William Shakespeare: King Henry VI, Third Part

3. SCENE III. France. The King's Palace.

[Flourish. Enter LEWIS, the French King, and LADY BONA, attended:
the King takes his state. Then enter QUEEN MARGARET, PRINCE
EDWARD, and the EARL OF OXFORD; LEWIS rising as she enters.]

Fair Queen of England, worthy Margaret,
Sit down with us; it ill befits thy state
And birth that thou shouldst stand while Lewis doth sit.

No, mighty King of France; now Margaret
Must strike her sail and learn a while to serve
Where kings command. I was, I must confess,
Great Albion's queen in former golden days;
But now mischance hath trod my title down
And with dishonour laid me on the ground,
Where I must take like seat unto my fortune,
And to my humble seat conform myself.

Why, say, fair queen, whence springs this deep

From such a cause as fills mine eyes with tears
And stops my tongue, while heart is drown'd in cares.

Whate'er it be, be thou still like thyself,
And sit thee by our side; yield not thy neck

[Seats her by him.]

To fortune's yoke, but let thy dauntless mind
Still ride in triumph over all mischance.
Be plain, Queen Margaret, and tell thy grief;
It shall be eas'd if France can yield relief.

Those gracious words revive my drooping
And give my tongue-tied sorrows leave to speak.
Now, therefore, be it known to noble Lewis
That Henry, sole possessor of my love,
Is of a king become a banish'd man
And forc'd to live in Scotland a forlorn,
While proud ambitious Edward, Duke of York,
Usurps the regal title and the seat
Of England's true-anointed lawful king.
This is the cause that I, poor Margaret,
With this my son, Prince Edward, Henry's heir,
Am come to crave thy just and lawful aid;
And if thou fail us, all our hope is done.
Scotland hath will to help, but cannot help;
Our people and our peers are both misled,
Our treasure seiz'd, our soldiers put to flight,
And, as thou seest, ourselves in heavy plight.

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