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Home » Quotes » Henry VI Pt 1 » Hung be the heavens with black, yield day to night!

Hung be the heavens with black, yield day to night!

Hung be the heavens with black, yield day to night!
Comets, importing change of times and states,
Brandish your crystal tresses in the sky,
And with them scourge the bad revolting stars
That have consented unto Henry’s death:
King Henry the Fifth, too famous to live long.
England ne’er lost a king of so much worth.
England ne’er had a king until his time.
Virtue he had, deserving to command;
His brandished sword did blind men with his beams;
His arms spread wider than a dragon’s wings;
His sparkling eyes, replete with wrathful fire,
More dazzled and drove back his enemies
Than midday sun fierce bent against their faces.
What should I say? His deeds exceed all speech.
He ne’er lift up his hand but conquerèd.

We mourn in black; why mourn we not in blood?

We mourn in black; why mourn we not in blood?
Henry is dead and never shall revive.
Upon a wooden coffin we attend,
And Death’s dishonorable victory
We with our stately presence glorify,
Like captives bound to a triumphant car.
What? Shall we curse the planets of mishap
That plotted thus our glory’s overthrow?
Or shall we think the subtle-witted French
Conjurers and sorcerers, that, afraid of him,
By magic verses have contrived his end?
He was a king blest of the King of kings;
Unto the French the dreadful Judgment Day
So dreadful will not be as was his sight.
The battles of the Lord of Hosts he fought;
The Church’s prayers made him so prosperous.
The Church? Where is it? Had not churchmen prayed,
His thread of life had not so soon decayed.
None do you like but an effeminate prince
Whom like a schoolboy you may overawe.
Gloucester, whate’er we like, thou art Protector
And lookest to command the Prince and realm.
Thy wife is proud; she holdeth thee in awe
More than God or religious churchmen may.
Name not religion, for thou lov’st the flesh,
And ne’er throughout the year to church thou go’st,
Except it be to pray against thy foes.
Cease, cease these jars, and rest your minds in peace!
Let’s to the altar.—Heralds, wait on us.—
Instead of gold, we’ll offer up our arms,
Since arms avail not, now that Henry’s dead.
Posterity, await for wretched years
When at their mothers’ moistened eyes babes shall suck,
Our isle be made a nourish of salt tears,
And none but women left to wail the dead.
Henry the Fifth, thy ghost I invocate:
Prosper this realm, keep it from civil broils,
Combat with adverse planets in the heavens.
A far more glorious star thy soul will make
Than Julius Caesar or bright—

Enter a Messenger.

Act 1
Scene 1
Line 1

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