Henry V: Prologue


Henry V      Prologue        Chorus

This speech is used in our interview with David Hammond

Click here to open a scanned version.

Click here to open up First Folio version.

  1.  O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
  2. The brightest heaven of invention,
  3. A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
  4. And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
  5. Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
  6. Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,
  7. Leash’d in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire
  8. Crouch for employment. But pardon, gentles all,
  9. The flat unraised spirits that have dared
  10. On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
  11. So great an object: can this cockpit hold
  12. The vasty fields of France? or may we cram
  13. Within this wooden O the very casques
  14. That did affright the air at Agincourt?
  15. O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
  16. Attest in little place a million;
  17. And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
  18. On your imaginary forces work.
  19. Suppose within the girdle of these walls
  20. Are now confined two mighty monarchies,
  21. Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
  22. The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:
  23. Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;
  24. Into a thousand parts divide on man,
  25. And make imaginary puissance;
  26. Think when we talk of horses, that you see them
  27. Printing their proud hoofs i’ the receiving earth;
  28. For ’tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
  29. Carry them here and there; jumping o’er times,
  30. Turning the accomplishment of many years
  31. Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,
  32. Admit me Chorus to this history;
  33. Who prologue-like your humble patience pray,
  34. Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.

  One Response to “Henry V: Prologue”

  1. […] Click here to follow along with the text. […]

 Leave a Reply



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.