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"it is old men who declare war vut it the youth who fight and die -- mason smith" - Inxaxaxaacaf

King Richard

  • Date Submitted: 09/29/2010 10:01 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 67.1 
  • Words: 324
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KING RICHARD THE SECOND: ACT 2, SCENE 1

John of Gaunt is near to death, and grieves over the fate of England in the hands of King Richard. At the same time, he extols the virtues of his country.

JOHN OF GAUNT
Methinks I am a prophet new-inspired,
And thus, expiring, do foretell of him.
His rash, fierce blaze of riot cannot last,
For violent fires soon burn out themselves.
Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short.
He tires betimes that spurs too fast betimes.
With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder.
Light vanity, insatiate cormorant,
Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.
This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house
Against the envy of less happier lands;
This bless├Ęd plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Feared by their breed and famous by their brith,
Renowned for their deeds as far from home
For Christian service and true chivalry
As is the sepulchre, in stubborn Jewry,
Of the world's ransom, blessed Mary's son;
This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leased out - I die pronouncing it -
England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watry Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds.
What England that was wont to conquer others
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death!

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