englishmen
With such acts fill a pen,
Or England breed again

Such a King Harry !

With this poem should be read Sbakspearo's Henry V., and a History of England.


Wiltiad SIAKSPEARE. Born, 1564; Died, 1616.

Born at Stratford-on-Avon, he left it in early manhood for Londonlived there as a player, play-writer, and part owner of the Theatreand finally returned, well-to-do, to Stratford, and there died. His amazing genius places him far above all other English poets-perhaps above all others of all time.


To be, or not to be: that is the question :
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And, by opposing, end them ?-To die—to sleep-
No more; and, by a sleep, to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To die,—to sleep;-

Tie. To die is to sleep-nothing more.' ? consummation, an end, a re

sult. He would fain be able to

say that, death being thus only a sleep, it would end all human troubles.

To sleep: perchance to dream ; ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause :--there's the respect3
That makes calamity of so long life:*
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietusó make
With a bare bodkin ? who would fardels? bare,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country from whose bourn:
No traveller returns,-puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution'
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment,
With this regard,11 their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action.12



respect, consideration. • life, that makes us bear calamity

8 bourn, limits.
resolution, the bold and resolute

80 long, without putting an end

to ourselves. s quietus, final discharge, or ac

quittance-death. 6 bare bodkin, a bare dagger. * fardels, burdens.

determination. 10 thought, reflection brings hesi.

tation. 11 from this cause. 12 end in mere desire, without being

carried out.

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