Open Source Shakespeare

History of Richard II

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Act II, Scene 4

A camp in Wales.


[Enter EARL OF SALISBURY and a Welsh Captain]

  • Captain. My lord of Salisbury, we have stay'd ten days,
    And hardly kept our countrymen together,
    And yet we hear no tidings from the king;
    Therefore we will disperse ourselves: farewell.
  • Earl of Salisbury. Stay yet another day, thou trusty Welshman: 1335
    The king reposeth all his confidence in thee.
  • Captain. 'Tis thought the king is dead; we will not stay.
    The bay-trees in our country are all wither'd
    And meteors fright the fixed stars of heaven;
    The pale-faced moon looks bloody on the earth 1340
    And lean-look'd prophets whisper fearful change;
    Rich men look sad and ruffians dance and leap,
    The one in fear to lose what they enjoy,
    The other to enjoy by rage and war:
    These signs forerun the death or fall of kings. 1345
    Farewell: our countrymen are gone and fled,
    As well assured Richard their king is dead.


  • Earl of Salisbury. Ah, Richard, with the eyes of heavy mind
    I see thy glory like a shooting star 1350
    Fall to the base earth from the firmament.
    Thy sun sets weeping in the lowly west,
    Witnessing storms to come, woe and unrest:
    Thy friends are fled to wait upon thy foes,
    And crossly to thy good all fortune goes. 1355