Henry V

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Flourish. Enter Chorus

  

CHORUS

H5 I.chorus.1 
O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend

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The brightest heaven of invention,
invention (n.) 1 inventiveness, imagination, creative faculty

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A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,

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And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
swelling (adj.) 4 magnificent, grand, resplendant

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Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,

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Assume the port of Mars, and at his heels,
port (n.) 2 bearing, demeanour, carriage

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Leashed in like hounds, should famine, sword, and fire

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Crouch for employment. But pardon, gentles all,
gentle (n.) 2 (plural) ladies and gentlemen, gentlefolk

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The flat unraised spirits that have dared
flat (adj.) 3 feeble, dull, deficient
unraised (adj.) ordinary, humdrum, unimaginative

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On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
scaffold (n.) stage, platform [in a theatre]

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So great an object. Can this cockpit hold
cockpit (n.) theatre pit, theatrical arena

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The vasty fields of France? Or may we cram
vasty (adj.) vast, immense, spacious

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Within this wooden O the very casques

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That did affright the air at Agincourt?
affright (v.) frighten, terrify, scare

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O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
crooked (adj.) 2 rounded, curved

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Attest in little place a million,
attest (v.) 1 vouch for, be evidence of, testify to

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And let us, ciphers to this great account,
account, accompt (n.) 1 reckoning, judgement [especially by God]
cipher (n.) figure nought, nonentity, mere nothing

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On your imaginary forces work.
imaginary (adj.) imaginative, creative, of the imagination

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Suppose within the girdle of these walls

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Are now confined two mighty monarchies,

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Whose high upreared and abutting fronts

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The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder.

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Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts:

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Into a thousand parts divide one man,

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And make imaginary puissance.
puissance (n.) power, might, force

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Think, when we talk of horses, that you see them

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Printing their proud hoofs i'th' receiving earth;
proud (adj.) 3 high-spirited, high-mettled

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For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
deck (v.) cover, adorn, decorate

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Carry them here and there, jumping o'er times,

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Turning th' accomplishment of many years

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Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,

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Admit me Chorus to this history,
chorus (n.) character in a play who speaks the prologue and comments on the course of events

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Who Prologue-like your humble patience pray,

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Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.

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Exit

 
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