Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
Hotspur
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
 
(See full text.)

  King Henry.—Send us your prisoners, or you’ll hear of it.    [Exit.
  Hotspur.—And if the devil come and roar for them,
I will not send them:—I will after straight,
And tell him so: for I will ease my heart,
Although it be with hazard of my head.        5
Not speak of Mortimer?
Zounds, I will speak of him; and let my soul
Want mercy, if I do not join with him:
Yea, on his part, I’ll empty all these veins,
And shed my dear blood drop by drop in the dust        10
But I will lift the down-trod Mortimer
As high in the air as this unthankful king,
As this ingrate and cankered Bolingbroke.
He will, forsooth, have all my prisoners,
And when I urged the ransom once again,        15
Of my wife’s brother, then his cheek looked pale;
And on my face he turned an eye of death,
Trembling even at the name of Mortimer.
  … I cannot blame his cousin king,
That wished him on the barren mountains starved,        20
But shall it be, that you,—that set the crown
Upon the head of this forgetful man,
And, for his sake, wear the detested blot
Of murderous subornation,—shall it be,
That you a world of curses undergo,        25
Being the agents, or base second means,
The cords, the ladder, or the hangman rather?—
(O, pardon me, that I descend so low,
To show the line, and the predicament,
Wherein you range under this subtle king,—)        30
Shall it, for shame, be spoken in these days,
Or fill up chronicles in time to come,
That men of your nobility and power,
Did gage them both in an unjust behalf,—
As both of you, God pardon it! have done,—        35
To put down Richard, that sweet lovely rose,
And plant this thorn, this canker, Bolingbroke?
*        *        *        *        *
Send danger from the east unto the west,
So honor cross it from the north to south,
And let them grapple; O! the blood more stirs        40
To rouse a lion than to start a hare.
By heaven, methinks, it were an easy leap,
To pluck bright Honor from the pale-faced moon;
Or dive into the bottom of the deep,
Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,        45
And pluck up drownèd honor by the locks;
So he that doth redeem her thence, might wear,
Without corrival, all her dignities:
But out upon this half-faced fellowship!
  Worcester.—Those same noble Scots,        50
That are your prisoners,—
  Hot.—        I’ll keep them all;
By heaven, he shall not have a Scot of them:
No, if a Scot would save his soul, he shall not:
I’ll keep them, by this hand.
                I will; that’s flat:—
He said he would not ransom Mortimer;        55
Forbade my tongue to speak of Mortimer;
But I will find him when he lies asleep,
And in his ear I’ll holla—“Mortimer!”
Nay,
I’ll have a starling shall be taught to speak        60
Nothing but Mortimer, and give it him,
To keep his anger still in motion.
All studies here I solemnly defy,
Save how to gall and pinch this Bolingbroke:
And that same sword-and-buckler Prince of Wales,—        65
But that I think his father loves him not,
And would be glad he met with some mischance,
I’d have him poisoned with a pot of ale.
Why, look you, I am whipped and scourged with rods,
Nettled, and stung with pismires, when I hear        70
Of this vile politician, Bolingbroke.
In Richard’s time,—What do you call the place?
A plague upon’t! it is in Gloucestershire;—
’Twas where the madcap duke his uncle kept;
His uncle York;—where I first bowed my knee        75
Unto this king of smiles, this Bolingbroke,
When you and he came back from Ravenspurg.
Why, what a candy deal of courtesy
This fawning greyhound then did proffer me!
Look,—when his infant fortune came to age,        80
And,—gentle Harry Percy,—and kind cousin,
The devil take such cozeners!—Heaven forgive me!—
Good uncle, tell your tale, for I have done.
 
 
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