Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV. 1876–79.



By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

(From King Henry the Fourth, Part I)

MY liege, I did deny no prisoners.

But, I remember, when the fight was done,

When I was dry with rage and extreme toil,

Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword,

Came there a certain lord, neat, trimly dressed,

Fresh as a bridegroom; and his chin, new reaped,

Showed like a stubble-land at harvest-home.

He was perfuméd like a milliner;

And ’twixt his finger and his thumb he held

A pouncet-box, which ever and anon

He gave his nose and took ’t away again;

Who, therewith angry, when it next came there,

Took it in snuff. And still he smiled and talked;

And, as the soldiers bore dead bodies by,

He called them untaught knaves, unmannerly,

To bring a slovenly unhandsome corse

Betwixt the wind and his nobility.

With many holiday and lady terms

He questioned me; among the rest demanded

My prisoners, in your Majesty’s behalf.

I then, all smarting with my wounds being cold,

Out of my grief and my impatience

To be so pestered with a popinjay,

Answered neglectingly, I know not what,

He should or he should not; for he made me mad,

To see him shine so brisk, and smell so sweet,

And talk, so like a waiting-gentlewoman,

Of guns, and drums, and wounds—God save the mark!—

And telling me the sovereign’st thing on earth

Was parmaceti, for an inward bruise;

And that it was great pity, so it was,

This villanous saltpetre should be digged

Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,

Which many a good tall fellow had destroyed

So cowardly; and, but for these vile guns,

He would himself have been a soldier.

This bald, unjointed chat of his, my lord,

I answered indirectly, as I said;

And, I beseech you, let not his report

Come current for an accusation,

Betwixt my love and your high Majesty.