Tuesday, March 27, 2012

81. Agincourt

The fifth Henry came along
To continue the war.
Under failure of relations and peace.
Through his grandfather
He made a claim to France.
He demanded tribute for John
Along with lost continental lands.
France refused
Offering the hand of his daughter and a dowry.
The fifth Henry was insulted
Breaking the second peace.
He spread the word to his people
Promising glory.
Promising victories and plunder.
Messages sent all over the island
Brought people poor and rich alike
Across the English Channel.
Harfleur resisted
But was defeated in the end.
Henry’s army weakened
They bade him go back
As the snows of winter came in.
“We will push on my brethren!”
He said,
“I have a claim here!”
“Its not just on paper!”
“Bloody fighting”
“Has killed many of my men”
“But I must push onward.”
He moved eastward to Calais
But found his supplies running low.
At Agincourt he made his stand
With the Dolphin constable.
The French tried to stall
They pleaded with him
The fifth Henry didn’t listen.
“Your words mean nothing to me!”
He said,
“My paper claim to your continent”
“Will be honored.”
Henry and the Dolphin met in the gorge
But for three hours there was no fight.
France thought they’d run away.
They held their ground.
To march would be suicide.
Henry forced himself to step forward
Though weak from hunger.
France’s cavalry charged unsuccessfully
Then the army of five thousand men
Walking through an arrow hail.
Henry was pushed back for a time
But the Dolphin constable
Was no match for Henry’s men.

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