William Shakespeare: King Henry VI, Third Part

5. SCENE V. Another Part of the Field. (continued)

[Alarum. Enter a Son that hath killed his father, bringing in the
dead body.]

Ill blows the wind that profits nobody.
This man, whom hand to hand I slew in fight,
May be possessed with some store of crowns;
And I, that haply take them from him now,
May yet ere night yield both my life and them
To some man else, as this dead man doth me.--
Who's this?--O God! it is my father's face,
Whom in this conflict I unwares have kill'd.
O heavy times, begetting such events!
From London by the king was I press'd forth;
My father, being the Earl of Warwick's man,
Came on the part of York, press'd by his master;
And I, who at his hands receiv'd my life,
Have by my hands of life bereaved him.--
Pardon me, God, I knew not what I did;--
And pardon, father, for I knew not thee.--
My tears shall wipe away these bloody marks,
And no more words till they have flow'd their fill.

O piteous spectacle! O bloody times!
Whiles lions war and battle for their dens,
Poor harmless lambs abide their enmity.
Weep, wretched man, I'll aid thee tear for tear;
And let our hearts and eyes, like civil war,
Be blind with tears and break o'ercharg'd with grief.

[Enter a Father who has killed his son, with the body in his

Thou that so stoutly hath resisted me,
Give me thy gold, if thou hast any gold,
For I have bought it with an hundred blows.--
But let me see;--is this our foeman's face?
Ah, no, no, no! it is mine only son!--
Ah, boy, if any life be left in thee,
Throw up thine eye; see, see what showers arise,
Blown with the windy tempest of my heart,
Upon thy wounds that kill mine eye and heart!--
O, pity, God, this miserable age!--
What stratagems, how fell, how butcherly,
Erroneous, mutinous, and unnatural,
This deadly quarrel daily doth beget!--
O boy, thy father gave thee life too soon,
And hath bereft thee of thy life too late!

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