A battlefield near Barnet.
(King Edward; Warwick; Oxford; Somerset)
The dying Warwick, left to die by Edward, begs to know who has won the battle as he reflects on the pointlessness of ambition. Oxford and Somerset bring him the news that Margaret has landed with soldiers, and that were Warwick well they might still beat Edward, but Warwick knows it is too late. He is told of his brother Montague’s death, and dies himself. Oxford and Somerset bear away his body as they go to meet the Queen. (50 lines)
Alarum and excursions. Enter King Edward, bringing forth Warwick wounded.
So, lie thou there. Die thou, and die our fear,
For Warwick was a bug that fear’d us all.
Now, Montague, sit fast, I seek for thee,
That Warwick’s bones may keep thine company.
Ah, who is nigh? Come to me, friend or foe,
And tell me who is victor, York or Warwick?
Why ask I that? My mangled body shows,
My blood, my want of strength, my sick heart shows,
That I must yield my body to the earth,
And by my fall, the conquest to my foe.
Thus yields the cedar to the axe’s edge,
Whose arms gave shelter to the princely eagle,
Under whose shade the ramping lion slept,
Whose top-branch overpeer’d Jove’s spreading tree,
And kept low shrubs from winter’s pow’rful wind.
These eyes, that now are dimm’d with death’s black veil,
Have been as piercing as the midday sun
To search the secret treasons of the world.
The wrinkles in my brows, now fill’d with blood,
Were lik’ned oft to kingly sepulchres;
For who liv’d king, but I could dig his grave?
And who durst smile when Warwick bent his brow?
Lo, now my glory smear’d in dust and blood!
My parks, my walks, my manors that I had,
Even now forsake me; and of all my lands
Is nothing left me but my body’s length.
Why, what is pomp, rule, reign, but earth and dust?
And live we how we can, yet die we must.
Enter Oxford and Somerset.
Ah, Warwick, Warwick, wert thou as we are,
We might recover all our loss again.
The Queen from France hath brought a puissant power;
Even now we heard the news. Ah, couldst thou fly!
Why then I would not fly. Ah, Montague,
If thou be there, sweet brother, take my hand,
And with thy lips keep in my soul a while.
Thou lov’st me not; for, brother, if thou didst,
Thy tears would wash this cold congealed blood
That glues my lips and will not let me speak.
Come quickly, Montague, or I am dead.
Ah, Warwick, Montague hath breath’d his last,
And to the latest gasp cried out for Warwick,
And said, “Commend me to my valiant brother.”
And more he would have said, and more he spoke,
Which sounded like a cannon in a vault,
That mought not be distinguish’d; but at last
I well might hear, delivered with a groan,
“O, farewell, Warwick!”
Sweet rest his soul! Fly, lords, and save yourselves,
For Warwick bids you all farewell, to meet in heaven.
Away, away, to meet the Queen’s great power!
Here they bear away his body. Exeunt.