Sunday, October 25, 2015

Poem of the Week: Happy St. Crispin's Day

From Shakespeare's Henry V, Act 4 scene 3.

This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the 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 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 Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
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 remember'd;
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 accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

HT : Shakespeare MIT


Sue Elvis said...


This is one of our favourite Shakespeare speeches. So stirring! We especially like Kenneth Branagh's delivery of these lines. I must pin this speech onto my poetry Pinterest board. Thanks for sharing!

Sue Elvis said...

How about that? I was so busy reading the words, I failed to watch the video. It's Kenneth Branagh! Now I'm off to enjoy that as well!

Wendy said...

Funny! Yes, he's our favorite version of that speech, too. I really enjoyed The Hollow Crown very much, but when thy got to this speech, I was a bit disappointed. I suppose I had Branagh's version in mind, and he's hard to top!