Henry V Prologue Chorus
This speech is used in our interview with David Hammond
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- O For a Muse of Fire, that would ascend
- The brightest Heauen of Inuention:
- A Kingdome for a Stage, Princes to Act,
- And Monarchs to behold the swelling Scene.
- Then should the Warlike Harry, like himselfe,
- Assume the Port of Mars, and at his heeles
- ( Leasht in, like Hounds) should Famine, Sword, and Fire
- Crouch for employment. But pardon, Gentles all:
- The flat vnraysed Spirits, that hath dar’d,
- On this vnworthy Scaffold, to bring forth
- So great an Obiect. Can this Cock-Pit hold
- The vastie fields of France? Or may we cramme
- Within this Woodden O. the very Caskes
- That did affright the Ayre at Agincourt?
- O pardon: since a crooked Figure may
- Attest in little place a Million,
- And let vs, Cyphers to this great Accompt,
- On your imaginarie Forces worke.
- Suppose within the Girdle of these Walls
- Are now confin’d two mightie Monarchies,
- Whose high, vp-reared, and abutting Fronts,
- The perillous narrow Ocean parts asunder.
- Peece out our imperfections with your thoughts:
- Into a thousand parts diuide one Man,
- And make imaginarie Puissance.
- Thinke when we talke of Horses, that you see them
- Printing their prowd Hoofes i’th’ receiuing Earth:
- For ‘tis your thoughts that now must deck our Kings,
- Carry them here and there: Iumping o’re Times;
- Turning th’accomplishment of many yeeres
- Into an Howre-glasse: for the which supplie,
- Admit me Chorus to this Historie;
- Who Prologue-like, your humble patience pray,
- Gently to heare, kindly to iudge our Play