Now entertain conjecture of a time
When creeping murmur and the poring dark
Fills the wide vessel of the universe.
From camp to camp, through the foul womb of night,
5The hum of either army stilly sounds,
That the fixed sentinels almost receive
The secret whispers of each other’s watch.
Fire answers fire, and through their paly flames
Each battle sees the other’s umbered face.
10Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful neighs
Piercing the night’s dull ear; and from the tents
The armorers, accomplishing the knights,
With busy hammers closing rivets up,
Give dreadful note of preparation.
15The country cocks do crow, the clocks do toll,
And, the third hour of drowsy morning named,
Proud of their numbers and secure in soul,
The confident and overlusty French
Do the low-rated English play at dice
20And chide the cripple, tardy-gaited night,
Who like a foul and ugly witch doth limp
So tediously away. The poor condemnèd English,
Like sacrifices, by their watchful fires
Sit patiently and inly ruminate
25The morning’s danger; and their gesture sad,
Investing lank-lean cheeks and war-worn coats,
Presenteth them unto the gazing moon
So many horrid ghosts. Oh, now, who will behold
The royal captain of this ruined band