Henry V

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

O'erblows the filthy and contagious clouds
Of heady murder, spoil, and villainy.
If not, why, in a moment look to see
The blind and bloody soldier with foul hand
35Desire the locks of your shrill-shrieking daughters,
Your fathers taken by the silver beards
And their most reverend heads dashed to the walls,
Your naked infants spitted upon pikes
Whiles the mad mothers with their howls confused
40Do break the clouds, as did the wives of Jewry
At Herod’s bloody-hunting slaughtermen.
What say you? Will you yield and this avoid
Or, guilty in defense, be thus destroyed?
grief-crazed mothers tear the clouds with their loud cries, just as the women of Judea did when Herod slaughtered their infants. What do you say? Will you surrender and avoid all this or be called to account for the destruction of this town?

GOVERNOR

Our expectation hath this day an end.
45The Dauphin, whom of succors we entreated,
Returns us that his powers are yet not ready
To raise so great a siege. Therefore, great King,
We yield our town and lives to thy soft mercy.
Enter our gates, dispose of us and ours,
50For we no longer are defensible.

GOVERNOR

Today our hopes are at an end. The Dauphin, whom we asked for reinforcements, sends back the answer that he’s not yet in a position to raise so great an army. Therefore, great king, we surrender our town and lives to your kind mercy. Enter our gates and do as you like with us and our possessions, for we cannot defend ourselves any longer.

KING HENRY

Open your gates.

KING HENRY

Open your gates.
Exit GOVERNOR
The GOVERNOR exits.
Come, uncle Exeter,
Go you and enter Harfleur. There remain
And fortify it strongly 'gainst the French.
55Use mercy to them all for us, dear uncle,
The winter coming on and sickness growing
Upon our soldiers, we will retire to Calais.
Tonight in Harfleur will we be your guest;
Tomorrow for the march are we addressed.
Come, uncle Exeter, enter Harfleur. Stay there and fortify it well against the French. Deal with them all mercifully on my behalf, dear uncle. Meanwhile, with winter coming on and sickness growing among our troops, we’ll withdraw to Calais. Tonight in Harfleur we will be your guest; tomorrow we’ll march on.
Flourish, and enter the town
Trumpets. The KING and his train enter the town.