KÖNIG HEINRICH in «König Heinrich IV.» II.

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2. Part, 2. Act, 4. Scene 

King Henry and Prince Harry. 

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KING HENRY: 
Go call the Earls of Surrey and of Warwick;
But, ere they come, bid them o’erread these letters
And well consider of them. Make good speed.

(Page exits.)

How many thousand of my poorest subjects
Are at this hour asleep! O sleep, O gentle sleep,
Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down
And steep my senses in forgetfulness?
Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs,
Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee,
And hushed with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber,
Than in the perfumed chambers of the great,
Under the canopies of costly state,
And lulled with sound of sweetest melody?
O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile
In loathsome beds and leavest the kingly couch
A watch-case or a common ’larum bell?
Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast
Seal up the shipboy’s eyes and rock his brains
In cradle of the rude imperious surge
And in the visitation of the winds,
Who take the ruffian billows by the top,
Curling their monstrous heads and hanging them
With deafing clamor in the slippery clouds
That with the hurly death itself awakes?
Canst thou, O partial sleep, give thy repose
To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude,
And, in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then, happy low, lie down.
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.