Henry V; Prologue: First Folio


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 modern version.


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

 Leave a Reply



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