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Home » Quotes » Richard III » What was your dream, my lord?

What was your dream, my lord?

What was your dream, my lord? I pray you tell me.
Methoughts that I had broken from the Tower
And was embarked to cross to Burgundy,
And in my company my brother Gloucester,
Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
Upon the hatches. Thence we looked toward England
And cited up a thousand heavy times,
During the wars of York and Lancaster,
That had befall’n us. As we paced along
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
Methought that Gloucester stumbled, and in falling
Struck me, that thought to stay him, overboard
Into the tumbling billows of the main.

O Lord, methought what pain it was to drown,
What dreadful noise of waters in my ears,
What sights of ugly death within my eyes

O Lord, methought what pain it was to drown,
What dreadful noise of waters in my ears,
What sights of ugly death within my eyes.
Methoughts I saw a thousand fearful wracks,
A thousand men that fishes gnawed upon,
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels,
All scattered in the bottom of the sea.
Some lay in dead men’s skulls, and in the holes
Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept—
As ’twere in scorn of eyes—reflecting gems,
That wooed the slimy bottom of the deep
And mocked the dead bones that lay scattered by.
Had you such leisure in the time of death
To gaze upon these secrets of the deep?
Methought I had, and often did I strive
To yield the ghost, but still the envious flood
Stopped in my soul and would not let it forth
To find the empty, vast, and wand’ring air,
But smothered it within my panting bulk,
Who almost burst to belch it in the sea.
Awaked you not in this sore agony?
No, no, my dream was lengthened after life.
O, then began the tempest to my soul.
I passed, methought, the melancholy flood,
With that sour ferryman which poets write of,
Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.
The first that there did greet my stranger-soul
Was my great father-in-law, renownèd Warwick,
Who spake aloud “What scourge for perjury
Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence?”
And so he vanished. Then came wand’ring by
A shadow like an angel, with bright hair
Dabbled in blood, and he shrieked out aloud
“Clarence is come—false, fleeting, perjured Clarence,
That stabbed me in the field by Tewkesbury.
Seize on him, furies. Take him unto torment.”
With that, methoughts, a legion of foul fiends
Environed me and howlèd in mine ears
Such hideous cries that with the very noise
I trembling waked, and for a season after
Could not believe but that I was in hell,
Such terrible impression made my dream.
No marvel, lord, though it affrighted you.
I am afraid, methinks, to hear you tell it.
Ah keeper, keeper, I have done these things,
That now give evidence against my soul,
For Edward’s sake, and see how he requites me.—
O God, if my deep prayers cannot appease thee,
But thou wilt be avenged on my misdeeds,
Yet execute thy wrath in me alone!
O, spare my guiltless wife and my poor children!—
Keeper, I prithee sit by me awhile.
My soul is heavy, and I fain would sleep.
I will, my lord. God give your Grace good rest.
   Clarence sleeps

Act 1
Scene 4
Line 8

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