Plays  +  Sonnets  +  Poems  +  Concordance  +  Advanced Search  +  About OSS

The Tragedy of King Lear

print/save print/save view


Act IV, Scene 4

The French camp.


Enter, with Drum and Colours, Cordelia, Doctor, and Soldiers.

  • Cordelia. Alack, 'tis he! Why, he was met even now
    As mad as the vex'd sea, singing aloud,
    Crown'd with rank fumiter and furrow weeds,
    With harlocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo flow'rs,
    Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow 2520
    In our sustaining corn. A century send forth.
    Search every acre in the high-grown field
    And bring him to our eye. [Exit an Officer.] What can man's
    In the restoring his bereaved sense? 2525
    He that helps him take all my outward worth.
  • Doctor. There is means, madam.
    Our foster nurse of nature is repose,
    The which he lacks. That to provoke in him
    Are many simples operative, whose power 2530
    Will close the eye of anguish.
  • Cordelia. All blest secrets,
    All you unpublish'd virtues of the earth,
    Spring with my tears! be aidant and remediate
    In the good man's distress! Seek, seek for him! 2535
    Lest his ungovern'd rage dissolve the life
    That wants the means to lead it.

Enter Messenger.

  • Messenger. News, madam.
    The British pow'rs are marching hitherward. 2540
  • Cordelia. 'Tis known before. Our preparation stands
    In expectation of them. O dear father,
    It is thy business that I go about.
    Therefore great France
    My mourning and important tears hath pitied. 2545
    No blown ambition doth our arms incite,
    But love, dear love, and our ag'd father's right.
    Soon may I hear and see him!