Sunday, October 25, 2009

Anniversary: Today is St. Crispin's Day.

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,

Wretched Dog reminds me:


On this day, 25 October 1415, King Henry V of England, and his tiny army of nobles, men-at-arms and English and Welsh longbowmen, left the Flower of French Chivalry laying face down in a muddy field in Northern France near the village of Agincourt.

This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.

He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,

Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,

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 Crispian'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 rememb'red.

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 remembered-

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 accurs'd they were not here,

And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks

That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

- St. Crispin's Day Speech, Shakespeare's Henry V, 1599


Brock Townsend said...

We Few, We Happy Few, We Band Of Brothers......
...... For He To-Day That Sheds His Blood With Me Shall Be My Brother.
(Wonderful, exhilarating voice. BT)

Anonymous said...

Bravo for posting this rousing speech. Great liturature....great movie, too. King Henry V was the model Christian King, as perfectly balancing Justice & Mercy as any human King could.

Our DID DVD (desert island disks) collection features the 1989 "King Henry V" movie starring Kenneth Branaugh. Rent or buy, it's a great movie - even my 5 year old quote lines from it.

The power of it, in this day of big shot celebrity power mongers, is that this King was a true man of the people, ruling in loving service, and humbled to God's rulership of us all.

I think George Washington, in our nation, came closest in character & nature to this model king.

Anyhow, what a glorious antidote to the Clinton / Bush / Obama arrogance that we've been subjected to for the past two revolting decades !

As CS Lewis noted, 'We become what we behold....'

Beholding, viewing & considering such men of true Christian virtue can provide a 'compass heading' for sincere Patriots to follow, vis a vis the trashy 'standards' Hollywood has proffered of late.

('God's & Generals' chacterization of Jackson & Lee merits similarly...)

Thanks Mike for posting this.

Sam Adams in Texas

Uncle Lar said...

I recommend Cornwell's book 'Agincourt' for a soldier's eye view of what it was like in those days long ago. Told from the perspective of an English longbowman.
His Sharpe's company books tell a similar tale of troops in the Napoleonic war era, again from the English viewpoint.