Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  Henry the Fifth at Agincourt

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

Agincourt (Azincourt)

Henry the Fifth at Agincourt

By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

WESTMORELAND.O that we now had here

But one ten thousand of those men in England

That do no work to-day!

KING HENRY.What ’s he that wishes so?

My cousin Westmoreland?—No, my fair cousin:

If we are mark’d to die, we are enow

To do our country loss; and if to live,

The fewer men the greater share of honor.

God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.

By Jove, I am not covetous for gold;

Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;

It yearns me not if men my garments wear;

Such outward things dwell not in my desires:

But if it be a sin to covet honor,

I am the most offending soul alive.

No, ’faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:

God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honor,

As one man more, methinks, would share from me,

For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more:

Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,

That he which hath no stomach to this fight

Let him depart; his passport shall be made,

And crowns for convoy put into his purse:

We would not die in that man’s company

That fears his fellowship to die with us.

This day is call’d the feast of Crispian:

He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,

Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,

And rouse him at the name of Crispian.

He that shall live this day, and see old age,

Will yearly on the vigil feast his friends,

And say, To-morrow is Saint Crispian:

Then will he strip his sleeves, and show his scars,

And say, these wounds I had on Crispian’s day.

Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,

But he ’ll remember, with advantages,

What feats he did that day: then shall our names,

Familiar in their mouths as household words,—

Harry the king, Bedford, and Exeter,

Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloster,—

Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d:

This story shall the good man teach his son;

And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,

From this day to the ending of the world,

But we in it shall be remembered:

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

For he, to-day, that sheds his blood with me,

Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,

This day shall gentle his condition:

And gentlemen in England, now abed,

Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here,

And hold their manhood cheap, while any speaks

That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.