Doubtful it stood,
As two spent swimmers that do cling together
And choke their art. The merciless Macdonwald
(Worthy to be a rebel, for to that
The multiplying villainies of nature
Do swarm upon him) from the Western Isles
Of kerns and gallowglasses is supplied,
And Fortune, on his damned quarrel smiling,
Show’d like a rebel’s whore. But all’s too weak;
For brave Macbeth (well he deserves that name),
Disdaining Fortune, with his brandish’d steel,
Which smok’d with bloody execution,
(Like Valor’s minion) carv’d out his passage
Till he fac’d the slave;
Which nev’r shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,
Till he unseam’d him from the nave to th’ chops,
And fix’d his head upon our battlements.
O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman!
As whence the sun gins his reflection
Shipwracking storms and direful thunders break,
So from that spring whence comfort seem’d to come
Discomfort swells. Mark, King of Scotland, mark!
No sooner justice had, with valor arm’d,
Compell’d these skipping kerns to trust their heels,
But the Norweyan lord, surveying vantage,
With furbish’d arms and new supplies of men,
Began a fresh assault.
If I say sooth, I must report they were
As cannons overcharg’d with double cracks, so they
Doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe.
Except they meant to bathe in reeking wounds,
Or memorize another Golgotha,
I cannot tell—
But I am faint, my gashes cry for help.