JOHN OF GAUNT. Will the king come, that I may breathe my last
In wholesome counsel to his unstaid youth?
William Shakespeare, Richard II (1597)
EDMUND OF LANGLEY. Vex not yourself, nor strive not with your breath; For all in vain comes counsel to his ear.
JOHN OF GAUNT. O, but they say the tongues of dying men
Enforce attention like deep harmony:
Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain,
For they breathe truth that breathe their words in pain.
He that no more must say is listen’d more
Than they whom youth and ease have taught to glose;
More are men’s ends mark’d than their lives before:
The setting sun, and music at the close,
As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last,
Writ in remembrance more than things long past:
Though Richard my life’s counsel would not hear,
My death’s sad tale may yet undeaf his ear
Posted: 22nd July 2019Categories: Literature