Westminster, England, July 1439
'The purpose you undertake is dangerous;'—why, that's
certain: 'tis dangerous to take a cold, to sleep, to
drink; but I tell you, my lord fool, out of this
nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
There are things no-one knows.
There are things that no other man will ever know.
They do not know that —
(there are shackles and iron and words which should never have been spoken)
But there are stories which started as legends and became fire-tales, when it is the other way around, for most of the telling.
(there is a heart that beats under a King's fingers)
No-one does anything but smile, any more, when they hear the old stories of the King in Scotland, blood-garbed —
(and what if I told you he lived?)
The King in Scotland —
the Lord Edward with his broken heart —
(I'm here, I'm here, you're all right)
Ah, the tales and the legends, and never as fierce as the truth of the then
(the truth of the now)
the Hotspur selling his good roan for two hacking-horses and a gold piece and the Welsh Marches for all love —
(Well God damn and blast Cheshire to hell for their love, for I'll have none)
The Lady Kate, who still holds the Borders by her name, though her body is long gone.
(I shall to my King and remember myself)
These are fire-tales.
But this is truth.
They are all dead now, and there is only the old King in England to remember.
He remembers it all, and sometimes, quiet and a little drunk, he laughs at those who refuse to.
Henry, fifth of that name, old and never fire-drowsing, and keeping the oriflamme of his kingmaking high above his throne; Henry who is spoken of as greater than his great-grandsire, the Great King; Henry who teaches his border-bred son-in law how to defeat a Spider King of France, while all the time, smiling in his beard, he remembers a prince who roused Eastcheap, and was crowned long before his father died and bequeathed him a circlet of gold.
Henry remembers it all. All the things he heard, all the things he has been told since were true. And more than any of it, he remembers all that he then imagined, and gloated over; a dragon's hoard to keep his heart safe and his mind free.
Henry remembers a love that made a kingdom.
And rejoices in what has been made.