A Tribute to Veterans from Shakespeare

I thought you might enjoy something a little different. I didn’t write this –some guy named William Shakespeare did. It will resonate with veterans. It’s from his play Henry V. It’s the speech that Henry V made to the English army shortly before the Battle of Agincourt on the morning of 25 October 1415. Here is the St. Crispin’s Day speech from William Shakespeare’s play, Henry V. Enjoy.

WESTMORELAND: O that we now had here But one ten thousand of those men in England That do no work to-day!

KING HENRY: What’s he that wishes so? My cousin, Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin; If we are mark’d to die, we are enow To do our country loss; and if to live, The fewer men, the greater share of honour.

God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.

By Jove, I am not covetous for gold, Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost; It yearns me not if men my garments wear; Such outward things dwell not in my desires. But if it be a sin to covet honour, I am the most offending soul alive. No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England. God’s peace! I would not lose so great an honour As one man more methinks would share from me For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!

Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host, That he which hath no stomach to this fight, Let him depart; his passport shall be made, And crowns for convoy put into his purse; We would not die in that man’s company That fears his fellowship to die with us.

This day is call’d the feast of Crispian. He that outlives this day, and comes safe home, Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d, And rouse him at the name of Crispian. He that shall live this day, and see old age, Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours, And say “To-morrow is Saint Crispian.” Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars, And say “These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.”

Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot, But he’ll remember, with advantages, What feats he did that day. Then shall our names, Familiar in his mouth as household words– Harry the King, Bedford and Exter, Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester — Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb’red.

This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remembered- We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition; And gentlemen in England now a-bed Shall think themselves accurs’d they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

For e-books by me, visit http://smashwords.com/profile/view/monteranderson. Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/monteranderson Follow my blog at http://monteranderson-author.com

or https://monteranderson.wordpress.com

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