Henry V

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

KING HENRY
270O God of battles, steel my soldiers' hearts.
Possess them not with fear. Take from them now
The sense of reck'ning ere th' opposèd numbers
Pluck their hearts from them. Not today, O Lord,
Oh, not today, think not upon the fault
275My father made in compassing the crown.
I Richard’s body have interrèd anew,
And on it have bestowed more contrite tears
Than from it issued forcèd drops of blood.
Five hundred poor I have in yearly pay,
280Who twice a day their withered hands hold up
Toward heaven to pardon blood. And I have built
Two chantries where the sad and solemn priests
Sing still for Richard’s soul. More will I do—
Though all that I can do is nothing worth,
285Since that my penitence comes after all,
Imploring pardon.
KING HENRY
Oh God of battles, bolster my soldiers' courage. Don’t let them know fear. Rob them of the ability to count before the numbers against them overwhelm their courage. And just for today, Oh, Lord, just today don’t think of the crime my father committed in seizing the crown! I’ve transferred Richard’s body to a new grave and on it poured more tears of remorse than it has shed drops of blood. I’ve hired five hundred almsmen to hold up their withered hands to heaven, praying for my pardon twice a day throughout the year. And I’ve built two chapels where solemn priests sing continually for Richard’s soul. I will do more, though nothing I can do is any good since this remorse comes after the crime, asking for pardon.
Enter GLOUCESTER
GLOUCESTER enters.
GLOUCESTER
My liege.
GLOUCESTER
My liege.
KING HENRY
My brother Gloucester’s voice.—Ay,
I know thy errand. I will go with thee.
290The day, my friends, and all things stay for me.
KING HENRY
My brother Gloucester’s voice? Yes, I know why you’ve come. I’ll go with you. The day, my friends, and everything await me.
Exeunt
They exit.