by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)

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

KING (Henry V).
 What's he that wishes so?
 My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin.
 If we are marked to die, we are enough
 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 named,
 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 Crispian'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 Exeter,
 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.

 My sovereign lord, bestow yourself with speed:
 The French are bravely in their battles set,
 And will with all expedience charge on us.

KING (Henry V).
 All things are ready, if our minds be so.

About the headline (FAQ)

View text with footnotes


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

Researcher for this text: Barbara Miller

Text added to the website: 2005-06-22 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:02:13
Line count: 61
Word count: 470