October 24, 2008

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. . ."

Tomorrow is the feast of Saint Crispin. According to Wiki, the Battles of Agincourt and Leyte Gulf were fought on the saint's day as well as the Charge of the Light Brigade during the Crimean War. For the fourth year in a row is this from Henry IV:

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.

Posted by LMC at October 24, 2008 05:37 AM | TrackBack

ummm... isn't that Henry V? Love that speech.

Posted by: Beth W at October 24, 2008 02:57 PM

That speech always thrils me...
If I were only half as brave I might have conquered the world. What has happened to the Brits?

Posted by: Babs at October 24, 2008 10:02 PM