James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

April 14

Battle of Barnet

By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

  • From Henry VI, Part 3rd, Act V, Scene 3.
  • The battle of Barnet was gained by the Yorkists under Edward IV over the Lancastrians under Warwick on April 14, 1471. The latter was slain and Edward IV re-established upon the throne.

  • Scene III.Another part of the field.
    Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD in triumph; with GLOUCESTER, CLARENCE, and the rest.

    K. Edw.Thus far our fortune keeps an upward course,

    And we are graced with wreaths of victory.

    But, in the midst of this bright-shining day,

    I spy a black, suspicious, threatening cloud,

    That will encounter with our glorious sun,

    Ere he attain his easeful western bed:

    I mean, my lords, those powers that the queen

    Hath raised in Gallia have arrived our coast

    And, as we hear, march on to fight with us.

    Clar.A little gale will soon disperse that cloud

    And blow it to the source from whence it came:

    The very beams will dry those vapours up,

    For every cloud engenders not a storm.

    Glo.The queen is valued thirty thousand strong,

    And Somerset, with Oxford, fled to her:

    If she have time to breathe, be well assured

    Her faction will be full as strong as ours.

    K. Edw.We are advertised by our loving friends

    That they do hold their course toward Tewksbury:

    We, having now the best at Barnet field,

    Will thither straight, for willingness rids way;

    And, as we march, our strength will be augmented

    In every county as we go along.

    Strike up the drum; cry ‘Courage!’ and away.[Exeunt.