A Performance Of Henry V At Stratford-Upon-Avon by Elizabeth Jennings
Nature teaches us our tongue again And the swift sentences came pat. I came Into cool night rescued from rainy dawn. And I seethed with language - Henry at Harfleur and Agincourt came apt for war In Ireland and the Middle East. Here was The riddling and right tongue, the feeling words Solid and dutiful. Aspiring hope Met purpose in "advantages" and "He That fights with me today shall be my brother." Say this is patriotic, out of date. But you are wrong. It never is too late
For nights of stars and feet that move to an Iambic measure; all who clapped were linked, The theatre is our treasury and too, Our study, school-room, house where mercy is
Dispensed with justice. Shakespeare has the mood And draws the music from the dullest heart. This is our birthright, speeches for the dumb And unaccomplished. Henry has the words For grief and we learn how to tell of death With dignity. "All was as cold" she said "As any stone" and so, we who lacked scope For big or little deaths, increase, grow up To purposes and means to face events Of cruelty, stupidity. I walked Fast under stars. The Avon wandered on "Tomorrow and tomorrow". Words aren't worn Out in this place but can renew our tongue, Flesh out our feeling, make us apt for life.