Sunday, 15 July 2012

Swithin Swithian

HENRY:  This day is called the feast of Crispian ...
AIDE:  Hold, my liege, a word!
HENRY:  What?  Eh? Hold on, sirrah, can't hear a thing with the rain beating on this bloody helmet!
(Henry removes helm, bends, Aide whispereth in the royal ear)
HENRY:  The feast of Swithin?  Are you sure?
AIDE:  Most assuredly, sire. And what is more ...
(Aide whispereth further unto the King)
HENRY:  Forty DAYS?  Is that really what they do say?
AIDE:  Indeed they do, my lord.  They do say:
  St. Swithin's day if thou dost rain
  For forty days it will remain
  St. Swithin's day if thou be fair
  For forty days 'twill rain nae mair.
HENRY:  Are you Scottish, son?
AIDE:  No, sire, 'tis merely the jingle-jangle necessity of this rough clownish rhyme.
HENRY:  I hate bloody clowns! Forty days?
AIDE:  Forty days, sire.
HENRY:  Bugger.  Gentlemen in England this day abed have made a good call, methinks.  Gloucester!
GLOUCESTER:  Aye, my liege!
HENRY:  Call the French herald, and tell him the match is off, sine die.  What call they that place over there?
AIDE:  'Tis the Agincourt Wine Superstore, my lord.
HENRY:  Perfect.  (Draws sword)  Drink, anyone?


Graham Dew said...


I'm suffering a double dose of Idiotic Hat synchronicity this week. On thursday I read 'The Lake in the Ceiling' during a wet lunch hour, only to return home that evening to find water pouring through the ceiling and requiring an urgent climb on to the roof to fix.

Last night we went to see Henry V in London, only to return to see this extract from the play. Shakespeare is difficult and I might have not quite picked on these lines last night...

Mike C. said...


Oops, sorry, my rough magic has clearly been leaking out...

I'm looking forward to Henry V on BBC2 next weekend, and the Swithin / Crispian confusion came up this morning. Interestingly, it didn't rain today -- it'll probably be the only dry day of the entire summer...


city said...

thanks for sharing.