William Shakespeare: King Henry VI, Third Part

6. SCENE VI. Another Part of the Field

[A loud alarum. Enter CLIFFORD, wounded.]

Here burns my candle out; ay, here it dies,
Which whiles it lasted gave King Henry light.
O Lancaster! I fear thy overthrow
More than my body's parting with my soul!
My love and fear glued many friends to thee;
And, now I fall, thy tough commixtures melt,
Impairing Henry, strengthening mis-proud York.
The common people swarm like summer flies;
And whither fly the gnats but to the sun?
And who shines now but Henry's enemies?
O Phoebus, hadst thou never given consent
That Phaethon should check thy fiery steeds,
Thy burning car never had scorch'd the earth!
And, Henry, hadst thou sway'd as kings should do,
Or as thy father and his father did,
Giving no ground unto the house of York,
They never then had sprung like summer flies;
I, and ten thousand in this luckless realm,
Had left no mourning widows for our death,
And thou this day hadst kept thy chair in peace.
For what doth cherish weeds but gentle air?
And what makes robbers bold but too much lenity?
Bootless are plaints, and cureless are my wounds;
No way to fly, nor strength to hold out flight.
The foe is merciless and will not pity,
For at their hands I have deserv'd no pity.
The air hath got into my deadly wounds,
And much effuse of blood doth make me faint.--
Come, York and Richard, Warwick, and the rest;
I stabb'd your fathers' bosoms, split my breast.

[He faints.]

[Alarum and retreat. Enter EDWARD, GEORGE, RICHARD,
MONTAGUE, WARWICK, and Soldiers.]

Now breathe we, lords; good fortune bids us pause,
And smooth the frowns of war with peaceful looks.--
Some troops pursue the bloody-minded queen
That led calm Henry, though he were a king,
As doth a sail, fill'd with a fretting gust,
Command an argosy to stem the waves.
But think you, lords, that Clifford fled with them?

No, 't is impossible he should escape;
For, though before his face I speak the words,
Your brother Richard mark'd him for the grave,
And whereso'er he is he's surely dead.

[Clifford groans and dies.]

Whose soul is that which takes her heavy leave?

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