Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
France: Vols. IX–X. 1876–79.

Angiers (Angers)


By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

(From King John)

FRENCH HERALD.You men of Angiers, open wide your gates,

And let young Arthur, Duke of Bretagne, in;

Who, by the hand of France, this day hath made

Much work for tears in many an English mother,

Whose sons lie scatter’d on the bleeding ground.

Many a widow’s husband groveling lies,

Coldly embracing the discolor’d earth;

And Victory, with little loss, doth play

Upon the dancing banners of the French,

Triumphantly display’d; who are at hand,

To enter conquerors, and to proclaim

Arthur of Bretagne, England’s King, and yours.

(Enter an ENGLISH HERALD, with trumpets.)
ENGLISH HERALD.Rejoice, you men of Angiers, ring your bells;

King John, your king and England’s, doth approach

Commander of this hot malicious day.

Their armours, that march’d hence so silver-bright,

Hither return all gilt with Frenchmen’s blood;

There stuck no plume in any English crest,

That is removed by a staff of France:

Our colours do return in those same hands

That did display them when we first march’d forth;

And, like a jolly troop of huntsmen, come

Our lusty English, all with purpled hands.

Dyed in the dying slaughter of their foes.

Open your gates, and give the victors way.